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Peak 3263, AZ
mini location map2014-11-20
13 by photographer avatarsirena
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Peak 3263, AZ 
Peak 3263, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 20 2014
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.43 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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This is a peak I can see from my backyard, it makes up the southern "hat brim" of the Sombrero. I've hiked to the top of Sombrero and Panther, today I bushwhacked up to Peak 3263. Instead of getting to it from Sanctuary Cove, I figured that the eastern slope could be accessed from the big wash at the base for a more direct ascent. The unknowns were what the footing was like on that side and how bad the vegetation was.

I parked at the first pullout after going over Picture Rocks (Contzen) Pass and followed the rocky wash until it dumped me out at another broad, sandy wash. Took the wash north as it curved toward the ridge that I was shooting for.

I came prepared to do battle with the spiny vegetation with gloves, long sleeves, pants and gaiters. I was pleasantly surprised that ridge was generally open and consisted of well-cemented rocks and slabs. I was able to use my umbrella without any problems. I headed up the ridgeline, following game trails and then reached a small saddle where I could see the rest of the ascent. There was a cholla field to negotiate, and there were a couple of areas where the hillside was covered in rockfall, but it wasn't terribly loose.

It was a fun hike because I knew that I'd have the mountain to myself, even though I wasn't too far from the road and there was plenty of evidence that people came up here on occasion. There was an old fire ring and broken bottles near the summit.

The views from the summit were really wonderful- a slightly different perspective on familiar terrain. I especially liked the views of Sombrero and Panther Peaks, and I could see my neighborhood below.

After visiting the summit, I went to the south end of the ridgeline and looked over the steep cliffs. I could see my car parked below, only I'd have to pull a Mary Poppins with my umbrella to get there. There were a bunch of walls and a couple of circular pits, not surprising given other sites in the area. I found a saguaro with two separate crested arms, one that looked like a cartoon hand.

It was even easier to find a solid route and avoid the rockfalls on the way down the ridge and before long, I was back to the big wash. It was a really enjoyable little hike, made even better by the fact that it's only a 15 minute drive from my house.

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