Peacock Peak, Arizona, January 2021

On January 21 I drove out from Gonzales Canyon near Mohon Peak, over the Aquarius Mountains, and north on US 93. My goal this day was to climb Peacock Peak, the highpoint of the Peacock Mountains northeast of Kingman, Arizona. Peacock Peak is the 60th most prominent peak in Arizona with 2092 feet of topographic prominence. It also has 11.9 miles of isolation.

Nearing Peacock Peak from Jan Road
Nearing Peacock Peak from Jan Road

Just before entering Kingman from the east on I-40 I turned north onto Arizona Highway 66. Soon I turned off the highway, passed by the Mohave Airport, and drove north and east towards the Peacock Mountains over broad dirt roads. I passed through a broad area that appeared to be an abandoned residential development, someone’s dream of many years ago. It now consists of patches of abandoned vehicles and scattered old RVs.

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Mohon Peak, Arizona, January 2021

On Wednesday, January 20, I joined Michael Berry on a climb of Mohon Peak, a remote peak about 75 miles ESE of Kingman, Arizona. Mohon Peak, the highpoint of the Mohon Mountains, is the 64th most prominent peak in Arizona with 2059 feet of topographic prominence. Mohon Peak also has 34.1 miles of isolation, the distance to the nearest higher peak. The area is checkerboarded with private and public land, appearing to be used exclusively for cattle ranching.

Our first view of Mohon Peak from Bogles Ranch Road and the Aquarius Mountains
Our first view of Mohon Peak from Bogles Ranch Road and the Aquarius Mountains

Michael and I met Wednesday morning in the community of Wikieup, between Wickenburg and Kingman on US Hwy 93. It had rained hard the previous day and the skies were cloudy this morning. The weather report hopefully suggested the weather would improve by afternoon. We drove our two vehicles north on US 93, then turned east and drove on dirt and gravel roads over the Aquarius Mountains. We descended into an open valley of mesas and canyons. At mile 14 we finally saw Mohon Peak for the first time with fresh snow and rain showers in progress. At least we would learn the driving route if we had to abandon the climb.

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Greasewood Mountain, Arizona, January 2021

On Tuesday, January 5, I climbed Greasewood Mountain and Grease Benchmark in the southern Pinaleno Mountains just north of Willcox, Arizona. Greasewood Mountain is the 101st most prominent peak in Arizona with 1751 feet of prominence. Grease Benchmark is the subsidiary southwestern summit of this double-summited peak. I had driving waypoints from the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and the relevant topographic maps.

A morning view of Greasewood Mountain from the drive in from Willcox.
A morning view of Greasewood Mountain from the drive in from Willcox.

I left Tucson early in the morning and drove east on I-10 to Willcox. Taking the Fort Grant exit I headed north towards the peak. The road soon turned to gravel but was in good condition. The route took a gas line road, a powerline road, and finally entered Wood Canyon where the road deteriorated.

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Mount Hopkins, Arizona, December 2020

On Thursday, December 3, I hiked to the summit of Mount Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains of Southern Arizona. The Santa Rita mountains form the southern border of the Tucson basin. The highest peak of the range, Mount Wrightson, rises about 7000 feet above Tucson. It is accompanied to its west by lower Mount Hopkins. Both peaks are quite visible from bicycle routes in Tucson. I had hiked Mount Wrightson in March 2015, but had not yet visited Mount Hopkins. So it was past time to do so.

Mount Hopkins from the Super Trail (2015-03-10)
Mount Hopkins from the Super Trail (2015-03-10)
Mount Wrightson from the Agua Caliente Trail
Mount Wrightson from the Agua Caliente Trail

I drove to Madera Canyon and parked at the end of the road with access to several trails. I followed the Old Baldy, Vault Mine, and Agua Caliente Trails to a saddle below Mount Hopkins on its east side. It was quite windy and cool in the morning, but I was sheltered from most of the wind while climbing up the steep north side of the peak.

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