Navajo Mountain, Rainbow Bridge, Mount Humphreys, Weavers Needle, Baboquivari Peak, Picacho Peak


By: Roy Ward



After the South Guardian Angel trip we decided to do a little more climbing. First there was Navajo Mtn., then on to Rainbow Bridge. South on the Navajo Community road approximately 6 miles, there is a road to the east, a church on the east, an oil tank on the west, signs indicating a branding corral and trade school, pass these and stay on the main road until you pass a conical dome on your right. A sign showing Rainbow Bridge is to the right. Pick a road and hope it's right. After about 2 miles of bad road and you come to the ruins of the old Rainbow Lodge. Between the upper and lower ruins there is a ducked trail going to Rainbow Bridge. There is water about 7 miles down Cliff Canyon. Just below Elephant Rock is a good camping area. Going on down the canyon as you come to a large arch, the trail turns left up over Redbud Pass and then into Bridge Canyon and on to the Bridge. The Bridge can be climbed by crossing the creek below the Bridge and up the slopes and back to the Bridge. A rope should be used to lower one down to the Bridge, there are also holes cut in the rock to use in climbing. Next we climbed Mt. Humphreys, which is no route finding problem.

Then on to Superstition Mtn. and Weaver's Needle, Superstition Mtn. is reached by driving approximately 6 miles SE of Apache Junction, Ariz, on US 60-70, Turn left on the Kings Ranch Road (paved), road forks, paving ends (Apache Land is on the right). Keep left, cross cattle guard and turn right, stay on main road to its end. Private property bars further car travel, There is a gate at road- end. Go thru gate, follow old road which becomes a trail into Hieroglyphic Canyon. South of Hieroglyphic Spring is a balanced rock, go to the right of the rock and follow the ridge to the summit.

Weaver's Needle is reached by going south of the Kings Ranch Road about 1 1/14 miles to the Peralta Camp Road. Follow this road to its end and use the map to find proper trail to the east side of Weaver's Needle. Climb up the saddle and on up to the peak. We used two 150' ropes to rappel down the west side, which is much steeper.

Next we climbed Baboquivari. This is difficult to find because the roads are not like the map. Presuming you are going east on the Ajo-Tucson Hwy., turn right into Sells, Ariz. At 0.7 miles the road curves left to town, go straight ahead (right) toward San Miguel (no sign). At 7.8 miles there is a school at a small sign on the left, San Solano Mission School. Go straight for 1.3 miles, where a good wide dirt road turns left. Turn left on this road and go 7.4 miles. Where the main road curves left and a small road goes straight ahead, there are 3 faded signs reading Baboquivari and a ranger cabin to the right. Take the right hand road or most traveled road, at 0.9 mile take the right fork, at 0.5 mile another right fork, at 1.8 miles take left fork over the cattle guard, at 0.6 mile take right fork, at 1.0 mile take the right fork 0.2 mile to the unmarked campground. Leave the camp via the east end by the steel water tanks and walk up the trail about 500 yards past a stone water tank. 200 yds. past this tank turn right and follow the main trail high up, around and under the ridge to the south. There is a fourth class pitch near the summit. A rope is required to rappel down off the face under the remains of old wooden stairs. There are many cattle trails in and around the camp so it is very easy to get mixed up.

On the way home we climbed Little Picacho. A very nice trip.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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