“This is a short but very intense route with two sections of scrambling involved.”
— Niall Murphy
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Safford Peak sits along the northern edge of Saguaro National Park and provides us with 0.7 miles of fairly easy running followed by one additional mile of elevation gain with two sections of scrambling.
Need to Know
This route is exposed to the sun and requires some basic route-finding skills. Come prepared, and the route is a blast!
Though the first .7 miles of the route are great for running, the portion that follows will often slow your pace to a jog.
Don't let your experience along Scenic Trail
make you think that this will be an easy summit. This short route provides many challenges from a slightly rocky first ascent on Safford Peak Trail
that will bring you to the first saddle. From here, you'll continue to gain elevation along the northeast side of the mountain until you are looking up at a large rock wall on the east side. At this point, you'll have reached the section of the trail that will circumnavigate you around to the west side of Safford Peak for two more sections of ascending.
Once you reach the west side, you'll notice a very dry, dusty, and rocky mountain face where it is possible to lose the trail. Pay close attention to a few key saguaros that you can use as a reference along your descent. Once you reach the highest saddle, you'll encounter one last section of the journey where you'll need to scramble down a slope and then back up to the highest point on the south side.
There is an old ammo box with a log up here. Be sure to treat the log with care as many people just turn it into a scribble pad.