Silver Bell Peak 4261, AZ | HikeArizona
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  This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Silver Bell Peak 4261, AZ

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
46 2 0
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 5.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,444 feet
Elevation Gain 1,807 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,191 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.56
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
 Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
11  2022-12-27 DixieFlyer
35  2022-12-11 Mike_W
author avatar Guides 40
Routes 59
Photos 2,320
Trips 202 map ( 1,137 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:19am - 6:01pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

A bird's eye view of the mining operation
by Mike_W

  Likely In-Season!
Silver Bell Peak, elevation 4261, is the highest point in the Silver Bell mountains and is about 1 mile southeast of Silver Bell 4195, as the crow flies. From the top of Silver Bell Peak, you'll have a bird's eye view of the Silver Bell Mine below, and some nearby peaks including Ragged Top 2.8 miles north, Waterman Peak southsoutheast, and Picacho Peak 16.5 miles to the northeast.

From the guzzler near the parking area, hike west/northwest for about 1/2 mile crossing a few washes and gradually increasing in elevation. You'll want to keep ascending but stay north of the rocky ridgeline for roughly the first 1.8 to 1.9 miles to make the hike easier. After 1.8 to 1.9 miles you'll see a way to hike up to the rocky ridgeline. This is a good time to get on top of the ridge because otherwise, the hike can get very steep and perhaps dangerous.

As you're climbing to the ridge you will feel like you are climbing to the summit but you're not quite there yet. Once on the ridge, you see the summit which is about 0.5 miles to the west along the ridge. We found it easiest to follow the ridgeline, for the most part, on the way to the peak. The final 100 feet to the summit is a fairly easy and enjoyable rock climb.

From the peak, looking northwest, you'll be able to see Silver Bell 4195 which is roughly 1 mile away and only 66 feet lower in elevation. Looking down to the north, there's a pretty large rectangular structure on a saddle which is a guzzler. This catches rainwater and supplies a nearby pool which is available for the wildlife in the area.

An alternate, perhaps easier, and more interesting route down from this peak is to head to the guzzler and then down the canyon going east. The canyon was slow going but fairly clear in early December. Sometimes you'll see a few different branches of the canyon and you can take the branch that has the least debris. There are a few areas where you'll need to climb down some large boulders. Sometimes there are 4 or 5-foot drops. But, the canyon was quite pleasant compared to areas of teddy-bear cholla and other desert brush that we saw outside the canyon. There wasn't any water in the canyon in December, but there definitely would be after the monsoon season.

Hike for approximately 2.2 miles down the canyon. At this point, the terrain will be relatively flat. From here, turn right and start heading south/southeast toward the fenced-in guzzler and the road you came in on to complete the loop.

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2022-12-12 Mike_W
  • sub-region related
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 $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
From I-10 in Tucson take the exit for Avra Valley road and go west. Continue for about 18.9 miles and make a right on Waterman mountain road. Waterman mountain road is dirt and will require a high-clearance vehicle from this point further. The road may not be marked and it can be easy to miss. Continue north/northeast for about 2.8 miles and turn left on an unmarked dirt road going west. Continue west for about 2.75 more miles until the road ends. You'll see a guzzler in a fenced area here which is for the wildlife. Park anywhere off the road in this area.
page created by Mike_W on Dec 12 2022 8:21 pm

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