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Castle Dome Peak - KOFA, AZ
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Castle Dome Peak is an off trail trek in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge north and slightly east of Yuma, Az. It's not a technical peak but you had better have good route finding skills, endurance for endless bouldering and scree surfing, bushwacking, and there is some exposure on the route.


My partner and I got an early start, slightly after 8:00 after trying to find the TH in the dark, not recommended. The wash is wide and finely graveled, with a little vegetation to dodge. It is very scenic right from the start with the towering dark and reddish rocked spires enclosing the area. Keep an eye out for Bighorn Sheep here. The wash winds around. Some cairns show up, there are several ways to leave the wash. Castle Dome is right in front of you here. Your goal is to get to a prominent small spire next to the main rock massiff. We decided to almost head the wash, very narrow, constant boulders and lots of catclaw.

From the saddle looking over into Kings Valley and back down our route, it was surprising to see how much we had gained in elevation already.

Here we climbed several ridges, skirting large rock outcroppings. Its rough, somewhat loose and very steep. We gained the "cactus filled saddle" just below the spire. Here you will see a faint trail that will lead you to the spire base. Now you have a choice of a couple of Class 3 short pitches, one very easy we descended, one more vertical and about 200+ feet exposure.

We climbed that one, a bit tight under some boulders. We didn't have a rope and it was a bit scary for me. Next you will see cairns skirting along the cliffs that then lead you up over sharp jagged rocks. A fair amount of exposure here but the rock is solid and footing good.

The summit is elongated and undulating, you have 360 views that are tremendous. The peak register is in an ammo can on a prominent rock outcropping to your right when you gain the peak. This is a training climb for the Golden Knights team, so quite a few military sign ins up there. Looks like light use overall.

The downclimb was worse than the up, lots of scree, we both sat down three times. We cliffed out twice; you either have to do a traverse at the base of the main peak across or go down some ridges almost going away from where you want to go to the wash. In the middle are sheer unclimbable cliffs unless you have a 150+ foot rope and climbing gear.

We descended a lovely dry waterfalled chute, it dropped off and we climbed out to continue down a drainage to the wash. We couldn't have timed it better for weather, cool, a little wind, and although hazy on top, it started to clear as we descended. The next day blew like heck so I headed home. We did some other exploring in the area. Really gorgeous once you get off the beaten path.
Description 18 Triplogs  1 Topic
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 3
 Region
 
0
0
 Yuma NE
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.52 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,000 feet
Elevation Gain 2,081 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,089 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.97
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Author RedRoxx44
Descriptions 5
Routes 0
Photos 15,410
Trips 430 map ( 3,186 miles )
Age
Location outside, anywhere
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
13  2017-03-12 Jim_H
4  2017-03-03
KOFA sampler
toddak
42  2015-12-19 Jim_H
15  2015-12-12 chumley
12  2015-03-08 Tsd906
5  2013-11-30 Booneman
18  2013-03-10 Kaps
18  2013-02-09 cindyl
10  2013-02-09 southpawaz
6  2013-01-27 dwightnancy
17  2009-12-12 desert_boonie
14  2009-12-12 sbkelley
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Wilderness Kofa
Backpack   Yes
Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Winter
Sun  5:30am - 7:38pm
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Thumb Peak - Castle Dome Mountains
6.3 mi away
2.1 mi
1,246 ft
Polaris Mountain - KOFA
17.7 mi away
3.3 mi
2,124 ft
Palm Canyon - KOFA
18.5 mi away
0.9 mi
270 ft
Kofa Butte - KOFA
19.1 mi away
2.1 mi
1,465 ft
Meers Point Trail
19.3 mi away
0.8 mi
25 ft
Painted Desert Trail
19.4 mi away
1.3 mi
114 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Goose
Flora
Brittlebush
Ocotillo
Teddy Bear Cholla
Geology
Natural Arch
Sand Dune
Meteorology
Sunset
Named place
Castle Dome Mine
Castle Dome Mountains
Castle Dome Peak
Harquahala Mountains
King Valley
Kofa Butte
Signal Peak
Summit Peak
Ten Ewe Mountain
Thumb Peak
Culture
Aerostat
Aircraft
HAZ - Selfie
Reference Mark
Summit Register Log
Off trail peak bagging
by RedRoxx44

Castle Dome Peak is an off trail trek in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge north and slightly east of Yuma, Az. It's not a technical peak but you had better have good route finding skills, endurance for endless bouldering and scree surfing, bushwacking, and there is some exposure on the route.


My partner and I got an early start, slightly after 8:00 after trying to find the TH in the dark, not recommended. The wash is wide and finely graveled, with a little vegetation to dodge. It is very scenic right from the start with the towering dark and reddish rocked spires enclosing the area. Keep an eye out for Bighorn Sheep here. The wash winds around. Some cairns show up, there are several ways to leave the wash. Castle Dome is right in front of you here. Your goal is to get to a prominent small spire next to the main rock massiff. We decided to almost head the wash, very narrow, constant boulders and lots of catclaw.

From the saddle looking over into Kings Valley and back down our route, it was surprising to see how much we had gained in elevation already.

Here we climbed several ridges, skirting large rock outcroppings. Its rough, somewhat loose and very steep. We gained the "cactus filled saddle" just below the spire. Here you will see a faint trail that will lead you to the spire base. Now you have a choice of a couple of Class 3 short pitches, one very easy we descended, one more vertical and about 200+ feet exposure.

We climbed that one, a bit tight under some boulders. We didn't have a rope and it was a bit scary for me. Next you will see cairns skirting along the cliffs that then lead you up over sharp jagged rocks. A fair amount of exposure here but the rock is solid and footing good.

The summit is elongated and undulating, you have 360 views that are tremendous. The peak register is in an ammo can on a prominent rock outcropping to your right when you gain the peak. This is a training climb for the Golden Knights team, so quite a few military sign ins up there. Looks like light use overall.

The downclimb was worse than the up, lots of scree, we both sat down three times. We cliffed out twice; you either have to do a traverse at the base of the main peak across or go down some ridges almost going away from where you want to go to the wash. In the middle are sheer unclimbable cliffs unless you have a 150+ foot rope and climbing gear.

We descended a lovely dry waterfalled chute, it dropped off and we climbed out to continue down a drainage to the wash. We couldn't have timed it better for weather, cool, a little wind, and although hazy on top, it started to clear as we descended. The next day blew like heck so I headed home. We did some other exploring in the area. Really gorgeous once you get off the beaten path.
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    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Yuma take hwy 95 north/ from Quartzite take the same hwy south. 35 miles north of Yuma turn right on the Castle Dome Mine road (left if coming from the north). This is a good graded dirt road. Drive north to the mining museum about 10 miles, past it about 5 miles on a narrow washed out track. Castle Dome will be in front of you and you will contour around the foothills to the northwest side. Look for a wide wash with a no vehicles sign in front of it after coming around a curve. Ample parking in the wash.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    stay out of the scorching sun
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
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