Harquahala Peak 4489, Arizona, January 2022

On Sunday, January 16, I left the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct below Big Horn Peak and followed the Salome and Eagle Eye Roads north to climb an unnamed peak at the northern end of the Harquahala Mountains. This peak, Harquahala Peak 4489, has 1689 feet of prominence, making it the 110th most prominent peak in Arizona.

Harquahala Peak 4489 from Eagle Eye Road, the east ridge rises from right to left
Harquahala Peak 4489 from Eagle Eye Road, the east ridge rises from right to left

As I approached Harquahala Peak 4489 from the south I got good views of its long east ridge, my planned route to the summit. I expected a straightforward and scenic climb.

The east ridge of Harquahala Peak 4489 from my drive in
The east ridge of Harquahala Peak 4489 from my drive in

I turned south off Eagle Eye Road onto a dirt road beneath power lines, then followed another road towards the peak. This road soon passed through an unlocked gate and from there I drove to a good parking spot.

I chose to climb the slope ahead in this view to gain the east ridge
I chose to climb the slope ahead in this view to gain the east ridge

From there I followed a Jeep road further on foot past rock ruins and hiked across the desert to the base of the east ridge.

My ascent slope leading to the east ridge
My ascent slope leading to the east ridge
The summit of Harquahala Peak 4489 lies ahead
The summit of Harquahala Peak 4489 lies ahead

I chose my route up a steep slope to gain the east ridge, which I followed over false summits to the true summit of Harquahala Peak 4489. This was a pleasant ridge hike, open with firm footing.

Harquahala Mountain to the southwest from Harquahala Peak 4489
Harquahala Mountain to the southwest from Harquahala Peak 4489

It was a clear day and I enjoyed the views of many prominent peaks in all directions around me. I took photos, added my name to the summit registry, and had lunch.

On my hike out I paused at and admired the stone ruins
On my hike out I paused at and admired the stone ruins

I descended the same route back to my Jeep, lingering a bit at the ruins. These stone structures appeared to be the remains of homesteader homes. They surely hold many memories of earlier times. I was impressed with the work needed to build them, wondered what they looked like in their prime, and who lived here.

Eagletail Mountains

Eagletail Peak, the highpoint of the Eagletail Mountains
Eagletail Peak, the highpoint of the Eagletail Mountains

I drove out to the Eagle Eye Road, headed south, and followed Centennial road west towards the Eagletail Mountains. I found a remote campsite to the north of Eagletail Peak, the highpoint of the mountains, and enjoyed a quiet night. The next morning I explored access to Eagletail Peak. Someday, if I feel prepared, I may join others and attempt to climb it.

About Paul McClellan

I had the good fortune to have spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, where I discovered the joys and addiction of hiking and climbing in the Cascade Range and other mountain ranges in the Western United States.
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