Picket Post Mountain, Nov 2015

On Thanksgiving day my cousins and I took our kids on a hike up Picket Post Mtn just outside of Superior, AZ. It’s a 4.3 mile out and back trail with about 1900 ft of elevation gain. Most of that elevation gain is straight up the side of the mountain. The Arizona Trail runs through this area as well. There is a nice parking area with restrooms at the trailhead. 

Make sure you take plenty of water because you will need it, even in the cooler winter months. 

The trail starts easy enough through a creek and up a slight incline passed an old abandon mine.  Then you head upward toward the base of the mountain mostly along a ridge line. It’s just over a mile to the base of the mountain where the real fun starts. From here the trail goes nearly vertical for somewhere near a 1/2 mile. There’s at least 1500ft of elevation gain straight up the side of the mountain. The trail is vaguely marked as you switch back up the canyon to the top. We stayed in the main part of the canyon/crevice where you need to bush wack and climb over Boulder after Boulder. At this point you are using your whole body to navigate up the mountain. It’s very strenuous and fairly dangerous. We seemed to go about 100 yards at a time before we took a break to catch our breath and figure out the next section. The teenage boys nearly ran up the mountain without stopping. 

Once you summit you will walk about 300 yards across the top to get to the mailbox high point. There are such great views from here. There are actually great views the whole way, but the view from the top is so rewarding. Sign your name in the notebooks in the mailbox and soak it all in. It’s wonderful!!!!

The trip down is just as crazy as going up. We took the switchback trail to the right of the canyon/crevice on the way down. It seemed easier because you didn’t have to bush wack and Boulder, but you are much more exposed for a fall/slide/tumble that might take you down 100’s of feet before you hit a bush or Boulder to stop you. Your legs are burning to keep your balance and footing as you used so much energy to go up. 

The trip is awesome and worth every grunt and groan. We had a wide range of ages on the trip, so as long as you are in decent shape and not a scardy cat you should do fine. (But there’s no guarantee…….)

The pictures fail to capture the true size and steepness of the mountain. 

  
    
Here’s the canyon/crevice you navigate up.     
    
Phoenix metro area is just beyond that last mountain range. 

    
    
    
  

Everyone signing in and reading the entries from others. 

  
    
    
That’s Apache Leap and the town of Superior AZ in the distance. 

My cousin Chris and I. This was our second trip up the mountain.   

Me, my cousin Carrie and cousin Chris. 

 Happy Hiking and Stay Trout Tough!

Erik

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