|Hiking||6.43 Miles|| 8 Hrs 17 Mns ||1.74 mph|
|2,157 ft AEG|| 4 Hrs 35 Mns Break|
It’s made up of a huge range of peaks northeast of Globe, and covers at least ten or eleven individual peaks, depending on which ones you include in the range. The tallest of all the peaks is Peak 6940, and there’s a Forest Service benchmark on the highest point of Peak 6940.
The Forest Service called the benchmark, “Apache Mid-Peak”, and placed it there in 1934.
Future surveyors (1938), placed two reference marks and an azimuth mark.
The area to the south of this tallest peak is called Richmond Basin, and it once had a bustling mining town of about 800 to 1,000 people. Many mines and prospects were located in the Apache Peaks range, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Now the mines are done, and the town of Richmond Basin is on the list of Arizona ghost towns.
I first set out to locate the Apache Mid-Peak azimuth mark, which was ‘set’ off the mountain.
The info on the datasheet didn’t make sense, as to its location, until I deduced that one or more of the mining roads had been realigned. The benchmark datasheet’s ‘location info’ for the azimuth preceded the realignment. I could finally make out the original road segment on Google Earth, and once I did that, the surveyor’s instructions made sense.
I located the azimuth disk, hiding in a boulder that was partially hidden by a pine tree and fallen pine needles.
The hike up.
There are no trails anywhere, and there are only 5 previous HAZ hikes to the top of Peak 6940. Three hiked up from west to east, one from east to west, and one from the SE to the NW. I read all 5 triplogs, and they all basically say the same thing. Thick brush at times, very steep, loose rocks, some open areas, and one or more boulder ridges to maneuver through.
I chose to hike up a totally different way. I used the basic route that all the survey groups used through the years, which was a more ‘south-to-north’ direction. This route starts out on the east end of Richmond Basin.
I encountered all the same stuff the other HAZ hikers encountered, plus some thicker brush in a steep wash on my way down. This hike is a bit of work. (loose rocks, manzanita, juniper, prickly pear, buckhorn cholla, & agave) - Dress accordingly.
The actual top of Peak 6940 is about 800 ft long and only about 60 to 70 ft wide. It’s covered in alot of vegetation, the same stuff encountered on the hike up and down. The top is not a very friendly place to move around.
I located the benchmark right away, along with remnants of wood and wire from the Height of Light. I also located both reference marks, but have no photos of them. I could barley see both RMs, deep in the middle of thick, sharp needle-filled vegetation. I wasn’t about to move that stuff out of the way and get even bloodier arms than I already had from the climb. Trust me - The RMs are up there.
The hike down was like the up portion, with parts of the wash better, and some parts worse than my ‘non-wash’ track up.
If you desire to hike up to Apache Peaks’ high point, you now have four different tracks to choose from, or pick your own track and let us know how it goes.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|