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EXPLORING THE AREA - HIKING

La Paz County in Arizona is one of the best areas in the state to hike. The areas around the towns of Bouse, Parker and Quartzsite are rich with lakes, wildlife and scenic areas. Apart from those shown below CLICK HERE to view some other popular areas for Hiking.

HARQUAHALA MOUNTAIN

Harquahala Mountain hold both the distinctions of being South Western Arizona’s highest peak and La Paz County’s highest summit. This mountain rises about 3,360 feet from the desert floor. On a good day the views can be extraordinary.


GETTING THERE

Lat/Lon: 33.81280°N / 113.3489°W

From Salome, turn right onto Highway 60. The dirt road to the trail head is located on the south side of Highway 60 between mileposts 70 and 71. The road is rather inconspicuous, but is marked by a lone palm tree on the north side of the highway. There is nothing marking this road on the south side of the road so be sure to look for the palm tree. Turn south on this small & somewhat bumpy dirt road and drive through the gate. Immediately past the gate stay to the right, then remain to the left at any branches as you drive the remaining 2.1 miles to the end of the road. This is a high clearance road only.

WHEN TO HIKE

Summer months can be way to hot to consider this. Winter months are better, but prepare for it to be cold on top. Might have a little bit of snow near the summit in the winter. Best hiking months are probably November-April.

More Information ... CLICK HERE

 

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HARCUVAR PEAK

Harcuvar Peak is a major summit located in the Harcuvar Mountains of western Arizona, overlooking the towns of Wenden and Salome along US-60 in the McMullen Valley. The peak has an obvious anvil shape to it, its summit ridge appearing as a flattened top as viewed from below. It is one of two highly-prominent mountains in the Harcuvar Range. One must contend with rough desert tracks and steep, rocky slopes to attain this summit. However, the climbing is short and straight-forward, and the effort is well worth it.


GETTING THERE

Lat/Lon: 33.91640°N / 113.6408°W

Start in Wenden, Turn north onto Alamo Road, and zero the odometer at the railroad tracks. Go north 1.4 mile, then ease left (west) diagonally onto a road that soon fronts a canal. This road would be on the 71 1/2-alignment, but it is unmarked. On the topographical map, it is shown opposite a well at BM-1916.

Go west on this canal frontage road for 1.6 miles to where the farm fields end. Continue straight (west) another two miles to a fence corner at spot elevation 2027 on the topographical map. Another road meets this road coming from the south. Turn right and pass north through a gate. Beware that there may be a berm up to a foot high that needs to be driven over.

Drive north one mile to spot elevation 2089. Ignore other tracks that cross this road. Ease slightly left (northwest) and continue up the rough desert track. It comes to a 4-way intersection with another track just east of the Doland Mine. Go straight (slightly east) through this 4-way and park wherever you feel comfortable. The road drops into a canyon here and becomes very rough, nearly impassable. Up to here, high-clearance should be sufficient to handle the roads, 4-wheel drive a nice option. The roads are sandy in places. In wet weather, beware of mud especially near the farm fields.

More Information ... CLICK HERE

SMITH PEAK

Smith Peak is the highest point of the Harcuvar Mountains, which are located in northeast La Paz County, parallel to the Harquahala Mountains. The two ranges hem in the McMullen Valley and highway US-60, along with the small towns of Salome, Wenden and Aguila. A number of communications towers are located on the summit, and a newer gravel road goes all the way to the top. With a beefy vehicle, one can drive to the summit. However, the road makes a very nice wide "trail", and even parking below close to the desert flats, the round trip hike isn't too long, about 7 or 8 miles. It's a good workout hike, and a good chance to have a whole mountain to yourself. This is a rarely-visited peak, given its remote location.

GETTING THERE

Lat/Lon: 34.06500°N / 113.355°W

First, get to the town of Aguila. This tiny settlement (about 300 people) is located in extreme northwest Maricopa County. In Aguila, go north on Eagle Eye Road, the main dirt road north out of town. Go five miles to a T-intersection (now inside Yavapai County). Go left (west) and drive about 3 miles to a small handmade sign "Smith Pk" pointing to the road you need to turn onto. The next couple of miles as you drive northwest demands a little care. You are driving through a gravelly arroyo. As long as you keep a steady speed, you'll be fine. If you stop, there is a chance you may get stuck in the gravel.

Small passenger vehicles are not advised.
High clearance is preferred.
Four-wheel drive is nice to have if you plan to drive all the way to the top.

Once out of the gravel wash, stay on the main road, passing some stone ruins. The road bends a little more north, and you can see it wiggling up the mountainside. You will need to drop into and then out of a large drainage. This is where smaller vehicles will need to stop. Afterwards, the road steepens. There are a few pullouts along the way in case you want to stop mid-way up.

More Information ... CLICK HERE

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