Harquahala Peak Trail
ElevationAscent: 3,333' 1,016 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 5,661' 1,725 m
Low: 2,327' 709 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)
“Take a step back in time and follow the original supply route to the Smithsonian Observatory located on the summit.”— Colin Pollock
Getting to the trailhead is tricky. Look for the sign on the south side of Highway 60 between mileposts 70 and 71. Be sure to close the gate behind you. Be prepared to get some Arizona pinstriping on your vehicle for the 2 mile drive. If this is not your thing, you could ride a mountain bike up the dirt road and lock it to the fence at the trailhead.
If you start early enough in the day, you can enjoy copious amounts of shade. In April, I start at 7 AM and about 80% of the route is protected from the hot sun.
The trail itself is for the most part obvious and easy to follow. Beware catclaw bushes along the trail. You may consider wearing pants to protect your legs.
Find your pace on the straight and relatively flat first mile. Wander past the base camp area where the Smithsonian Institute used to shuttle supplies to the summit. At about 3 miles, you'll cross the creek bottom and begin a series of switchbacks. You'll eventually climb up to a saddle on the mountain at around the 5 mile mark. From there, you can finally see your destination on the summit, which is about another 20-25 minutes of climbing. Pack a lunch and picnic at one of the benches or tables on the summit. Enjoy the view!
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Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes
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Land Manager: BLM Arizona - Hassayampa Field Office