Diablo Mountains High Point, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog Mine 0 0 Topics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,366 feet
Elevation Gain 1,006 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,332 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.56
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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16  2019-12-05
Diablo and Wasson
author avatar Guides 70
Routes 649
Photos 10,695
Trips 685 map ( 8,023 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Winter to Early Spring
Sun  5:54am - 7:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Culture Nearby
El diablo made me do it!
by DixieFlyer

The Diablo Mountains are a mountain range within the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument(OPCNM). This guide provides a route and description for a hike to the range high point (3,372').

This hike is totally off-trail and it begins and ends at the Estes Canyon Picnic Area on Ajo Mountain Drive. This location also serves as the trailhead for the hike to Mount Ajo, and it would certainly be possible to hike both on the same day.

From the trailhead, the recommended route is to go west through the desert for a short distance, making your way to a ridgeline that is north of the range highpoint. You initially won't be able to see the range highpoint, but as you make your way south along the ridgeline you'll climb up to a false summit. Once on the false summit, you can easily spot the highpoint, and from there the destination will be in view.

The climb to the top gets a bit steep as you near the summit -- you'll gain 300' in elevation over the last 0.15 miles. Fortunately, the footing is mostly solid, making the ascent doable. In fact, the footing was good enough that the descent was easier than the ascent. The default GPS track for this guide goes up to the summit on the north side of the peak. It is perhaps a little less steep of a climb on the west side of the peak, and some may wish to try to ascend or descend from that direction.

To get back to the trailhead, simply reverse course and go back the way that you came.

Other than the steep section just below the peak, this is a relatively easy off-trail hike.

This area is totally exposed to the sun and it can get quite hot in the warmer months; hence, most would prefer to do this hike in winter or early spring. Going in February or March will often have the added benefit of wildflowers and cacti blooming.

Water Sources
There is no water along the hike, but with the short distance of the hike lack of water should not be an issue.

Red Tape
2019 Entrance fees:
* $25 per vehicle, $15 per pedestrian or cyclist. Good for 7 days.
* Free with Interagency Annual passes.
* Free with Golden Age, Senior, Access Lifetime, and Military Annual passes.

There is a restroom, but no water, at the trailhead.

The 31-mile southern boundary of the OPCNM is the border between the United States and Mexico. As such, it is an area where people cross the border illegally. However, it is unlikely that park visitors will encounter illegal activity in the OPCNM -- migrants and smugglers want to evade detection and will therefore try to avoid contact with other people.

The section of the park where this hike takes place is near a popular trailhead and is near Ajo Mountain Drive; the author of this guide saw no evidence of illegal activity when doing this hike in December 2019.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2019-12-06 DixieFlyer
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    National Monument Fee $10-25 per 7 Days

    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
    $8 fee per car for a 7 day pass. Backpacking and backcountry camping is not allowed at this time due to an increase in illegal border activity.. Camping is available in the two designated campgrounds only.

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Estes Canyon Trailhead
    From Phoenix
    1. Take I-10 east until you reach the junction of Hwy 347 south to Maricopa AZ.
    2. Continue along Hwy 347 until it terminates at Hwy 84.
    3. Take Hwy 84 west until you join I-8 west towards Gila Bend AZ.
    4. When you reach Gila Bend, take Hwy 85 south towards Ajo AZ and the Mexican border.
    5. Continue on Hwy 85 passing through the towns of Ajo and Why before entering Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
    6. Obtain your day pass from the Visitor Center on the west side of Hwy 85, ~5 miles north of the Mexican Border.
    7. Take the Ajo Mountain Scenic Drive 11.4 miles to the Estes Canyon Picnic Area and Trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 159 mi - about 4 hours 0 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 154 mi - about 4 hours 12 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 288 mi - about 6 hours 0 mins
    page created by DixieFlyer on Dec 06 2019 12:48 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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