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Mt. Hapunang Banoi | Awesome views | Foggy experience | Michael's Hut
Mt. Hapunang Banoi | Awesome views ...
the other Apache Peak
Not to be confused with the more popular and higher Apache Peak in the Whetstones, this is a not-so-popular peak on Oracle ridge in the Catalinas that involves an optional 4x4 road hike, a 1-mile section of Arizona Trail - Passage #12, and a 1/2 mile bushwhack that's a bit challenging, especially during monsoon season!
From where I parked, I walked the 4x4 road going West about 3/4 mile. From the first junction in the road make a right. At the second junction make a left. At the third junction, basically stay straight. Eventually, you will see an entrance to the Arizona Trail with a parking area. If you have a capable 4x4 / high clearance vehicle you should be able to drive to this trailhead without a problem.
The trail basically goes up the ridge toward Apache Peak and hangs to the right of Apache Peak. The Arizona Trail is normally well maintained but when I hiked it in mid-August (not recommended) the grass was tall and thick. It was still fairly easy to follow in most places. Take the Arizona Trail up for about 1 mile. Then you will start your bushwhack to the top of Apache Peak. The bushwhack is steep and thick in some areas. You will need to weave through the brush. I found myself crossing the ridgeline many times because of the brush. You will see a few false summits on your way up. I finally made it to the peak where I could see some nice views all around. There were a few shaded oak trees at the top. On the way down, keep bushwhacking until you reach the Arizona Trail, then make a right and follow it back down to the bottom.
There are normally no water sources on this trail, but when I hiked it in mid-August I was caught in a monsoon storm after my bushwhack down and about 10 minutes after I reached the Arizona Trail. I found water running right down the Arizona Trail and at times I was walking in 6 inches of water. All in all, it was refreshing, but I would have preferred a less intense rain.
I found some large rocks that were unstable on some of the upper parts of the bushwhack. The peak had some uneven surfaces with some rock that was not stable. When grass is tall and thick, it can be impossible to see what you're walking on.
Check out the Official Route.