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Mount Fagan, AZ

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43 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 3
 
2
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,040 feet
Elevation Gain 2,149 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6
Kokopelli Seeds 19.75
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2019-02-07 markthurman53
14  2017-04-22 AZHiker456
9  2009-01-17 PhilipMueller
6  2002-12-09 rwstorm
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:25pm
Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Off the beaten path
by HAZ_Hikebot

Notice
Legal public access is from Helvetia Road on the Southeast side.

Houghton NW Access
Crosses private land. Do not break the law.

I rounded-up my hiking buddies and we set off. The hike is a scramble across numerous hills and valleys. You pass through a small forest of saguaros on the South face of one slope (rare to see at this altitude). Mt Fagan is sort of a double peak, with the lessor peak being to the West, this is what you're aiming at. We got on the shoulder of that Western peak and decided to skirt the top of it and traverse the North side. Once we were around that there was another false summit to traverse. We ended up on a saddle between this false peak and the main peak. It was one more scramble up to the actual summit. On top we had great views of the whole Tucson valley. I noticed to the South, there was another road at the base of the peak that may have gotten us closer, but the route would have been steeper.

This is a great seldom-climbed peak to do if your looking to get away from the crowds and do something "out there". Mt Fagan is 6189'. GPS showed our vertical gain of 2149. I'm unsure of the distance, but I would estimate 8-10 miles round trip. There is a SAHC register at the top.-->

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2002-12-01 HAZ_Hikebot
    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
    Mount Fagan
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Victory!

    I was hoping to try the north approach to Mount Fagan next time, but when I got off the northwest trail last Friday, I discovered that my MagLite's body had separated from its head, and fallen out of the holster, which only really grips the head part. I might have just let it go and bought a new one, except a) it has my name engraved on it courtesy of one of my Air Force buddies some 15 years ago, and b) I'm stubborn. So, today, I launched the SAR.

    Since I had no idea where it had dropped out, but was hoping it was in one of the clear spots where I'd taken breaks last week and it would be relatively easily spotted, I was going extra slow on the way in. Good thing I RouteScouted last week, so I could follow the trail I took then pretty closely. But between checking the route every 5 feet (at least that's what it felt like) and trying to peer into all the grass and every pile of prickly pear pads in case it might be there, yeah, I took my sweet time.

    But, at just about one mile in, it paid off, and I managed to spot the flashlight body lying in the grass along a relatively steep section of the trail (such as it is). Since I was pretty close to one of those clearings, I went on just a bit further, and had myself a Victory Lunch.

    On the way back, not being concerned with following last week's route any more, I tried a different way, and I think it's a rather better way than the one I took before. So, if I try the NW approach again in the future, I've got that going for me. Between the better route & not checking the ground all the way, it looks like I was going about three times as fast as on the way in.

    After getting back to the car, since it was still fairly early & had plenty of Sun left, I decided to go out of my way a bit and check out the area of the trailhead for the north approach. There are lots of signs on the way in warning of "private road" and "no national forest access," so I'm not so sure about that. It does look like a much easier route, though, if I can get past that issue.
    Mount Fagan
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was my first real hike in a loooong time, so it was rather slow going for me, especially with the lack of trail.

    First thing I noticed is that the roads to get there are no longer gravel, they've been paved, except the last 400' or so before the concrete pad, where the road has been completely torn up, except for the pad itself. There's a gate at that point now.

    Once actually on the trail, after a couple of false starts*, the first half mile was easy going on social trail. Then, that petered out as far as I could tell, and it got more challenging, especially with my doubts about which route I might want to follow. In hindsight, it seems like following ridgelines is generally the best way to go here. Plenty of prickly pears all around, and further in/up, quite a bit of beargrass. Ocotillos especially on the southern slopes & ridgeline, yucca on the north. Occasional fishhook barrel cacti & chollas; I pulled a lot of spines of all shapes & sizes out of my boots & pants.

    I turned back just about in time, I guess; the Sun was setting behind the mountains to the west just as I got back to the easy-to-follow part of the social trail. I guess I cut it pretty close on the water supply, since when I got back to the car and decided to have a last sip before driving home, I suddenly found myself sucking on air. I'd noticed the pack seemed a bit lighter than when I set out in the morning.

    There are a couple of bare spots here & there along the ridgeline which looks like they've perhaps been cleared & used in the past. No trash, just conspicuously bare. I had an extended lunch break at one of them. As I said, not really in shape for this kind of hike just yet; I wasn't really expecting to reach the summit, but wanted to see how far I would get.

    I didn't see another person the whole time, or even any mammals of any kind, for that matter. A couple of hawks, many smaller birds, no lizards or snakes. Only one piece of trash for me to take out.

    * First realizing that the camera tripod was rather heavy & likely not especially necessary (it does simplify taking the big panoramas), and then that the simultaneous waist pack & backpack I wanted to try out just wasn't going to work.

    Permit $$
    None

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take Houghton Rd S. of Corona De Tucson. Continue past where the pavement ends. Watch for a gravel road to the Left. Take that road as far as you can. There is an old corral and a concrete slab near the end, park there.

    2015 KarMann writes: The gravel roads mentioned, Houghton Road & Ocotillo Rim Trail (not named), have been paved, except the last section that used to go to the concrete pad has been completely removed, impassable to any vehicle.
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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