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Mount Tipton - Cerbat Mountains, AZ

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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,788 feet
Elevation Gain 3,360 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,593 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.77
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
45  2021-04-11 DixieFlyer
Author DixieFlyer
author avatar Guides 58
Routes 505
Photos 7,086
Trips 461 map ( 5,731 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:21am - 7:55pm
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Tiptoe through the Tiptons
by DixieFlyer

Overview
Mount Tipton (elevation of 7,148 feet and prominence of 3,628 feet) is the Cerbat Mountains' highpoint and of the Mount Tipton Wilderness. It is located near Kingman, AZ, and it is the 13th most prominent peak in Arizona. Mount Tipton is one of 9 Arizona peaks on the Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section peak list.

History
Mount Tipton was named for a Lt. Tipton who served with Lt. Joseph Christmas Ives' expedition. Ives was a military officer and botanist who explored, mapped, and surveyed the Colorado River in 1858.

Prologue
If you are looking for a hike on a well-groomed and easy-to-follow trail, you will want to stay away from this hike. There is no trail on the hike; instead, there is lots of brushy vegetation, boulder/rock hopping in a wash, steep off-trail climbs, rock scrambling, and extreme route finding issues -- in other words, pure intensity!

Hike
From the trailhead, go east for about a mile along an old jeep road in the open desert. The jeep road peters out, but you'll continue through the open desert until you get to a wash. Get in the wash and hike through it for about 1.5 miles, going southeast. There are some occasional obstacles in the wash that you can get around by getting out of the wash and then getting back in the wash once you are past the obstacles. While it is tempting to hike alongside the wash, it can get remarkably brushy outside the wash, so it is best to mainly stay in the wash. You'll be going uphill the entire way, and you'll eventually get to a saddle at about 5,400' of elevation.

Once at the saddle, you'll want to take a well-deserved break. The terrain is relatively brushy most of the rest of the way to the summit, so it is pointless to give precise directions; instead, gaps in the vegetation will largely determine your route. There are quite a few trees that will block your view, so it is impossible to see very far ahead and plan your route. Instead, pick the path of least resistance, look at your GPS frequently, and be willing to move laterally to a brush-free corridor.

From the saddle, you'll head south for about 1/3 of a mile; your objective is a ridgeline, and it is a steep climb to get there. Once on the ridgeline, you will go ENE for almost a mile to another ridgeline. Views will be obstructed most of the way, so the going will be a bit slow. There is some brushy vegetation to deal with, but there are gaps in the vegetation that will enable you to bypass the worst of it. There are a few rock outcroppings along the way, but it is not difficult to go around them. You can walk on some rock slabs in a few places, which provide a temporary reprieve from the brush.

About 1/2 mile from the summit, you'll get past the worst of the brush, and the route opens up underneath some larger pine trees. You'll then be heading southeast past some false summits to get to Tipton Peak. Below the peak, there are some boulders that you can avoid if you go to your right. Make the class 2 climb and take a break at the summit.

The entire hike will be class 1 or class 2 hiking, although there will be some opportunities for some class 3 climbs if you are so inclined. If you find anything that is the least bit sketchy, you will have chosen a bad route.

To get back to the trailhead, go back the way that you came. The descent is fairly slow, primarily due to the trees that obstruct your view and prevent you from seeing a clear path to follow. Once you get back to the wash, the descent down will be easier and faster than the ascent through the wash.

Synopsis
This is a beast of a hike that will wear on you mentally and physically, and it is a summit not gained without sacrifice, as there is not an easy way up there. The views at the summit are nice but are nothing exceptional. This hike will appeal mainly to peakbaggers or hikers that enjoy a good challenge; others might wish to look elsewhere for an easier hike.

Check out the Triplog.

Note
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2021-04-13 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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    The trailhead is at the end of a forest road in front of a closed gate at these GPS coordinates: 35.55568, -114.23849

    Mapping apps may or may not get you on the best route to the trailhead, so it is a good idea to follow these directions, which will take you on maintained roads to about a mile from the trailhead:

    1) From Kingman, drive about 30 miles on US Highway 93 to the signed, paved Pierce Ferry Road, which is just north of mile marker 42. There is a Chevron station at this junction.
    2) Turn right on Pierce Ferry Road and go 2.7 miles to 7th street, which is an excellent and wide dirt road.
    3) Turn right on 7th street, and drive 2.4 miles to an intersection with the unmarked Inglewood Road.
    4) Turn right on Inglewood Rd and drive one mile to 5th Street.
    5) Turn left on the unmarked 5th Street and drive about 0.7 miles and you'll come to a fork in the road that goes to the left at a 45-degree angle.
    6) Take the left fork and drive about 0.3 miles and you'll see a closed gate on the right that has a Tipton Wilderness sign. Low clearance vehicles should park here.
    7) If you have a high clearance vehicle take a right past the gate. A 4WD vehicle is recommended to make the 1.1-mile drive to the trailhead, but an AWD SUV with good tires can probably drive 0.7 miles to a parking area with a message board and sign-in box on the right. If you have a 4WD vehicle you can drive an additional 0.4 miles to a closed gate, where you will park to begin the hike.
    page created by DixieFlyer on Apr 13 2021 9:45 am
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