Ventana Peak Natural Arch - Sawtooth Mountains, AZ

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Abbey's Way Trail #151
Abbey's Way Trail #151
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,577 feet
Elevation Gain 945 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,260 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.4
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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12  2022-02-06
Saw Tooth Summit
Jim_H
41  2022-02-06 Mike_W
Author
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 29
Photos 1,265
Trips 157 map ( 897 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Associated Areas
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Tucson Region
Historical Weather
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Preferred Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:26pm
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The lost stargate archway
by Mike_W

Overview
The Sawtooth mountains can be seen in the far distance looking West/Northwest from Highway I-10 North of Marana and South of the Picacho exit. It's obvious why these mountains are called the Sawtooths as there are many jagged peaks in the area. This guide describes how to hike to a natural arch/window that exists on Peak 2630, which we learned is also known as Ventana Peak (Window, in English).

Hike
From the parking area, start out hiking Northwest on the dirt road for about 1/3 of a mile. Next, turn left, going West, and you will cross a wash within a few minutes. After crossing the wash, continue due north for another 0.2 miles, then continue due West for another 0.9 miles. At this point, you should see a road. Take the road Southwest for roughly 0.5 miles. Look for a junction in the road and turn right going West. This junction is at (32.615937, -111.700729). Follow this road for approximately 0.8 miles until there is a Y-split. From this point, do not take either direction, but instead, bushwhack West but slightly North for 0.9 more miles to the low saddle on Peak 2630 / Ventana Peak.

From this saddle, there are some nice views looking East and West. There is some kind of electric power station to the West. Looking North, there are some white arrows painted on the rocks indicating a possible hiking/climbing route. At times, this route can be a bit technical, but we were able to follow it without using ropes, at least to get to the natural arch. The most difficult part of this arrowed route that we did was the section going downhill immediately before the natural arch. You won't be able to see the natural arch until you get 20 feet away from it. The natural arch or hole is probably about 15 feet in diameter. There are some decent areas for photos but be careful of the slippery gravel. The views looking down through the arch are quite amazing. You made it to your destination!

If you are not comfortable with technical rock climbing, there is an easier route going around the rocks on the West side of the mountain to get to the natural arch. On the South side of the arch, more arrows are heading above it. After climbing up there we decided it was too dangerous to proceed over the arch without ropes or better gear. The rock was steep and there weren't many good places to step/hold onto. We decided to return down to the natural arch. From this point, there was a chute sloping West, which was possible to take about 100 feet down, turn to the North and access a ridge that headed up to the peak. One of the hikers in our group (Brian W.) made it to the top of the peak which was a great accomplishment. But, this guide will simply describe how to get to the natural arch/window, which is the most interesting and unique feature of this area.

Area Interest
Corona Satellite Calibration Targets
2209 Indian Head
2533 Wildcat Peak

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2022-02-09 Mike_W
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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
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Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Follow I-10 W to S Sunshine Blvd in Eloy. Take exit 208 from I-10 W. Continue on S Sunshine Blvd to your destination. Turn left onto S Sunshine Blvd. Turn right onto W Harmon Rd. Turn left onto S Toltec Rd. Turn right onto Greene Reservoir Rd. Turn left onto Sunland Gin Rd. Cross over Greene canal and make your next right turn and go Northwest toward a gate. If the gate is closed, open and close behind you. Continue along the dirt road until the road turns sharply to the left. It should be possible to park here off the road. Please allow room for other vehicles to pass by.
page created by Mike_W on Feb 09 2022 1:16 am
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