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2 Photosets

2021-11-13  
2018-12-27  
Safford Peak, AZ
mini location map2018-12-27
12 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Safford Peak, AZ 
Safford Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2018
markthurman53
Hiking3.98 Miles 1,678 AEG
Hiking3.98 Miles   3 Hrs   32 Mns   1.74 mph
1,678 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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I needed to get out and work off all the holiday junk food I have been eating, also needed to keep it local. Two years ago I hiked the trails of Saguaro National Park West but never made it up to Safford or Panther Peak and figured it was time. From the end of Scenic Drive road I headed due west, bush whacking up to the ridge where I took an actual trail to the junction with the trail that heads up to the peak. The "trail" to the peak is fairly easy to follow but it is steep all the way to the base cliffs of Safford Peak. The trail heads south and west along the base staying fairly level until the ascent to the saddle just west of the peak where it gets really steep. From the saddle to the peak it isn't steep it's a dang rock climb (no rock climbing is actually required but it is on all fours in kind of a vertical position). Not much on top for a peak but 360 degree views are great.

There are great views all along this hike, initially to the west over Avra Valley, north of the Tortolita Mountains, where I was last week, and to the east of Mount Lemmon. As the trail follows along the southern cliffs of Safford Peak Saguaro National Park West comes into view. Of coarse when you hit the summit the views are 360. I think some of the best views I have seen of Twin Peaks and the mining operations are along this trail.

My initial plans for this hike was to traverse the ridge to the west and head up Panther Peak but after the rock climb to the peak I realized I better not risk doing the cross country rock scrambling that it would require. I thought the exposure along the upper part of the trail was a bit much for me. There was a time this wouldn't of phased me but it looks like I have gotten a little bit of vertigo with age (wimpy, wimpy wimpy). I will have to do Panther Peak from the other direction. Overall a great little short hike. I returned the same way except at the junction with the trail I headed south instead of north along the trail and avoided the bush whacking portion. I actually think this route is the preferred method for hitting the peak.
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