Harquahala Mountain Trail

Aguila, Arizona 85320

Harquahala Mountain Trail

Harquahala Mountain Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A challenging hike in the seldom visited Harquahala Mountain Wilderness. Although it is possible to drive to the summit from the south on a poor, 10.5-mile-long four-wheel-drive road, the hike is well worth the effort, good for the heart, and easier on your vehicle. The foot trail doesn’t waste any time while climbing. The last 0.75 mile ascends more than 1,400 feet! Take your time and enjoy the views.

Although it is possible to drive to the summit from the
south on a poor, 10.5-mile-long four-wheel-drive road, the hike is well worth the effort, good for the heart, and easier on your vehicle. The foot trail doesn’t waste any time while climbing. The last 0.75 mile ascends more than 1,400 feet! Take your time and enjoy the views. In 1920 the Smithsonian Institution built an astrophysical observatory here to study the effects of sun activity on the earth’s climate."

More Harquahala Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Harquahala Mountain summit path might seem easy since you and your dog begin by padding along an old mule trail, but with 3290 feet of elevation gain and a rocky trail surface, it is a true challenge. Plan to start early, pack in lots of water, and be confident of your dog’s conditioning before setting out.

As always, when visiting fragile desert environments, pick up after your dog. Leashes are not required here as long as your dog responds unfailingly to voice commands, but keep the leash handy as a courtesy to other trail users you may encounter. The summit is accessible by another route, and it is there that you will likely meet other visitors."

"At 5681 feet, Harquahala Peak is the tallest mountain in southwestern Arizona, and indeed its hulk strikes an impressive profile from miles around. Its geographical stature also made it the ideal spot to locate an early-day observatory. Completed in 1920, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory provided scientists the opportunity to study solar activity.

Today the observatory is just a cluster of abandoned buildings, but they nevertheless grace a visit to the summit. Although the top is accessed by a four-wheel-drive road, the 5.5-mile Harquahala Pack Trail—the primary nonmotorized access route to the observatory—offers hikers a highly scenic alternative to bouncing up the steep, rugged road."

Harquahala Mountain Trail Reviews

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2/11/2010
Perhaps it's just me, but I lost this trail after about 2 miles. I tried every which way to no avail. When I returned, I read all the alternative descriptions of the trail and noticed they all gave a slightly different description of how to find the trailhead. I turned off Hwy 60 just before MM 72, and traveled about 2 miles on a VERY rough road (had to walk the last 0.2 miles). There was a wilderness sign at the entry point, so I believe I was at the right place. At a minimum, take a gps.
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Trail Information

Aguila
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
12
Distance
3,290 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Day hike
Duration
Best October to April
Season
2,500 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,900 feet
Top Elevation
Phoenix Field Office BLM
Local Contacts
USGS Socorro Peak, Harquahala Mountain
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018