Where is it: In the Tonto National Forest and in the greater Mazatzal Mountains.
How do you get there: About 38.3 miles past the intersection of Shea Blvd. and SR 87 Beeline Hwy. about 2/3 of the way to Payson, AZ. TH Coordinates: 33.9601, -111.39841
Lists of John link: http://listsofjohn.com/peak/17292
What kind of hike is it: Instead of an out and back, its an up and down. There are likely some limited connecting routes out here as well and opportunities for backpacking/overnights.
How long is it: ~15.50 miles from the Slate Creek TH to the summit and back down. (RT)
Accumulated Elevation Gain: ~4100 ft.
What trails are involved: A couple of Forest Roads. You’d have to be the worst navigator ever to get lost here…
How long will it take: Between 5.5 hours and 7 hours depending on your speed
Is it scary: Not in the least. This is Class 1 trail (road walk) the entire way to the summit.
What animals might you see: Coyote, mountain lion, mule deer, elk, Arizona black rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Gila monster, white tail deer, human hunters
Do I need water: Always as there are not really any water sources close by the trail. Bring at least 3.5L.
Who will like this hike: This may very well be the easiest 7128 foot mountain in the world to climb. It’s a good opportunity for a beginner to get their first ‘tall mountain’ exposure. You don’t need ANY navigational skills to reach the summit.
For more info: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1640
Hiking Jason rating: 4 hiking boots out of 5
This is probably the easiest tall mountain in Arizona. It very well may be your first introduction to a ‘big mountain’ and its perfect for beginners that want to begin some elevation goals. Very likely, for many, this may be the tallest mountain they’ve ever climbed. The trail begins just off of the Beeline Hwy at Slate Creek. While there are some nice views on the way up, the best views are from the summit. This hike is what I like to call an achievement hike. Meaning that the purpose of this hike is to teach yourself that you belong on big mountains, that you really can do 4000+ AEG in one day, and that you can hike nearly 16 miles. Trust me, YOU can do this hike.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be super excited about a hike that consists of ONLY a jeep road for the entire length of it. But its pretty along the hike, there are some great views of the Mazatzal Mountains and you’ll be excited to be on a big mountain. And Ord is a BIG mountain. It seems MUCH taller than it really is from the trailhead. It LOOKS 10,000 feet, but its very deceptive. There are tons of shady spots along the way to have lunch or take a break.
This hike is a confidence building hike. It may be good preparation for you for climbing taller mountains in Flagstaff, the White Mountains, etc.
I highly recommend that you check out this hike.
Let me know what you think!