West Silver Bell Mtns HP and Solo Peak, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog Mine 0 0 Topics
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no permit
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 5.05 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,917 feet
Elevation Gain 1,175 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,712 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.61
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall, Perennial Creek & Peak
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
unreported if dogs are allowed
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60  2023-04-05 Mike_W
author avatar Guides 57
Routes 87
Photos 3,471
Trips 236 map ( 1,336 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:32am - 7:14pm
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Maybe Solo should be called Dual
by Mike_W

The West Silver Bell Mountains high point (3100) and Solo Peak (2947) are the two highest peaks in the West Silver Bell Mountains. These peaks are only about 1/4 mile apart from each other and along the same route, so it would make sense to hike both peaks on the same day. This hike is classified as "open country" with some nice graded roads along the way.Warning
Along the ridgeline route, at many higher points and various saddles, we found A LOT of migrant debris including cans, plastic bottles, blankets, backpacks, clothing items, plastic, paper, etc. Not sure how recent it was.

We believe that the West Silver Bell Mountains high point MAY be officially named "Sawtooth Peak" because that's how the official survey marker read at the high point. The topo maps didn't seem to show a name. I'm familiar with the Sawtooth Mountain range and many of us thought it was a bit odd that this peak was named Sawtooth Peak because to our knowledge this peak is not in the Sawtooth Mountains.

Part of the challenge is making it to the starting point. It's quite a drive and it should be possible with a high-clearance vehicle unless there are any flowing creeks or water to drive through. From the starting point, start by walking the road south for roughly 1/4 mile. Look for a branch in the road heading East. Take this road east into the canyon. After traveling a total of 1/2 mile you will reach the end of the road. From this point, you should be able to continue up the canyon doing an "open country" hike. At times, there will be some brush to go around, but there are many good routes up and many animal trails along the way. We chose to stay on the right side of the canyon, away from all the brush and walked up toward the top of the ridgeline connecting Solo Peak with the West Silver Bell High Point (elev 3100). When you get higher up, you will need to cross a canyon branch which should be pretty easy to cross. Continue heading up the canyon until you have reached the ridgeline. You should reach the ridgeline after hiking a total of 1.15 miles.

If you choose to hike to Solo peak (2947), there are a few good ways to get up there. A little scrambling is involved but you should not need to do any rock climbing. Near the top, stay west of the peak and you will see an easy way to reach the summit. At the summit, there was evidence of many turkey vultures by seeing the numerous white marks on the rocks. We found a registry at the top and signed our names.

Next, we went back down to the saddle and continued south along the ridgeline toward the high point (3100). There were a few areas where we needed to drop below the ridgeline to get around rocky areas. We kept heading in the direction of the high point and entered the summit from the northwest side. We saw a survey marker with an arrow pointing at the high point but couldn't find the main survey marker. After searching around extensively, I noticed a curved piece of metal buried under some dirt near a high point. After brushing off a lot of dirt and gravel, I was able to uncover the survey marker, which may have not been seen by any other hikers in many years.

After searching this area for several minutes there was no sign of a registry anywhere. We thought there may not have ever been a registry for this high point, since it wasn't classified as a peak, but simply a ridgeline high point. I happened to have a jar with me so I left it there, starting a new registry right near the official survey marker. Also, at the high point was some kind of antenna connected to a solar panel, battery, etc. It looked like older technology. Not sure what it was used for. We saw a lot of brittlebush, lupine, scorpion weed, some poppies, and even some nice-smelling lavender along the way.

If you choose to take the loop that we took, you should be comfortable scrambling. The easier part of the hike was getting to the high point. Continuing down along the ridgeline and going down through the unnamed canyon was a bit more difficult and involved some scrambling. The easier route would be to go down the same way you came up. If you do this, the total round trip distance for the entire hike will be 4 miles instead of 5 miles.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2023-04-08 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 $$

High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
There are many ways to go. Here's the way we drove. Take I-10 to the Red Rock exit and continue west. Take Sasco Rd west through the housing development to the cattle feeding area. At the fork in the road, turn right and continue west on E. Coachway Rd. This road turns going north and is then called S. Cripple Creek Road. Continue north until you reach Baumgartner Rd and follow that west. Continue west to Wheeler Rd. and turn right going north. Continue north to Greene Reservoir Rd and turn left going west. Continue west on Greene Reservoir Rd to Sunland Gin Rd. Turn left going south on Sunland Gin Rd. and continue until W. Aries Dr. Continue West on W. Aries Dr. to S. Lamb Rd. Left turn and continue south on S. Lamb Rd. At this location: 32.519194, -111.689862 take a branch in the road going southeast and continue for roughly 0.8 miles, and park anywhere off the road.

We parked at the following location: 32.507952, -111.685376
page created by Mike_W on Apr 08 2023 8:58 pm
 90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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