The Best Hikes in Harquahala Mountains Wilderness

83 Triplog Reviews in the Harquahala Mountains Wilderness
Most recent of 38 deeper Triplog Reviews
10.3 mi • 3,334 ft aeg
 First county high point of the year. Gate is a little hard to notice on the south side of the 60. Easy drive to the trailhead. High-clearance recommended, but road isn't that rough.

Started around 8 and was in the shade for 2/3 of the way up. Starts pretty easy in a rocky wash, but the last three miles probably gain ~2500 feet. trail was easy to follow. There's some cool old mining stuff scattered throughout the hike. Very desolate. Only saw one other hiker. Views on the top are sweet. Dog loved it.
10.5 mi • 3,406 ft aeg
 Decided to take a ride out here after seeing this one posted. I'm doing the 100 Classic Hikes in AZ book, but this hike was added in a later edition than the one I have. January seemed like the better time to attempt this one, and it definitely was. The first 4 miles were entirely in the shade, the last 1.2 had intermittent shade. That was also the steepest portion of the hike. Once you hit the saddle and can see the road on the east side of the mountain, there's about another 1000' vertically to go.

The hike up wasn't as bad as I had expected, but still a workout. It was a pretty steady climb, not too much loose rock, steeper as you approach the summit. The way back had a section that seemed a bit of slog. Once it leveled out a bit, there were still big steps that I didn't remember on the way up. The last mile and a half was finally easy again.

As usually is the case when I decide to carry my handy dandy folding stool, there was a picnic table waiting for us when we got to the top. We checked out the cabin and observatory area quickly, ate lunch, and headed back down. No ATVers were at the top, which was somewhat of a surprise. On our way back down, we saw 2 rhinos on their way up.

The only other hikers we saw were just below the saddle. They were packing light, and didn't seem to have much water. Once we got back to the trailhead, there wasn't another car there. We saw their regular sedan parked nearly all the way back to Rt. 60, just before the dirt road got to a gnarly section. this added a full 8 miles to their round trip hike. We imagined that it must have been quite the slog on that last 4 miles on the dirt road for them.
10.23 mi • 3,472 ft aeg
 Enjoyed this hike 7 years ago and it's holding steady. More saguaros and desert flora than recalled was a bonus.

Noticed a whopping 2 catclaw bushes heading up. Got a dandy half inch gash on my shin heading down. Apparently there are a few more. Only an issue if not paying

Along with a shockingly well cut trail the distant views grab your attention. Mountain ranges with long ridgelines compliment the ultra flat desert floor.
10.23 mi • 3,472 ft aeg
 I forgot how much I like this trail. It's just impressively constructed and is in fantastic shape for a trail that can't get too much use. I even carried clippers to cut back any brush but never once took them out!

About half the hike up was shaded and it was very pleasant. There was even a short stretch of shade on the way down due to the low angle of the sun right now. It was supposed to be in the low 80s today but it didn't feel too warm at any time until standing by the truck at the end of the hike.

Thanks to the BLM (presumably) for keeping this one maintained.
10.2 mi • 3,380 ft aeg
 Went up yesterday, Monday to hike one of my favorite hiking trails in Arizona. Weather was perfect it was 43 degrees when I left the trail head at 7:15. From the trail head up to the old miner shack the trail was in good shape some cats claw getting close to trail and starting to come over trail, but you can get by this without any problem. From the old miner shack up to summit I cut the cats claw back away from the trail, some places it was growing across this section of the trail. Over all this trail is in good shape. No other hikers on trail today there was 5 ATV riders at the top and 1 Jeep. Road into the trail head is ok. I have a Ford 150 truck 4X4 did not have to cut any bushes back to get to trail head parking. I would recommend you have a vehicle with some clearance and AWD one of the washes is very sandy and from the horse trailer parking lot up to trail head parking it is a little rocky if you drive slow you will have no problem. No flowers or water on this trail today.
10.18 mi • 3,418 ft aeg
 Peak one of two for the day.

The cloud were out when we got started and would persist through out the entire day. We got sprinkled on a little bit on the way up. Thankfully that was the extent of the rain as I had forgotten my rain jacket... After the saddle the wind picked up quite a bit, and it was hard to tolerate for long on the peak.

All around, a very enjoyable hike. Great trail (tread, grade), pretty good views, would do again!
9.86 mi • 3,403 ft aeg
 First hike of the day for me & Dallin. We got to the trailhead a little after 8:00, and I spent the next four hours trying my best to keep up with Dallin. The trail is in nice shape, reasonable grade, easy to follow--but just a relentless uphill. It rained on us a little during the first few miles, then a very cold wind from the saddle near the top all the way to the summit. There was a little bit of snow on the ground the top half mile or so. We spent just a few minutes at the summit, then headed back down as quickly as we could. On the other side of the saddle, the wind was blocked, so it was a pleasant descent the rest of the way.
10.2 mi • 3,380 ft aeg
 This hike is in the (100 hikes) book and one of the County (La Paz) high points. :y:
The directions for this one are good. The gate is easy to miss and the dirt road drive is 2.2 miles. There are trail signs on both sides of the gate and at both forks in the road. My (flying) Focus made it with only spinning a tire once (Driver error). There is parking for plenty and even a vault toilet at the trailhead with horse trailer parking 4/10 of a mile back.
The first trail mile is an old rocky road with an easy grade. It turns into trail by the second mile and gets more rocky but not much steeper. The next three miles of trail have a pretty good tread in my opinion. Even the grade is pretty good for the amount of gain with maybe half of the last mile a little steep. Your on the shady side of the mountain for 4 of the miles if you start at a decent hour. Interesting area and not a bad hike. :)
15.81 mi • 3,724 ft aeg
 This peak had been on my radar for just over a year and a half; and I’d been patiently waiting for the right opportunity during the many drives to/from the Prescott and Flagstaff areas to take a slight detour in order to knock it off. The opportunity finally arose this past Tuesday. Not only was it so nice to finally see this beautiful desert area and check the La Paz County Highpoint off my list, making summit was definitely so much sweeter when it involved meeting unanticipated challenges head on and overcoming them. In a nutshell: what should have been an easy out-and-back trail hike [relative to what I’m accustomed to] of just over 10 miles turned into a grueling journey of just over 6 hours and just under 16 miles in triple digit temps.

With no stormy weather in the forecast and no confusing directions to find the TH, [the turn to the dirt road is between mileposts 71 & 70 exactly as described on the HAZ Description page], I was preparing to execute a slightly longer variation of this hike that The_Eagle and chumley have posted under the Alternative Routes section. However, upon finding a closed gate [that was stuck shut to the point where I could not even get it open to let myself though on foot], along with a sign indicating that motorized vehicles are not/no longer allowed on this road, my plans of doing anything more than making summit went out the window.

The HAZ page states that the dirt road is 2.2 miles one-way to the TH but it look to be closer to 2.5 miles based on the topo scale. Given that I’ve pulled off several 17+ mile hikes this year with flying colors, having to hike an extra 4.5 to 5 miles on jeep road was a non-issue [at least in terms of my body being able to handle the extra mileage]; and there was also plenty of daylight left for me to finish before dark. The biggest concern was: would I be able to carry [or even fit into my daypack] the amount of water that I’d need to sustain myself over 15-16 miles & 3,000+’ AEG in triple digit temps?

Knowing my body and the type of effort I was about to embark on, I estimated an absolute minimum of 4 liters and decided on 5 liters to play it safe. To offset the extra weight and space, I left behind my shin guards, trekking poles, jacket, and long pair of pants. While many may laugh at the last two items, I consider them essentials [given my tendency to bushwhack / go off-trail :D ] and I cannot remember the last time I intentionally went without either.

After crawling under the barb wire fence, I attempted to cut off distance by following a more direct path to the TH [vs staying on the jeep road]; but my sense of direction got turned around AND my phone shut off due to the hot temps before I had even logged 1 mile, [the first time I remember this happening not counting instances where I’ve accidentally left my phone in a hot car]. Luckily, without too much time/distance wasted, I made it to the TH area in just under 2.4 miles and just over 35 minutes. There was a trail log sheet by the TH, and it had only two other names. Neither of the other two people that signed in wrote a date but the left most column of the sign-in sheet was titled, “Date 2015”.

After signing in, I set out on the trail/jeep road. The area is really beautiful with many off-trail opportunities and old areas of mining activity to explore… but given the circumstances, I was not about to screw around on this hike! I kept a decent pace but didn’t push myself too hard in order to avoid drinking any more water than I needed to. For part of the way up, [as well as on the return trip], I was very fortunate to have a long stretch of shade thanks to some fluffy white clouds that were passing through, which completely blocked out the sun. Nonetheless, the combination of lots of direct sunlight in triple digit temps had me blowing through my water very quickly, as I anticipated.

The summit views are absolutely beautiful and there is a lot to check out on the summit [historic structures, a helipad, radio towers, etc.]. There was a survey marker by the highpoint but I could not find a typical [notebook in jar/bottle-type] register; although there was a sign in sheet similar to the one I’d signed near the TH. The summit sign in book had a lot more names than the one at the TH, [and it was dated 2015-2016]; however with the exception of a party of 7 that selected ‘Camping’ for the activity, all of the 15 or so others to sign in had selected “Other” as the activity.

My descent was uneventful, minus a small scare about halfway down: it started with me wondering why I literally seemed to be sweating my pumpkin off. Granted it was very hot, but I’m not a big sweater; and despite triple digit temps, the amount I seemed to be sweating was definitely out of the norm for me... in fact, I hadn’t even sweat that much on the ascent… when my pumpkin got to the point where it felt like I just sat in a puddle, I frantically whipped off my daypack to check my water supply. I’d taken two vessels: a 1 gallon jug plus a 1 liter bottle. Although there were no obvious leaks/loss of water, it was obvious from the water on the inside bottom of my pack that there was a small leak. I transferred the water from the gallon jug to the 1 liter bottle that I had finished during the first few miles of the hike and then polished off the little bit that remained in the gallon jug. Despite having about 4 miles left and just 1 liter at this point, the little bit I’d polished off held me over until I was about 1/2 mile from my vehicle, at which point I drank half of my remaining liter.
10.2 mi • 3,380 ft aeg
 The positive's: I was able to move quickly, I have another desert summit under my belt, and I enjoyed some (overcast) views of features from Castle Dome to the Four Peaks, and a lot in between. I had the summit to myself, and it was very quiet, despite the road and evidence of it's popularity on weekends.

Negative's: I found the gray, drab and shrubby nature of the mountain to be unappealing, often ugly except for the Saguaros down low, and the overcast may have made this more so. I would have preferred a sunny day. It took forever to get to it, and I almost could have gone to the Kofa. There isn't much life out here, despite the pamphlet for mountain lion awareness. Very few birds, and this made the gray day seem that much more dead.

Conclusion: Compared to Big Horn which I want to hike again this season or in the Spring, I won't revisit this for a while. It isn't bad, but even though I enjoyed the summit, I feel there are better hikes that are easier to drive to.

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