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Stewart MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2012
Hiking2.50 Miles 1,184 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   1.19 mph
1,184 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Stewart Mountain is comprised of three mountain peaks. Just park your car off Bush Highway, near Saguaro Lake and head up between the two visible mountains. You won't see the third mountain (the one you're going to climb) until you hike up and get between those first two mountains. You'll then traverse a cool hidden valley, and start hiking up to the highest of the three peaks.

I had done this hike before, and really enjoyed the experience. There are no trails, just bushwhacking through a bit of desert floor, boulder hopping on the climb up, a hidden valley surrounded by the three mountains, and to top it off, great views once atop the highest of the three peaks.

This time, I hiked up to find and photograph Stewart Mountain Triangulation Benchmark and its two reference marks. With this in mind, I was armed with my camera, GPS, a small shovel, and the datasheet for the benchmark. Stewart Mountain Triangulation Mark was monumented (installed) in 1935, just 5 years after Stewart Mountain Dam was completed. The dam formed Saguaro Lake and submerged the Stewart family ranch, that was located where the lake is now located.

My GPS and the benchmark's datasheet information took me directly to the "location" that the benchmark was supposed to be located. When I got there, no benchmark disk was in sight. I double checked the location with the datasheet information, then searched for and found the two reference marks for Stewart Mountain Triangulation Mark. Those two reference mark disks have arrows on them pointing to the elusive triangulation disk that surveyors actually use for surveying. Everything checked out, except - - no triangulation benchmark disk. :o

I've had this happen before, so I employed my little shovel. Lo and behold, after scraping away about 2 inches of desert, the benchmark was unearthed. (Tah Dah!!) :D
Mother nature had buried it over the years. The survey disk is in good shape, as is its two reference mark disks. Success !

There's a summit log and a geocache up on this peak also. After exploring the peak and taking many photos of the disks, Saguaro Lake, and surrounding area, I hiked back down the same GPS track I used to get up there.

In order to complete my benchmark "mission", after the hike I drove down Bush Highway, just past the Saguaro Lake entrance, to find and photograph the Stewart Mountain Azimuth Benchmark. It's located in a huge boulder just off Bush Highway. It's another benchmark with an arrow pointing to Stewart Mountain Triangulation Mark. The Azimuth mark can assist benchmark hunters in finding the location of the actual triangulation benchmark, which is the one used for surveying. This Azimuth Benchmark was placed in position in 1946, and is 1.17 miles (direct line) from Stewart Mountain Triangulation Mark.

This was a fun hike, with successful finds, along with great scenery during the bushwhack and atop the mountain. I highly recommend it.
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
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