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Courthouse View Arch - Eagletail Mountains, AZ

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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,602 feet
Elevation Gain 755 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,019 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.1
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2020-12-27 caragruey
Author caragruey
author avatar Guides 3
Routes 49
Photos 1,137
Trips 60 map ( 348 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Sun City
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Sun  6:03am - 7:04pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water


wilderness wander for the inner juror in you
by caragruey

Overview
Courthouse View Arch is a natural, unnamed arch south of Courthouse Rock. Short steep hike with scrambling to this beautiful arch.

Hike
Begin from the trailhead signage/parking area just north-northwest of Courthouse Rock. Hike in on the trail paralleling a shallow wash for 1 mile. Just before 1.1-miles, the trail enters the typically dry wash. Immediately hop off-trail on your left and head SSW up the into the mountains. There is no trail. It's bushwacking in-between the two mountains. Occasionally there is a game trail but stay your course. Once through, you can aim for the wash and proceed left and up, staying on the left side of the wash.

The arch will reveal itself partway up and to the far left. It is steep with scree as you near the arch. Return the way you came in.
(We attempted to go through the arch and down the slick rock, but I wasn't entirely comfortable, so 2 of us climbed back through while the others proceeded down the slick rock.)

Synopsis
We decided to do a bit of wandering and took a prolonged approach for added mileage and exploration. The Official Route and narrative above for this guide reflects the most straightforward and easy approach up.

The arch had been on my radar for about a year. Our first attempt in mid-Dec was to approach from the east side of Courthouse Rock. While it is doable there is lots of scree and slick rock near the top. Getting within about 100 yards, we turned back, not knowing what the last part had in-store for us.




Check out the Official Route.

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

2021-01-10 caragruey
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To Courthouse Trailhead
    From Phoenix:
    - I-10 west to Exit 81; Salome Rd/Harquahala Valley Road...left
    - Harq Valley Rd (it will jig to the right after the overpass) 5 miles to Centennial Rd/Courthouse Rd...right
    - Courthouse Rd 7 miles to a junction...right fork along gas pipeline service road
    - Pipeline road approximately 4 miles to unnamed road...left (you'll see a sign for the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness
    - Unnamed road about 1.5 miles to the TH

    Directions to trail: On I-10 west of Phoenix, take exit #81 and head south on Harquahala Valley Road. Turn right on to Courthouse Rock Road, a straight-as-an-arrow packed dirt road that heads directly toward the Eagletail, a.k.a. Courthouse Rock. After 8 miles, the packed dirt road ends at an Eagletail Wilderness sign. Angle right there on to a dirt/washboard gas pipeline road; take it slow and go easy on your axles. Three miles later, look for an Interior Department Wilderness sign on the left and turn left there, angling back toward the Eagletail. The road gets rougher and ends at an Eagletail Wilderness sign at the trailhead. Four-wheel drive and high clearance is strongly recommended but not absolutely required.

    11/19/07 crawfrdb writes: From Phoenix, I-10 West about 60 miles to Exit 81. Turn left (south) onto harquahala valley road. Road will "dog leg" before proceeding due south. Go about five miles south to a cross road- see Courthouse road on the left, Centennial Road on your right. Turn right onto Centennial Road. Proceed SEVEN miles (some sources report five miles but the correct distance is SEVEN).

    At approx seven miles, you will come to a fork in the road. This fork is an intersection of three roads- a right fork, a left fork and a left turn. You will see a BLM kiosk for the Eagle Tail Wilderness Area just ahead on the left fork, however, proceed on the right fork. The right fork is the long straight road along a high pressure natural gas distribution line.

    Proceed past a small set of gas pipes on the right, and past/between two small fenced gas control areas about a mile or so later. Continue on this fork for four miles to a left turn- at this road, you will see a "Eagletail Wilderness Area" sign. Proceed approx. 1.5 miles to a trailhead with a typical bulletin board, parking lot and entrance through a fence. Courthouse rock and the Eagletail spires can be seen at this point as well.

    Road conditions: As of this writing, a 4WD vehicle is not necessary to access this trailhead. If you are concerned about whether this trail can be accessed without a SUV or other high clearance vehicle, it is possible to access with a sedan or other lower clearance vehicle if you are willing to park a little further away from the trailhead and walk in. Specifically: Harquahala Valley Road going south is paved. Centenial Road is a hard packed, well graded dirt road and in great shape. After the left fork onto the gas pipeline road noted above, the road is not as graded but still fairly well packed dirt with a few short patches of soft, deep sand- keep your speed up going through them and you should be fine.

    If you want to attempt this with a sedan, the last 1.5 miles on the road leading into the wilderness area is where you will want to keep an eye out for a place to park. The last half mile will definitely require high clearance. Merely proceed until the road ahead appears too much for your vehicle to handle and park.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 83.2 mi - about 1 hour 57 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 190mi - 3 hours 38 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 215mk - 4 hours 1 min
    page created by caragruey on Jan 10 2021 7:57 pm
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