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Saddle Mountain - Tonopah
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mini location map2009-02-21
11 by photographer avatarHansenaz
photographer avatar
 
Saddle Mountain - TonopahSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2009
Hansenaz
Hiking4.60 Miles
Hiking4.60 Miles   3 Hrs      1.53 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
For the 2nd time this month I went out to the Tonopah area to find an approach to Big Horn Mtn. but again I gave up. So I was taking a scenic route home: Harquahala Rd. to Courthouse Rd. toward Wintersburg when I noticed an official looking brown information display sign on a gravel spur heading toward the interesting looking area on the right. I decided to head in and find a trail.

Now, after-the-fact, I see that Saddle Mountain has been visited a few times by HAZ members. Apparently it is a difficult ascent and I certainly didn't see any trails heading toward the top, but I'll describe my little "circumnavigation".

There are several turn-offs that approach the area from Courthouse Rd., but the main one seems to be on the east side and goes past the brown sign and ends in a small parking area a mile or so in. I followed the one prominent trail which continued south toward a small saddle and a jeep road. At the saddle I ran into some rockhounds from Arkansas who showed me what they were looking for.

A fainter trail continued toward another saddle along the east side of the main peak and after that the still weaker trail kept going, more or less traversing. It seemed like a game trail but now and then a cairn showed up. Still it was pleasant walking (except for a near-miss with a rattlesnake) and it looked like an intuitive diagonal heading might allow a circle trip around the main peak. While approaching the "backside saddle" (the highpoint of the route) I encountered a line of deer coming around a corner. They were small and nimble so I'm guessing they're Coues Deer. I got a couple pictures when they tried to pass above me a few minutes later.

From the backside saddle it was steeper with some bushwacking to continue west, but again the way seemed obvious: toward a last small saddle and another short drainage leading to the "front" of the mountain. From there an easy traverse of the open desert back to the car.

Nice area and an enjoyable walk...lots of interesting rocks can be found along the way. Apparently this is a well known collecting area.
Geology
Geology
Chalcedony Fire Agate
Named place
Named place
Saddle Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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404 Photosets

  2009-03-29
  2009-03-08
  2009-02-21
  2009-01-17
  2008-11-21
  2008-04-21
  2008-03-01
  2008-02-24
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  2007-12-19
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