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Orion Peak - Wickenburg Mountains
3 Photosets

2016-10-24  
2016-09-18  
2014-11-19  
mini location map2014-11-19
13 by photographer avatarblack_toes
photographer avatar
 
Orion Peak - Wickenburg MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2014
black_toes
Hiking2.56 Miles 695 AEG
Hiking2.56 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   1.57 mph
695 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My continued exploration of the Trilby Wash area in northwestern Maricopa County near Wittmann, Morristown and points N.

Orion, at 2,625' el, is the highest of an isolated out-croppng of small peaks several miles N of the junction of N. Castle Hot Springs Rd and 74 Highway near Morristown. Orion offers the best views of Trilby that I've come across: S to Circle City and beyond and N until it vanishes in high mountains below Red Picacho.

I parked along the Castle Hot Springs Rd and walked the dirt road E .7 of a mile to a barbwire gate. From there it is was a mystery how to proceed. I had done a recon of the area last spring and did not see a trail anywhere. I decided to head up to a saddle just W of Orion and try to find a good route to the summit.

It took 24 minutes of bushwhacking to cover less than a quartermile to reach the saddle. Lots of boulders and loose rock, not to mention brush, small trees and cactus. I examined the steep spine of Orion and thought it had too much rock and underbrush. Going around to the south side, I started up more or less on a contour route but finally sucked it up and followed a steep drainage to the W end of Orion. Scrambling over and around large boulders, I finally approached the summit from the WSW. It had taken 33 minutes of hard work to get there from the ridge.

The rocky summit itself runs about 25 yards, SE and NW. I found the triangulation disk (1924) and two reference marks (1947). All said "Orion," which is also the name of a mine to the northwest. There is a strand of wire near the middle, for what purpose I don't know. No sign anyone had been up there for months, maybe years. The disks, I read, were last checked in 1969. Splendid views. Shot some photos and video and decided to head down a little before 4 o'clock. I knew one thing. I didn't want to descend the same way I came up. The spine on the W seemed the best option, even though I'd rejected it earlier.

Just down from the summit, I spotted what I thought was a geocache. I'd read there was one up here called "Crack in The Rock." I found a red-dyed male underwear and a traning bra. The items were torn and weathered and tied to a rock in a protected spot. I looked for a log book but didn't see one. Maybe the cache was somewhere else but really hidden.

The spine, though rocky and covered in places with low lying trees and brush, was clearly the route I should have gone up. It took 40 minutes to reach the gate, 14 minutes quicker than on the ascent from the S.

Great afternoon and a good little adventure in off-trail hiking.
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black_toes'
242 Photosets

  2014-11-27
  2014-11-19
  2014-11-17
  2014-11-14
  2014-11-13
  2014-10-17
  2014-09-14
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  2014-09-06
  2014-05-31
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  2014-05-10
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