a walk up a road
Driving to the pass is not permitted now. See the official route for details.
O'Leary Peak is one of the lookout Tower Mountains surrounding the Flagstaff area. Few People climb it, which makes for a nice uncrowded climb unlike Mt. Elden or Humphreys Peak. It is located 20 miles north of Flagstaff on the edge of the desert. The views include both looking into the Painted Desert and looking into the basin of the San Francisco Peaks. It also overlooks Sunset Crater.
The Trail to get to the top is a forest service road. You can drive up to the pass between O'Leary and Darton Dome. There is a locked gate there and you need to walk the rest of the way. Only the forest rangers are allowed to drive up to the top. The mountain has 2 summits. The western one is higher. The elevation is 8,938 feet. The tower sits on the east summit at 8,916 feet. It is recommended that you get off the road at the pass between the two summits and hike up the higher one. The view from that summit is incredible. Sunset Crater covered the whole mountain in cinders, so the climb up to the actual summit is not easy. The rocks are very loose and you will get cinders in your boots. After you ascend the actual summit then go to the tower and climb up the tower. The person inside will let you in. From my experience, they do not see many people and enjoy the company.
The road to the top is made for any vehicle to get up there, so the hiking is really easy. If you're not in the best of shape this could be a good mountain for you to try, just take your time and enjoy yourself.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.
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