Ascent of Childs Mountain on 2014-11-08

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Saturday, November 8, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Childs Mountain
    Elevation:2890 ft / 880 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked at the locked gate about three miles west of Hwy 85, and walked the road to the top, about a four-mile one-way walk, 1,100 feet of gain.

The highest rock (to me) was abutting the fence near the big FAA radar dome structure. Getting to it took some figuring; I walked the long way around the buildings then up the rocky slope to tag it.

Peak lies within the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. As such, you need a permit to hike this peak legally. Permits can be obtained from the BLM offices in Phoenix.

It is my understanding, after talking with the Cabeza Prieta people in Ajo, that hiking the road is allowed, after years when it apparently was not.

Once a month during the cooler months, the Cabeza Prieta rangers will open the gate and allow cars to drive to the top (following a leader car). The road is in poor shape in sections, and steep, but most vehicles should be able to handle it. However, they apparently lead you to the middle summit, elevation 2846 feet, the one north of the big FAA radar dome.

Thus, it is still kind of murky whether access to the true summit is technically allowed. If you hike the road, there are no signs or gates that bar one from the road to the true summit, and the buildings are enclosed with fencing and barb wire. There is no need to venture inside the fencing, and the signs there warn one against tampering with radar domes (as if that's possible), but nothing explicitly says to keep away. If you go, be a good citizen and leave no trace of your presence.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1210 ft / 368 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Trailhead:1680 ft / 512 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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