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Razorback Knob, AZ

no permit
73 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.8 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,879 feet
Elevation Gain 597 feet
Accumulated Gain 990 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2018-02-24
Black Glass-Saguaro Lake-Willow Spgs Cyn Loop
16  2018-02-24
Black Glass-Saguaro Lake-Willow Spgs Cyn Loop
14  2018-02-18
Goldfield Combo
15  2018-02-18
Goldfield Combo
10  2016-11-05 hikerdw
12  2015-01-23 hikingaz2
14  2010-11-18
Triple Arch via Black Glass Canyon
22  2010-03-05 AZLOT69
Page 1,  2
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 247
Photos 7,293
Trips 1,818 map ( 15,596 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
More than one knife's edge
by AZLOT69

Off trail hike. Route finding skills necessary.

This Goldfield area off trail bushwhack heads up towards a feature that appears to be a mitten from a distance as seen from the Rough-N-Ready trail. Its appearance changes as you approach it and is caused by a series of hoodoos lined up just right. The feature that is most prominent as you approach the high point of this hike is a protuberance known as Razorback Knob. From the knob the 360 degree views of the area are spectacular. The hike can be done in either direction but starting in the morning, clockwise, as described here will keep the sun behind you.

The trailhead is marked by a single cairn on the Packsaddle trail about one hundred yards west of the Rough-N-Ready trail. Starting on the right side of an unnamed wash you quickly cross over to the left side in about three hundred yards. There is no exact trail. Simply take the path of least resistance. This is quite easy to do due to limited vegetation and animal paths. Looking ahead pick a spot to aim for and serpentine back and forth to ease the grade. You may head for the saddle on the left for a nice view of Packsaddle from above. Continue towards the north contouring around the next high point ahead. If you keep gaining elevation at this point you will cliff out and have to give back some elevation to continue contouring around the next high point. Working higher and higher towards the northwest you top out with a dark monolith ahead. Take a low contour maintaining your elevation as you work westerly around the left side of this structure. Looking up a gun sight appears with the dark monolith on the right and blonde colored hoodoos on the left. These blonde hoodoos are the mitten. Continue to work yourself along the base of the blonde hoodoos to a slick rock chute up to a saddle. On your right is Razorback Knob. Enjoy the views from the saddle and climb the knob. While easy to climb the blonde rock, the dark rock that makes up the knob is a different story. Its brittle and would require climbing skills to get up the last twenty feet. It's a sharp drop off from the knob on the north side. Incredible views are obtained from the top, or near top. Continue northwest over the next hill to another saddle with a canyon running off to the south. There is another dark monolith in front of you. Contour around the right side maintaining your elevation. You come to a ridge of dark rock and to the southwest is another, larger dark monolith. This is Razorback. From the ridge evaluate your next moves. Below is a wash. You are going to want to get down to that wash and travel the left side of it as you descend to the north or right. The best way to accomplish this is to take the ridge a hundred feet left or south for an easy crossing of that wash. Get on the left side and stay out of the wash and work your way down the fairly steep hill. Near the bottom the wash continues straight but another wash heads east. Take the east wash. Cross the wash you have been paralleling to the right side now and stay high as you now turn and parallel the wash headed east. Watch for an arch above on the right. There are many blonde slick rock outcroppings begging to be photographed in this area. Cross to the left side of this wash to avoid the thick vegetation. Soon you join the Black Glass Canyon trail. Although unless you are watching a GPS you might not notice as it is a bushwhack also. Ahead the canyon narrows with dark rock outcroppings eventually dumping into the Rough-N-Ready canyon. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Rough-N-Ready and Black Glass Canyon descriptions and routes to successfully complete this great adventure.

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2010-03-07 AZLOT69

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Razorback Knob
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Black Glass-Saguaro Lake-Willow Spgs Cyn Loop
    I'd never done anything in the Goldfields before, so I PM'd The Gecko that Treks for some suggestions. She through out a few suggestions and I ended up putting a twist on one that she and LP had just finished.

    We started at the Willow Canyon TH at first light. None of the trails out here are signed, but most are in great shape. Temps. in the 30's forced a brisk pace to start. The sweet geology was painted in orange, with the rising sun.

    The first off trail section took us to what are no longer the Tanks that were camouflaged. This is an interesting area that has seen recent improvements. For the life of me, I can't figure out how the water gets from the Tanks to the higher in elevation trough.

    We worked our way downhill to my favorite part of the hike, Black Glass Canyon. Practicing Safety First, we worked our way through the many obstacles in this canyon getting to Willow Creek. From here it was a bit more than 2 miles to get to Saguaro Lake/Salt River. Almost to the lake, we ran into a couple of ladies coming in from the lake, that thought they'd discovered a new canyon. :lol:

    I had plans to do some additional off trail exploring from here, but the canyon walls did not cooperate. So we reversed direction and headed back up Willow Creek. Joe enjoyed this portion so much that for the next 3.5 miles all I head was Bla, Bla, Bla.

    Finally out of the creek bed and back on a trail it was smooth sailing back to the trailhead. Looks like there's plenty more areas to check out.

    Razorback Knob
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Black Glass-Saguaro Lake-Willow Spgs Cyn Loop
    Willow Canyon Trailhead
    6:37am Cold start, pants kept it bearable.

    Gold Eagles Nugget Trail
    Nice trail, great condition. I'm not sure if the trail is local or FS maintained... regardless, the FS would be smart to sign and designate official trails.

    Quartz Crystal Arroyo
    Course variation of @AZLOT69's description.The trail through here is impressively manicured and quick.

    Razorback Knob
    No matter how you slice it this is a fanciful orchestra of terrain! Hit it sunrise or sunset! We missed that light, 'twas dazzling in the previous two paragraphs. Like crackin' the whip on Breezin Lad early 90's this is a guaranteed winner.

    Camouflage Tanks
    The tanks have been replaced. As a result, they are not camouflaged anymore. We didn't follow @sventre's description route but it's cool to now know about the Cottonwood Spring access into the Goldfields! Worthy destination for the views alone.

    Black Glass Canyon - aka Obsidian
    Snazzy obstacle course canyon. Similar to the huge boulder entrance of Peter's Canyon with Fish Creek (upper bridge) accents. Slow going and just barely in my current ability range. Didn't know to look for the triple arch. The canyon is plenty to engage my attention.

    Willow Springs Canyon Lower
    Never ending sinking steps sand/gravel creek beds rate pure hell in my book. The view at shoreline is the inlet not the lake view desired. Met two friendly kayakers a tenth of a mile from the lake.

    Willow Springs Canyon to Willow Springs Basin Tank
    No thank you. Joe wake up, never do this again.

    Willow Springs Basin Tank to Willow Canyon Trailhead
    Back on trails, life is good.

    Hike to and through Black Glass Canyon is outstanding!
    Razorback Knob
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Goldfield Combo
    one of the best things about haz is the ideas you get from other people
    @hikerdw, @hikingaz2, @azlot69, and @cannondalekid have all posted triplogs, photosets and gps routes for two hikes i've been wanting to do
    thought we could combine razorback knob and camouflage tanks with triple arch via black glass canyon
    doing it this way would eliminate the nasty bushwhack down the exit wash, eliminate a duplicate approach, and give us a lot of bang for the buck
    after my route manager skilz scared jj off, john and i set out around 0715 on dave's track, hooking up with a trail i belatedly realized i've been on before: rough n ready canyon
    we found the point where the off trail began, and took the path of least resistance up to the base of razorback knob
    neither of us were feeling the summit due to steep and sketchy terrain
    great views from the base
    headed off to the camo tanks, exploring the area and taking a snack break
    bigger than i pictured, some animal paths leading toward it, interesting setup
    i also had hikingaz2's route of black glass canyon, and it was a very simple matter to drop down to it
    that was the piece i was missing, so perhaps my track can help the next person connect the two
    nice to see triple arch, then continue into the canyon
    boulder hopping and a little bit of finding the best way down
    only one real drop that required a work around
    beautiful in there and a fun descent
    a few pools of water
    came out in willow springs basin, and immediately saw a couple in a jeep doing some four-wheeling
    a couple miles of walking in gravel, then took one of the horse trails back
    some gratuitous aeg on this; would try the other trail another time
    saw three groups of horseback riders along here
    the entire hike was only 10.2 miles - i had thought it would be closer to 12
    while i was a tiny bit disappointed not to summit the knob, i got to see four cool goldfield landmarks up close
    thanks for being willing to come along, john
    i always enjoy hiking and exploring with you

    Razorback Knob
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Hiked in from the Willow Springs trailhead. Saw lots of standing water on the way to Wishbone Junction from the recent rains. The off trail portion of the hike to the Knob and Camouflage Tanks wasn't that bad other than some loose granite which made it easy to slip (one good fall down the chute) and some areas with ankle buster sized rocks that we hiked through. Saw one deer two different times (my guess). Only saw a group of 4 horse back riders all day. Fantastic hike in the Goldfields.
    Razorback Knob
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Headed out to Razorback Knob and decided we went right by the Top Hat Loop, so of course this was to good to pass up, two hikes in one day. Parked and headed up, they were right it is 75-80 % off trail, but wasn't to difficult to follow the route laid out by AZLOT69 (Thanks) Nice scenery, took some Pics and headed out to our 1st objective which was Razorback Knob. We had been up to the Triple Arch in Black Glass Canyon the previous Nov. and wanted to see what was up and around the wash to the left. Nice hike up to the saddle, thought about trying to get to the top of the Knob, but we'll leave that to the youngsters. More great scenery as usually, I think the Goldfields are a scenic Gem so close, but yet you can hikes for miles without seeing anyone.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    There are several ways to access this trailhead although the most direct two alternatives are: Take the Packsaddle Trail directly to it. #1 The trailhead is one hundred yards west of its end at the Rough-N-Ready Trail. Alternative #2 Take the Rough-N-Ready Trail to the Packsaddle Trail. Go west one hundred yards to the trailhead on your right. Familiarize yourself with these hike descriptions and routes as well as the Black Glass Canyon description prior to attempting this hike.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Mar 07 2010 11:17 am
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