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Mount Peeley Summit
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mini location map2020-04-23
15 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Mount Peeley SummitPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,492 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   3 Hrs   4 Mns   1.99 mph
1,492 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
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The last time I was in the Old Beeline Highway area was just over eight years ago, when I hiked Little Saddle Mountain Trail #244 ( [ photoset ] ). This time, instead of following the pavement south down the Old Beeline Highway, I turned north on dirt FR 201. Though narrow & twisty, FR 201 was in much better shape than FR 172 to Woodbury Trailhead last year. It took me 40 minutes to make the 10.3 mile drive. Part of the reason I chose to hike Mount Peeley, was so I could do one of the two or three off roading videos I do every year. 😁

Make sure you do your business before you leave home: The restrooms, at the reservation station on AZ-87 in Fort McDowell, are closed due to the coronavirus panic. And there is nothing at the Mount Peeley Trailhead other than bushes — which, judging by the toilet paper, has been recently used. 💩

It was 61° at the Peeley Trailhead, but felt warmer. The high at Mount Peeley was expected to be 81°, but it was 87° when I returned at 1:30 p.m. I was thought there would be shade at the trailhead, but no such luck. Looking at @PrestonSands original hike description photos, it's a shame what happened. 🔥

The first ½ mile, there were some very healthy patches of spreading fleabane, Gooding’s verbena and whatever that yellow flower is in my photoset. 🤔

I headed up through the switchbacks on Mazatzal Divide Trail #23, which climbs 600 ft. in the next unshaded mile. I kept my pace slow & steady. The only slightly rocky part of the first two miles was a couple of feet of step-up in this section. Otherwise the trail was in great shape.

Just past the Mazatzal Wilderness sign, there is a moderate-sized cairn, currently marked with an Arizona Trail sticker. Mazatzal Divide Trail #23, now colocated with the Arizona Trail, continues west. Instead, turn left, off trail.

I say “off trail”, but there is an obvious use trail dragged through the duff, and cairns every 50-200 ft. If you lose site of the use trail, or the next cairn, keep heading up the spur which you’ve been following up Mount Peeley’s northwest slope. (A spur is a terrain feature which is down in three directions, up in one.) There were a few easily avoided patches of manzanita, but no grab & stabs or dangerous traverses along the use trail. Other than being very steep, climbing 500 ft. in a ½ mile, the use trail was no problem at all.

There is little shade on the use trail, and none on Mount Peeley’s summit. 😅

I spent over an hour on Mount Peeley’s summit, exploring, enjoying the views, taking photos and reading the summit logs, which contained many familiar names.

It took me 40 minutes to hike off trail to the summit, but only 15 minutes to make it back down to Mazatzal Divide Trail #23. Overall, an hour all the way back to the Peeley Trailhead, jogging about a quarter of the way.

Drive Video: https://vimeo.com/469463798 (FR 201)
Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/469467973
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some decent flowers along the lower portion of the trail.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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