Arizona Summer suggestionPosted by Andy on February 2, 2023 at 9:17 pm
Just a thought about the Arizona Summer challenge: the southeastern part of the state has some worthy mountains to hike so it might be nice to see some of those sometime. Admittedly I’ve only done a couple of these myself, but for example:
Mt. Wrightson, Miller Peak, Carr Peak, Chiricahua Peak, Silver Peak, and Rincon Peak.
Don’t get me wrong, the hikes up north are all great ones and worthy of this challenge! I just think it would be great to offer a little variety in another part of the state too.
MemberFebruary 7, 2023 at 3:07 pm
Some more suggestions, getting into winter territory here as well.
Battleship (haven’t hiked this yet, but everyone I hear who has says it’s a classic.)
AdministratorFebruary 10, 2023 at 7:42 am
Thanks for the recommendations, Andy!
We are looking at expanding the peak lineup to give challengers and opportunity to pick their six peaks. We are planning a challenger survey for past and current AZ summer and winter challengers sometime in early March.
A few of the criteria we look for:
- Should allow following a trail (not an off-trail route)
- Physically challenging (highly variable due to individual fitness levels)
- Mainly Class 1, but can include some Class 2 or even Class 3
- Bonus points for unique features (geology, history, etc.)
- Trailhead does not require 4WD
We also try to incorporate a mix of the hikes that are on everyone’s “must hike” list and some obscure hikes that people may not have heard.
If you or anyone else has additional suggestions, let us know!
MemberFebruary 16, 2023 at 1:54 pm
Right on Jeff! Based on your comments, I’ll give some more info about the hikes I know about.
The scrambling might knock out Picketpost and Battleship. The latter I’ve heard has a decent amount of, and the former I can definitely say is locally well known for it. Battleship is also supposed to severely test someone’s fear of heights, similar actually to Angel’s Landing in Zion NP but without chains to hold onto. Vulture Peak has a decent scramble to reach the top as well of about 240 feet, but is otherwise a nice, challenging hike to consider.
I hold that Sunrise Peak checks off all the necessary boxes for consideration though. It’s challenging and long enough but not too much, though the last quarter mile to the top is very steep and care should be taken on that part. It’s not a scramble though.
The dirt road to Harquahala is rough, but I’m not sure I’d say 4×4 is an absolute necessity – plus it’s no more than 2 miles one way. But even if you’re not comfortable driving it, you could park just off the 60 and add about 3.5 to 4 miles round trip. However it’s already at least 10 miles as is, with over 3300 feet of elevation gain.
Wrightson is an underappreciated classic, and when I was thinking of SE Arizona hikes to mention, this is the one that made me want to think of six. It checks off every box, the roads are paved, no scrambling, a very challenging but very satisfying summit hike. I’m honestly amazed more people don’t hike it, and in some ways I like it better than Humphreys even!
Miller Peak is actually the only other one I suggest that I’ve done. It takes a dirt road to get there, but I don’t recall it requiring 4×4. There also wasn’t any scrambling while still being a solid challenge. If there’s one concern people might have, it starts very close to the border. However I didn’t see any suspicious looking activity the one time I did this one.
My understanding about Carr Peak is it may take 4×4 to get to. Rincon Peak is supposed to also take a few back roads to get to, but not sure about 4×4 being required. I think any vehicle can make the other two, and both Silver and Chiricahua Peaks aren’t supposed to have really any scrambling either I don’t think. I’m definitely hoping to knock out the latter sometime this year, and some of my friends are very interested in Carr Peak as well.
MemberFebruary 16, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Another one in Tucson to consider is Mt. Kimball, from Finger Rock Canyon. It’s tough to say if it’s more appropriate for winter or summer though. It tops out above 7000 feet and can have snow on top in the winter. But it starts at about 3000 feet, so it might be hot at that elevation in the summer. It’s 10 miles round trip, so combine that with 4000 feet of elevation gain (no scrambling) and all roads paved to get there, and you’ve got a great summit hike worthy of being in this challenge somewhere!
AdministratorMarch 9, 2023 at 3:46 pm
We just sent out a survey to all past and current Arizona challengers (either summer and/or winter). We’re asking for feedback on which peaks YOU would like to see added to the challenge. We’ve picked some “finalists” and now you get to vote.
We will announce the additions for the 2023 Arizona Summer challenge later this month.
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