Harquahala Mountain, April 2012

Headed out with some folks to explore some of the area west of Phoenix, ran the Big Horn Mountains trail and then on up to Harquahala Mountain. We started in Tonopah, heading west on Indian School a few miles then heading off north on an unmarked track that took us under the I10. From there it follows power lines for a few miles before crossing into Humingbird Springs Wilderness Area. You’re restricted to the main road here (never mind the cattle tearing the land), but it’s a sceneic, mellow ride. We searched a bit for Black Rock mine which one of the group recommended but were unable to find it. After having lunch up near Big Horn mine, we worked our way up to Eagle Eye road.

We continued on up to the mountain – the staging area is about 4-5 miles down the road. It’s not a difficult trail at all, but very steep shelf road on the last 3rd and low-range is a definite must coming down. Had great views and dramatic weather up there with the wind whipping around and snow flurries coming down. We walked around the old Smithsonian solar observatory, disappointed to find all the placards removed though.

There are a bunch of microwave arrays up there and solar powering them – apparently the microwave gear is for controlling the various canals in the area.

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