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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Mount Bangs - Paiute Wilderness, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
no permit
0 1 0
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,313 feet
Elevation Gain 1,700 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.25 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.5
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
54  2021-05-22
Mount Bangs - Yellow Knolls
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
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:16am - 7:57pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

A lot of Bangs for the buck
by DixieFlyer

Likely In-Season!
Ascending and traversing the summit block of Mount Bangs involves some mildly exposed class 3 rock and boulder scrambling. Those with a fear of heights might have some issues making it all the way to the summit.

Mount Bangs (elevation of 8,012 feet and prominence of 2,893 feet) is in the Arizona Strip BLM area in extreme northwestern Arizona. Mount Bangs is in the Virgin Mountain range and the Paiute Wilderness. It is the highpoint of the Wilderness and is the second-highest peak in the Virgin Mountains. For those interested in prominence, Mount Bangs is the 28th most prominent peak in Arizona.

Mount Bangs was named for James E. Bangs, a clerk for geologist and mountaineer Clarence King, who was the first director of the U.S. Geological Survey from 1879-1881. Kings Peak, the highpoint of Utah, is named in honor of Clarence King.

In a historical oddity, Mount Bangs was once an Arizona County highpoint: from 1867-1871, it was the highpoint of Pah-Ute County, Arizona's "lost county".

This is an out-and-back hike on the Mount Bangs Summit Trail from the Cougar Spring Trailhead.

The best time to do this hike is spring through fall. The trail is usually covered in snow by early December and will be snow-covered until sometime in March. Additionally, the BLM1004 road may be closed in winter due to snow, ice, and mud.

There are 3 distinct segments of the trail, with the first two following an old roadbed:
1) The first segment goes about 1.5 miles to a saddle near a historic cattle pond. This segment gains about 650 feet in elevation. The trail is partly on dirt and partly on some colorful stream-rounded rocks. Make a left turn at the saddle to go to the west on the easy-to-follow trail.
2) Segment two is a steeper ascent on switchbacks; over about one mile, there is another 650 feet or so of elevation gain.
3) Segment three begins at a viewpoint and continues for about 0.25 miles with about 400 feet of elevation gain. There is some steep class 2 climbing up to the summit block. Once at the summit block, you'll be doing some class 3 rock and boulder scrambling to the summit. Any exposure is mild, and the climbing isn't too difficult, but you'll need to focus on what you are doing. There are cairns guiding the way that will provide a decent route to follow; however, you might find a route better to your liking.

The rock at the summit is 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian pegmatite rock which is solid, grippy, and provides good handholds and footholds when climbing up and across the large boulders at the summit. Gloves are recommended for the final ascent, and you'll want to ditch your hiking poles when you get to the summit block.

After enjoying great views at the summit, go back to the trailhead the way that you came.

This scenic hike has a fun and interesting final scramble to the summit, although if you have issues with heights or are uncomfortable with some mild exposure while scrambling on boulders, you might wish to pass on going all the way to the summit.

Ambitious and adventurous hikers may wish to spend a day hiking the Arizona Strip Trifecta: Mount Bangs, Mount Trumbull, and Mount Logan. Doing so would require some planning for the drives between the peaks, along with a willingness and a suitable vehicle to drive 150+ miles on dirt roads.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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

2021-05-24 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 $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    The Cougar Spring Trailhead (36.77598, -113.85198) can be accessed from the north through St. George, Utah, or from the west through Mesquite, Nevada. The best-maintained roads are on the route from St. George.

    There are no gas stations, convenience markets, or any other services once you get into the BLM area. In fact, there are hardly any people. Thus, make sure that you have plenty of gas, food, water, etc once you leave St. George.

    If you take River Road south from St. George, at the Utah-Arizona state line you will enter a wide gravel road (37.00017, -113.56049). If you are on the Southern Parkway (Highway 7), this will be exit #3. This is road 1069 and is the western arm of the Mount Trumbull Loop Road. This is a very well-graded dirt road, and on sections of it you can drive 40-50 mph, or even faster if you want -- prudence would dictate traveling at a safe speed though.

    You will drive 19-20 miles until you come to a road junction at Wolf Hole Valley (36.74773, -113.54654). Take a right on BLM Road 1004 toward Black Rock Mountain. This road is well-graded, although the road is not quite as wide as Road 1069 that you were on before. Travel almost 25 miles until you come to the Mount Bangs Spur Road (36.76910, -113.85228). Turn right and go 1/2 mile to the trailhead.

    Here are a few notes regarding BLM Road 1004:
    1) While on this road you will go over Little Wolf Pass, go into and out of Maple Canyon, and will go on a lush, lovely plateau near Black Rock Mountain.
    2) Don't trust google maps to take you on the correct route. In particular, don't go on FR 1009, which is the winter route.
    3) The road will start getting rougher about 2-3 miles from the trailhead. A high clearance stock 4WD vehicle should be OK, but without such a vehicle you likely won't want to drive all the way to the trailhead. There is a small pullout about 1.25 miles from the trailhead (36.76684, -113.8418) where you might want to park if you do not have 4WD. This will add 2.5 miles RT to the hike though. If you feel confident in your non-4WD vehicle you might be able to make it to the turn for the spur road, but without 4WD I would not drive down the spur road. The spur road is narrow with brushy vegetation, so if you drive down it you may get some pinstripes on your vehicle.

    GPS track for the drive from St. George:

    The route to the trailhead from Mesquite, Nevada is reputed to be a very rough 4WD road. The author of this guide has not been on this road and thus can't comment on the quality of the road or the advisability of driving on it. The directions below are from the BLM:
    The other route to the trailhead is from Mesquite, NV via Lime Kiln Pass. Take road 242 over Lime Kiln to the 4-way intersection with BLM1041 and Mohave County Road 101. Take BLM1041 north to BLM1004. Continue on BLM1004 north to the Cougar Springs spur. This route can be rougher but will be shorter for those coming from Mesquite or Las Vegas..
    page created by DixieFlyer on May 24 2021 3:53 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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