Bassett Peak, AZ | HikeArizona
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Bassett Peak, AZ

Guide 128 Triplogs  9 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
2.4k 128 9
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,980 feet
Elevation Gain 2,674 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,084 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.92
 Interest Peak
 Backpack Possible & Connecting
unreported if dogs are allowed
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14  2022-11-13 JuanJaimeiii
21  2022-11-12
18  2022-11-12
15  2022-11-06 Itsstar
28  2022-11-06 mikemcg
22  2022-10-30 joebartels
15  2022-10-30 LindaAnn
15  2022-10-30 trekkin_gecko
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author avatar Guides 6
Routes 0
Photos 283
Trips 8 map ( 56 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, May, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:18am - 5:50pm
Official Route
5 Alternative

Solitude and Variety
by aaronhales

Nestled halfway between the popular Santa Catalina and the towering Pinaleno Mts lie a seldom-visited gem - the Galiuro Mountains. Even though it's only around 100 air miles from Phoenix, it takes approximately 5 1/2 hours to get there from Phoenix due to its remote location. But it's worth the effort to get there. It has such variety of scenery such as oak, pines, cactus, aspen and more. This time of year is an especially good time to go not only because of the weather but the changing Fall colors are outstanding. In fact, Arizona Highways has an article in the November 2003 issue on the Galiuros and the changing colors. Anyway, on to the trail.

The trail starts at the end of FR 660 and heads up the North Fork of Ash Creek. A sign marks the beginning of the trail. This part of the trail is heavily wooded and stays on fairly level ground for the first 2.5 miles or so. This is also where all the brilliant displays of Fall colors manifest themselves. Be sure to enjoy it. At the midway point of this hike, you will come to an isolated but beautiful stand of about 30 or so aspen fed in part due to Upper Ash Springs. This would be a good turnaround point for those who don't want to go all the way to the top. But for those who want to keep going, the trail takes a dramatic turn. At this point, you will bear right across the Ash Creek and follow the trail up the north side of the canyon out of the riparian area and into the high desert, leaving the Aspen behind you. Here the trail gets steeper, but it's not too bad. Along the way you will see interesting rock formations and volcanic formations. You will also have a great view of 7650' Bassett Peak. In a relatively short time, you will have gained a considerable amount of elevation, which can be evidenced by looking back and referencing the aspen grove far below.

After about 4 miles, you will come to the ridgeline of the Galiuros. At the ridge you will come across another trail sign. From here, take a left and start heading south along the ridgeline on the East Divide Trail #287. To your left will be outstanding views of the Santa Catalina/Rincon Mts to your right. On certain parts of the ridgeline, there will be great views of the switchbacks you just did and more views of the lone aspen grove below. After about 1 mile on the ridgeline, the trail will start to switchback on the north face of Bassett Peak. As you approach these switchbacks, you will notice to your right something shining a few hundred feet away - this is the remains of a B-24 bomber that crashed into the side of this cliff during a WWII training run in 1943 killing all 11 men on board. Apparently, there is a plaque on one of the wings commemorating the unfortunate accident. It would be a very steep downhill climb to get to the wreckage from the trail, but I suppose you could do it. Soon the trail will climb out of the switchbacks and head along the west face of Bassett Peak. No trail goes directly to the top, but from the trail, you are only 150 feet or so from the top, which makes an easy bushwhack. At the top you have magnificent views. You can see as far west to Baboquivari Peak and east into the mountains of New Mexico. But your more immediate views are that of the Pinalenos to the east and Catalinas to the west. There is also a nice view to the south of the ridgeline of the Galiuros and to the southeast to the foothills of the Galiuros.

Return the same way you came to get back to your car. By the time you get back, it will undoubtedly be when the sun is setting, and you will have great shots of the Galiuros and the Pinalenos/Mt. Graham.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2003-11-13 aaronhales
    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)

    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To Ash Creek Trailhead
    From Mesa by CannondaleKid
    1. From I-10 & US 60 go ~72 miles EAST on the US 60 to the US 60/US 70 junction in Globe.
    2. Turn RIGHT onto US 70 and go SOUTH-EAST 76.5 miles the US 70/SR 191 junction in Safford.
    3. Turn RIGHT onto SR 191 and go SOUTH 16.7 miles to the SR 191/SR 266 junction.
    4. Turn RIGHT onto SR 266 and go WEST 19.3 miles to Bonita.
    5. Turn LEFT onto Fort Grant Road and go SOUTH 0.2 mile to High Creek Road
    6. Turn RIGHT onto High Creek Road and go WEST 13.6 miles to Sunset Loop Road.
    7. Turn LEFT onto Sunset Loop Road and go SOUTH 3.5 miles to FR 660.
    8. Turn RIGHT onto FR 660 and go 0.7 mile to the last prudent stop with low clearance vehicle.
    9. Continue another 0.5 mile to last area more than one vehicle can be parked.
    10. Continue 0.2 mile to the sign declaring the start of the trail.

    Thatcher/Safford bypass:
    If you don't plan on stopping for food/fuel in town and don't mind driving 60-65 mph on relatively smooth dirt roads you can save 6 miles and a good 40-60 minutes by avoiding Thatcher/Safford altogether. To do so just replace steps 2 through 5 above with the following:
    2. Turn RIGHT onto US 70 and go SOUTH-EAST 61.5 miles the US 70/Graham County 40(Klondyke Road) junction.
    3. Turn RIGHT onto GC 40/Klondyke Road and go SOUTH-WEST ~24 miles to the GC 40/Aravaipa Road junction.
    4. Turn LEFT onto Aravaipa Road and go SOUTH ~20 miles to Bonita.
    5. Turn RIGHT onto Fort Grant Road and go SOUTH 0.2 mile to High Creek Road

    From Phoenix or Tucson - GPS Route - by Randal Schulhauser
    1. Take I-10 east about 190 miles until you reach Wilcox AZ
    2. Take exit 340 for Fort Grant Road.
    3. Travel about 18 miles north on Fort Grant Road.
    4. At the stop sign, turn left onto Ash Creek Road.
    5. Travel about 3 miles west until you reach the 4-way stop at the intersection of Ash Creek Road and Fort Grant Road.
    6. Continue west leaving the pavement onto the graded dirt road. This is the start of the Sunset Loop.
    7. Travel 14.3 miles along the Sunset Loop until you reach FR660 located near bend in the Sunset Loop Road that heads north.
    8. Take FR660 about 2 1/4 miles to the Trail Head. (may be more like 1.4 miles)

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 231 mi, 4 hours 42 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 122 mi, 2 hours 59 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 374 mi, 7 hours 2 mins

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