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Cabeza BM - High Point - 2 members in 2 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 12 2022
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 Guides 18
 Routes 71
 Photos 466
 Triplogs 50

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Cabeza BM - High PointSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2022
GrangerGuyTriplogs 50
Hiking13.00 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   8 Hrs   5 Mns   2.48 mph
1,900 ft AEG   2 Hrs   50 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Partners none no partners
Before I left on this adventure, I reread the first chapter of The Secret Knowledge of Water by Craig Childs. He describes the Cabeza Prieta in fascinating and very personal detail. It was excellent preparation for this walk. In addition, I registered for my Barry Goldwater Range Permit, and checked in the night before.

It is a long drive across the Barry Goldwater in the dark. Although the road is usually excellent, at times 4WD was of great help in the sand. I am including a hand mapped GPS route of the drive that I followed on the way in. It is accurate. My recorded track of the drive failed.

I departed the car at the wilderness boundary at 7:45 AM. Travel on the road is very quick. The road is extensively driven by border patrol agents. While it detracts from the wilderness experience, it makes the route in exceptionally easy to follow.

There is evidence of lots of wildlife. I never got close enough to see what the flocks of birds were, but they startled me repeatedly when they would all fly up together. Lots of bird tracks, coyote tracks, and javelina tracks in the road. I was unsuccessful in stalking a javelina that crossed my path. Higher up, especially in the canyon to the peak, there are lots of bighorn droppings. This refuge is primarily to protect the population of bighorn.

Leaving the wash, I had a little trouble finding the right canyon to climb up. Sloppy navigation on my part. The correct canyon is an easy walk/scramble. It is like a rugged stairway. Not overgrown and not many tall waterfalls that must be gotten around.

My turnaround time arrived before I reached the summit. I was about 500’ and more or less an hour short of it. It was too bad, but the canyon is quite beautiful and worth the climb. The round trip is nearly 14 miles, as it turns out, right at the limit of a one-day journey for me. The climb down is not difficult, but you do have to watch out for large rocks that shift under your weight. Mostly it was a straightforward walk alternately following sheep paths and the rugged stairway.

Once down on the bajada, I followed a beeline shown in the official route, and then followed the CBP jeep tracks all the way back to my car. A gentle breeze mitigated the unseasonable 80°+ temps in the flats. I would rate this hike higher, but the 5-mile approach is tedious, while the climb is beautiful.
Dec 20 2019
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 Guides 64
 Routes 68
 Photos 8,882
 Triplogs 2,007

43 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Marana, AZ
Cabeza BM - High PointSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2019
Jim_HTriplogs 2,007
Hiking13.00 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   7 Hrs   50 Mns   1.86 mph
1,900 ft AEG      50 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The winter sunshine and clear, dry air have been fantastic for hiking and visibility lately. Down here, the air doesn't turn smoggy after a few days, so it remains clear. Perfect conditions for hiking and enjoying a winter summit. Though I do generally prefer warmer spring days and nights, and longer days.

The drive in and out went smoothly, just deep sand but the Outback takes it well.

Camping at the TH both nights was clear and cold, and also incredibly still and silent. Listening to the blood flow through your ears silent. Pretty much that quiet before sunset, too. It started warm for the winter solstice, low 60s, but dropped both nights into the middle and lower 30s. Not a fan. I come to hike, not party or socialize, so I skip fires when I camp and was in bed by 6 PM both nights. More due to cold than sleeping. Stars are impressive out here, but the light pools from cities to the east and northwest are very obtrusive. My guess is Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The hike went very smooth. The 2-track and desert crossing was easy, wide open views. A party that peaked and registered on 12/10 left tracks that increased confidence, even when not needed. They also left a gallon catch of water that I removed and have since consumed. Thanks. I cracked the seal, so it was safe. It was also placed on top of new, green seedlings from the recent rain.

In the wash travel was easy. I climbed some hills and benches to view the south ridge and cliffs. Determining which canyon to enter is pretty simple. I was aided by my printed map with a GPS route. Thanks, internet!

Once in the deep canyon, it was a very simple scramble to the top. I was shocked and upset to have cell service. Back in 1965, when the peak register was placed by the Desert Peaks Chapter of the Sierra Club that would have been unthinkable.

Views were great and very clear. Sea of Cortez, 2 active dune fields, lots of attractive recognizable summits and ranges. Well worth the trip and very enjoyable.
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Granite
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Benchmark
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average hiking speed 2.17 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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