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Governors Peak and Peak 2992, AZ
mini location map2021-11-13
15 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Governors Peak and Peak 2992, AZ 
Governors Peak and Peak 2992, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2021
Hiking6.45 Miles 2,027 AEG
Hiking6.45 Miles   4 Hrs   38 Mns   1.71 mph
2,027 ft AEG      52 Mns Break
1st trip
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
After hiking to Indian Mesa Ruins in the morning, we drove to Hells Canyon Wilderness to hike Governors Peak in the afternoon. Time permitting, I planned to go up to Peak 2992 since it's just a short detour off the route to Governors. We got the last of three spots in the pullout area along Castle Hot Springs Road, and there was a pair of other hikers starting out on the trail just ahead of us.

We crossed the dry bed of Castle Creek and signed in at the white podium on the other side. I didn't notice it at the time, but looking at pictures later, there was a warning printed at the bottom of the sign-in sheet that said: "The trails in Hells Canyon Wilderness are clothing-optional. Do not be offended or alarmed if you encounter nudity on the trail." That's the first warning of that variety that I've ever seen at a trailhead. Regardless, all the hikers we encountered were clothed...I would think the alternative would involve a high risk of a very painful sunburn :).

We weren't paying close attention and accidentally veered left onto Spring Valley Trail briefly before realizing we missed Hermit Trail, so we cut across a wash and got back on course. About a mile in, we heard a loud snort to our left and saw a wild burro nearby. The trail was well-defined and had a lot of cairns throughout, but it became a little fainter as we started the ascent toward Governors Peak.

I'd hoped to take a quick detour over to Peak 2992 since it was so close, and @TboneKathy wanted to take a break on the way up, so I left the trail and headed for the peak. There were only two prior trip logs for Peak 2992, and the routes described in those seemed more difficult than they needed to be. I stayed on the trail until I was only slightly below 2992 elevation-wise and then headed for 2992 just before the trail makes a left turn on the way to Governors Peak. I aimed for a small saddle to the southeast of the 2992, and there were some steep stretches with loose rock, but it was a manageable scramble to the saddle and then an easy climb from there.

Based on the lack of trip logs, it was clear 2992 doesn't get many visitors, so I'd brought an empty plastic jar and some blank sheets of paper and placed a register at the summit, then headed back down to the trail. We were running short on time to beat the sunset, so I hurried up to Governors Peak. The two other hikers who we'd seen near the trailhead were up there, and there was a large summit cairn, a sign, and a "height of light" post at the top. There were two summit register jars stuffed with loose sheets of paper, and I found a blank space to sign on the opposite side of @KingSnake's entry from 2/26/21. I didn't spend too long at the peak, but the views of Lake Pleasant and Castle Hot Springs Resort were very nice.

[ youtube video ]

It was a very pleasant hike out as the shadows got longer in the late afternoon/early evening, and we saw one more wild burro on the way out. The sky had some nice color as we finished off the hike with the sun starting to set. The trail was much more defined and gets more traffic than I'd expected based on the descriptions. I'm not sure why the official guide has this one labeled as off-trail hiking--there was a sign-in podium, arrowed "Trail" signs near the trailhead, and consistent cairns all the way to the peak...but, either way, it was a nice introduction to Hells Canyon Wilderness.
Wild Burro

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