Harquahala Summit, AZ

Guide 81 Triplogs Mine 0 2 Topics
3.9 of 5 
no permit
359 81 2
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,322 feet
Elevation Gain 3,353 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,380 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 27.1
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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6  2022-03-12 LindaAnn
5  2021-10-31 survivordude
6  2021-03-14 nikorock28
6  2021-02-27 AugustWest
4  2021-02-21 ScaredyCat
8  2020-12-25 BiFrost
10  2020-11-04 Jim_H
15  2020-04-04 LindaAnn
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author avatar Guides 8
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 9 map ( 73 miles )
Age 51 Female Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:44am - 7:35pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
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by Ksorensen


Harquahala Smithsonian Observatory was open from 1920 to 1925. This was never a telescope site. Scientists lived atop the mountain and collected data to assist in forecasting weather. The site contained a theodolite for measuring solar activity, among many other interesting devices. After five years of use, the operation was moved to California. The summit lies just outside the 1990 established Harquahala Mountains Wilderness. It is possible to follow a 10.5-mile 4X4 road to the summit. Options to connect down the east side into West Fork Sunset Canyon look interesting on the map, but who knows.
06/24/01 -joe

Now read on, Ksorensen has contributed a mini summary.

The first two miles are a steady but relatively easy climb; the last three miles are pretty tough, though the trail is wide and easy to follow the entire way. The hike is quiet and desolate except for at the very summit, where flocks of Canadian snowbirds drive up in SUVs and Quads to sip Milwaukee's Beast and enjoy the view. Fortunately, the winter visitor approach is from the south side of the mountains, and one will not encounter them until at the very peak. This is a challenging but rewarding hike... even my dogs were pretty worn out. We ran into a Western Patchnose Snake but saw no other wildlife.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2002-02-18 Ksorensen
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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 $$

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From Wickenburg corner of US93 & US 60 follow US 60 west 40 miles to FR(I'm not sure), hang a left, and follow 2.2 miles to the trailhead at the wilderness boundary.

Ksorensen added: Exactly 40 miles west of the intersection of 93 and 60 in Wickenburg, turn left onto a dirt road. There is a lone, small marker that says 'trail' on this road. Follow the road to the nice parking lot provided by BLM.

2009-11-29 rdmciver writes: The dirt road is between Mile Markers 71 and 70 on the south side of the highway. The first trail marker (typical BLM brown plastic with black letters on white background) is on the left side of the gate. About 10 yards inside the gate is a second marker.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated

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