Arizona Lookout Towers, November 2019

In November I visited four lookout towers located on Arizona peaks of interest to me. The autumn had been dry so far, but I expected winter rain and snow to arrive soon and I wanted to visit the peaks before then. I was fortunate to have excellent weather for hiking and camping and the roads were dry. It was a fun and productive trip and I expect to return some day for a few more peaks in the same area.

Hutch Mountain

My Jeep parked at the locked gate below the Hutch Mountain Lookout
My Jeep parked at the locked gate below the Hutch Mountain Lookout

On Thursday, November 14, I drove from Tucson most of the way up Hutch Mountain to a locked gate at a saddle. From there I walked a short distance beyond the gate to the west summit and its lookout tower.

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Mickey Butte, Oregon, September 2019

On Saturday, September 21, I drove to Mickey Hot Springs, just north of the Alvord Desert east of Steens Mountain. Mickey Butte has only 6294 feet of elevation, but is the 80th most prominent peak in Oregon with 1934 feet of clean topographic prominence.

My first view of Mickey Butte from the East Steens Road south of Oregon Highway 78.
My first view of Mickey Butte from the East Steens Road south of Oregon Highway 78.
The "quiet pool" with Mickey Butte in the center distance
The “quiet pool” with Mickey Butte in the center distance

Saturday afternoon I met Michael and John for a climb of Mickey Butte the next day. This is a rather remote area and I was glad to have a couple of experienced and capable peakbaggers with me.

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Cougar Pond Southeast Peak, Oregon, August 2019

On Friday, August 23, Linda and I drove up Pine Creek Road on the east side of the Elkhorn Mountains of northeast Oregon. My intent was to hike Cougar Pond Southeast Peak, an unofficially named peak in the nearby Elkhorn Mountains. Linda’s intent was to ride her mountain bike back to our campsite in the Baker Valley, then ride her road bike on a loop out of camp. It had been four years since I last drove this steep, rocky, and narrow road. I was glad to have my high-clearance, 4WD Jeep.

Linda prepares to descend the steep, rocky, and narrow road on her bike
Linda prepares to descend the steep, rocky, and narrow road on her bike

Linda wondered why I had suggested she ride down on such a treacherous road. The previous day I had thought she would enjoy exploring this nearby part of the Elkhorn Mountains but this morning I wondered whether I had made a such a good suggestion.

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Broken Top South Peak, Oregon, August 2019

On Sunday, August 4, I hiked and scrambled up Broken Top South Peak in Central Oregon’s Cascade Range. This is the obvious, but not officially named peak 0.34 mile south of the actual summit of Broken Top. It has 454 feet of clean prominence and 9094 feet of elevation. It is most easily accessible from the Broken Top Trailhead which requires a high clearance vehicle to reach.

Broken Top from the southeast. The Broken Top summit lies beyond the Crook Glacier.
Broken Top from the southeast. The Broken Top summit lies beyond the Crook Glacier.

The Broken Top Trailhead is very popular since it provides access to the scenic “No Name Lake” below the east face of Broken Top. The parking spaces at the trailhead were full when I arrived, but I found parking beside the road nearby.

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