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Stewart Mountain, AZ

no permit
273 27 1
Guide 27 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.6 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,800 feet
Elevation Gain 1,134 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,134 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.17
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
4  2017-11-28 jimntempe
20  2016-10-29 JasonCleghorn
8  2015-02-26 hikingaz2
7  2014-12-31 BobP
10  2014-12-05
Sunrise Adam Stewart
13  2014-01-25 BEEBEE
11  2014-01-01
The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
3  2014-01-01
The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
Page 1,  2,  3
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,812
Trips 4,252 map ( 21,403 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:36pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Routing for views
by joebartels

On what would likely be the last cool day until autumn I decided to enjoy it. This mountain had been in thought for some time. With a quick look at a map, I decided the major ravine on the east was the route I'd attempt. I parked right where the ravine crosses Bush Highway. I hiked down in and out of the ravine with the intent to follow the south side. Within minutes I approached a dirt road. So much for off trail hiking. I followed the road a short distance then headed straight to my destination. The desert is easy to negotiate. Boots are necessary but pants are not. It seemed like I was hiking to the mountain but before I knew it I had views of Saguaro lake.

It gets a little steep going up but nothing more difficult than Camelback or Piestewa Peak. The mountain has three peaks with a high valley in the middle. After hiking up about 760 feet I entered the valley. Less than a quarter mile through the valley I headed up the western peak another 370 ft.

From the top there's a good view of a major portion of Saguaro lake to the southeast. Red Mountain is west-southwest. At over seven miles away I wouldn't consider it a great view. The Goldfield Mountains make up the near southern view with some high cliffs.

On the return trip I headed straight down the ravine. The going is slow with some large boulders.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2006-04-27 joebartels
    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
    Stewart Mountain
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    Well after a restless night of pouring over spreadsheets and topo maps and frantically hitting the F5 button on Lists of John :y: I was somehow able to drag myself out of bed to climb Stewart Mountain, Peak 2961 and Peak 2931. I used Joe's route from years ago and up I went. Great, my favorite type of mountains, loose pea gravel...

    But I made it first up 2961, down, then over to Stewart Mountain then over to 2931. 2931 marked what's been a long string for me of the shortest mountain being the hardest. It seemed the steepest and had the loosest scree.

    The ~1 mile boulder hopping chute down between Peaks 2961 and 2931 held a first for me. I could feel a rock I was standing on slightly vibrating from I believe a rattlesnake below it. I looked, but never saw it and kept moving. The smooth granite boulders in the wash/draw/chute are particularly slippery and my shoes are getting low on tread so that was fun.

    All in all, a great day.
    Stewart Mountain
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    I've been wanting to visit this area for a while and I finally made it out there. Got a good early start on this one and I needed it. It was slow going up the wash into the basin. I mostly stuck to the wash until I got near the top and started to angle over toward the northern most peak. I made it the the top of that one reasonably quick. Heading down toward Stewart Mtn itself, the western most peak of the three, it seemed a lot steeper than when I was going up. Could be the route I chose. Heading up the Stewart Mtn was pretty easy as well, and coming down from it was a lot tougher. This time I know my choice of route was the cause of that. Finally, I headed to the eastern peak. I had to negotiate a lot of boulders here, but for the most part it was easy. Heading back down into the basin I took the direct route right down the western slope, then back to the wash and down.
    Stewart Mountain
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    Hiked up before sunset to do a SOTA activation made a few contacts and then headed back down first 1/3 was in twilight the rest was in the dark. It was a great night to hike down from this peak the views were great. I want to go back up when I can start earlier and explore that mountain valley. If I was more familiar with the trip down I would have stayed up top longer also it was such a nice night I almost wish I had brought stuff to spend the night up top.
    Stewart Mountain
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    The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
    I have looked at this "Set of Peaks" from the Beeline Highway for quite awhile and thought it would be a fun Hike! I didn't know what they were until I looked them up and realized that a few, and I stress "few" HAZers have done them. From looking at the Triplogs and Photosets of those "few", I knew it was doable and had a great view of Saguaro Lake...When the Subject came up last year about where this Year's Event would be, this immediately popped into my mind. It just fit all of the Criteria that I liked...Short, but with a Workout and nice Rewards at the Top...

    I was a little interested to see how this one would be received, since few have done it and I wondered how the Super Hikers would perceive this one. I was hoping that since it's one that they haven't done, with the exception of Joe, that it would at least intrigue them enough to join me. I was glad that the Intrigue and just overall Interest in my Annual Event was enough for participation!

    Bartender Bob was present for the Third Year in a Row, Joe provided the Entertainment as always, John was committed to being non-comitted, JJ watched me not have to haul the Entire Kitchen Sink this year, Kelly and John taking part of the Kitchen Sink up, thus lightening my Pack by a long shot, another John who became a Bartender in Training, Randal had his now Annual Tailgate Party in place, Barrett brought an extra Brew so no one would go thirsty on the additional Peaks and a late showing by a Snowbird turned Resident, Larry. And it was sooo nice to finally meet Shawn and Tracy! What an excellent Crew this was!

    As is the Case, the Super Hikers soon pulled ahead...With the lack of any kind of Trail or even a distinct Route once you hit the Drainage going up, everyone pretty much split up to find their own way...I took Flying Fliver's advice and stayed out of the actual Drainage, paralleling it on the Left Flank...This worked out pretty well with just minimal Blood Loss... :sweat: Barrett was calling me from the Peak before I even hit the "Deck" a small Valley between the three Peaks. The "Deck" as Joe called it, was a nice little relief before the final push to the Peak... :sweat:

    As usual, I was the last one up, but the Party soon commenced... :y: Good Times, lots of Laughs with good Friends, new and old...Soon it was pack up time and some of the others opted for the other 2 Peaks...I decided against trying for them as I'm not in great shape right now and this is the hardest Hike I've done to date since my Knee Problem back in November...The Knee felt good, but I didn't want to push it too far and I knew from experience that I would seriously be lagging if I tagged along...So I took my time going down, enjoying the Views, taking some Photos and chatting with Randal...At the bottom, 3 of the 4 Johns were already gone and Shawn and Tracy were ready to go...After some goodbyes with them, I was joined by Randal and we went and got the Tailgate Party set up...We were soon joined by the others and indulged in some good food!

    I just can't think of a better way to start a New Year! Good Hike, Good Views, Good Food and Great Company! Thank you all for joining me for more Good Times!!!

    And....a little Action after the Action! Bartender Bob becomes "Chef Bob" and educates on how to "dice" an Onion, with a Side Seat Driver.... :o I could have shown them an easier way, but what fun would that be??? And a "chopped" Onion works just as well as "diced" anyway.... :sl:
    Stewart Mountain
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    The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
    After spending New Year's Eve with the Yotes in Glendale, needed the New Year's Day "leg stretcher" with a Dirty Dozen HAZer's. Thanks Pam for hosting and will be looking forward to next year's peak bagging... :D

    After Schulhauser's Pub and Grill closed down for the day, headed over to Stewart Dam to check out the rock art... :D :D
    Stewart Mountain
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    The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
    Having missed the previous two years I was excited to get in on this year! Gorgeous weather and good times. This was my first four-John hike ( 9L, jlp, JR1, jj3 ).

    Headed up the right side of the ravine for a change of pace. Didn't seem better or worse, a few wobbly boulders.

    Pam's grand New Years ceremony took place on the highest peak, 2968, which is the most western peak. She started a new group keister photo tradition. Partially sponsored in part by JR1's hide-the-peak-register which is an outdoor version of Twister. Kelly's New Years resolution might be to one-up the cooookie monster due to some damn good morsels by Pam!

    After the ceremony I followed Bob & Barrett east to 2961 then north to 2931. The main west peak is my favorite, nicest views and no hwy/lake noise. The nicest view in my opinion is in the mid valley looking over to the Four Peaks. From the third peak Bob picked a direct route back to start. It wasn't shorts friendly but nothing horrible.

    Schulhauser's Pub & Grill was packed and the service was great! We saw one or two bald eagles flying overhead leaving the grill. Great to see everyone and honored to meet an 11 & 12 year member!
    Stewart Mountain
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    The New Year's Day Tradition Continues.....
    joined pam's new year's day hike for the first time
    also my first group event with haz
    on the fence until yesterday, but really glad i participated
    nice to meet tracy, shawn and barrett
    first hike with bob and 9l, too
    a lot of johns on this one :lol:
    the hike went from the butcher jones turnoff up a boulder and brush filled gulley to a valley
    from there, stewart mountain is dead ahead and there are peaks on either side
    i went up the southern one first, then up stewart
    pam had a nice spread of champagne, sparkling cider, chocolate covered strawberries and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
    i had more than my share of the cookies :oops:
    we all took and posed for pictures and admired the excellent views
    had perfect weather, although a little warm in long pants and sleeves
    descended stewart, and in the valley found oregon hiker, who had come out to deliver the watch i left in his truck monday while getting in a peak in a new area and hooking up with the group
    johnr1, larry and i went up the northern peak, took a short break then headed down the peak and into the gully
    randal had graciously lent his tailgaiting skills to the event with brats, chips and beverages
    had a nice time hanging out for awhile with the gang
    thanks randal and pam for the goodies
    it was a fun and successful event, pam
    nice work :)
    i wouldn't have come out here on my own
    a great start to the new year
    Stewart Mountain
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    Who hasn't driven to Saguaro lake and wondered, "What the heck is that billboard looking thing up there on the mountain?"

    Well, curiosity got the best of me so I enlisted a buddy to climb up there with me to find out. Looking at topos it appeared the east side drainage approach would be feasible. So we parked right across from the Butcher Jones turnoff and headed up. Tons of trash in the beginning, in the form of shell casings, shot-up bottles, old tires and such, but once you start climbing it gets really pretty and the views just keep getting better.

    With no sign of a trail whatsoever, we bushwhacked and boulder hopped our way up to the valley on top. Not bad, but there are some steep sections with loose scree. We found the structure on the south side of the valley near the top, but using our best imagination we could not figure out what that thing may be. It's simply a big, metal structure built in sections. There are adjusters that look like they would change the tilt angle of the thing, but again - for what? Does anyone know?

    Coming down I plowed my shin right into a big, hidden barrel cactus, ouch. Gonna be digging those spines out for a while I suspect. We chose to stay in the drainage all the way down, boulder hopping our way back to the truck.

    Not a bad hike, I really wonder why there's no trails up to the valley though.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mesa head take SR87 towards Payson. Get off on the Saguaro Lake exit. Head south about three miles on the Bush Highway just past Butcher Jones turnoff. I parked just under two-tenths of a mile south of the junction. You could start this hike from other places too. A chauffeur is handy as parking on the side of a highway is probably not kosher.
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