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Pinkley Peak and Arch Canyon, AZ
mini location map2019-12-04
24 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Pinkley Peak and Arch Canyon, AZ 
Pinkley Peak and Arch Canyon, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 04 2019
Hiking7.20 Miles 2,857 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles
2,857 ft AEG
1st trip
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Having hiked Mount Ajo the day before, Tracie the Intrepid and I decided to do a couple of other hikes while in the area. We had intended to add in the Diablo Mountains High Point, but the hike to Pinkley Peak took longer than anticipated, so we just did Pinkley Peak and Arch Canyon.

We did Pinkley Peak first. We drove on North Puerto Blanco Drive and parked at the Pinkley Peak picnic area. Pinkley Peak is NW from the picnic area, so we headed in that direction through open desert. Going through the desert was fairly easy, but the fun began as we got nearer the peak. Route finding was a bit of a challenge, and the going was steep and very, very slippery. We managed to make our way to the precipice of the summit on the east side of the peak. There was no safe way that we could see to ascend from the east side, so we went around the south side of the peak and looped around the west side. Just below the peak we found an easy way to ascend to the summit.

We sat up there and took a break to enjoy the 360 degree views. Tracie decided to explore a bit on the peak, and about 50 feet or so from the summit, she discovered a cave-like overhang that had all manner of evidence of illegal activity in it: empty food cans, blankets, clothes, empty butane canisters, empty water bottles, carpet shoes, trash, etc. There was also something up there that almost looked like a makeshift solar panel, but it could have been something else. On the way up to the peak we had seen an occasional empty water bottle, but I was surprised to see so much stuff right on the summit.

We made our way back to the picnic area the same way that we came up. It was very slow going though, as the steep and slippery slopes were not conducive to fast hiking -- it took us almost 4.5 hours to do this 3.9 mile hike, although we did spend a fair amount of time on the summit.

After getting back to our vehicle, we drove on Ajo Mountain Drive to the parking area at Arch Canyon. We hiked up Arch Canyon on a pretty decent trail, and then took a social trail up to the Arch. The ascent to the Arch was a bit steep and slippery in places, but it was a piece of cake compared to hiking up to Pinkley Peak. We got up near the Arch, and we may not have known where the Arch was except that it was a sunny afternoon and we could see the sun shining through the Arch. We found a trail that we could descend and take to get inside the arch. The arch is huge, and we enjoyed sitting in the arch. I enjoyed the hike to the arch, and I would do it again.

The distance and elevation gain for the 2 hikes is below. The stats above are the sum of the 2 hikes.
Pinkley Peak: 3.9 miles with an AEG of 1,604'
Arch Canyon: 3.3 miles with an AEG of 1,253'
Natural Arch
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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