Ascent of Black Mountain on 2017-02-22

Climber: Paul McClellan

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Black Mountain
    Elevation:5587 ft / 1702 m

Ascent Trip Report

Driving Directions from Tucson:

Drive NE on AZ Hwy 77 towards Oracle, passing AZ Hwy 79 to your left.
Turn north onto Willow Springs Road just south of MP 96.
Zero your odometer.
00.0 Drive north on Willow Springs Road.
06.6 Pass under the Willow Springs Ranch arch.
09.5 Continue Straight (road to left).
09.6 Continue Straight on Willow Springs Road (Willow Springs Drive is to the right).
11.2 Pass under a power line. Stay on the main road for the next two miles.
12.3 Continue Straight (minor road to right).
12.7 Continue Straight (minor road to left).
13.0 Continue Straight (minor road to right).
14.3 Turn Left onto American Tower Road (not marked by name).
** This road is posted as Private Property (no hunting or trespassing) - see the note below.
15.1 Enter Arizona State Trust Land through an unlocked gate.
15.2 Turn Right at a Y junction towards Jewel Well.
15.3 Pass a corral on your right.
15.4 Parked near a water tank (no camping within 1/4 mile).


I hiked northwest up the facing ridge to reach Point 5327, then continued along the ridge north, then west, and up the east face of the upper mountain. The slopes were quite brushy. Staying near the ridge tops and following occasional cattle tracks helped avoid some brush. Come prepared for a lot of catclaw (long pants and sleeves and thick gloves). The summit views of distant mountains were excellent in all directions.


As I drove out of the Arizona State Trust Land through the unlocked gate and entered private property a ranch hand happened to drive up. He asked me what I was doing and said I was on a private road. I explained that I was a hiker, had just hiked Black Mountain, and I thought the road was an easement. The ranch hand said I was traveling on a private road, not an easement, and the owner did not want people traveling the road - hence the signs. The ranch hand was not overbearing and explained the owner was not so concerned about hikers, but was most upset about hordes of hunters during hunting season swarming over the land, leaving trash, and generally showing disrespect for the property. So be advised that the driving directions above include traveling 0.8 miles each way over a private road where you may not be welcome.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1227 ft / 373 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1227 ft / 373 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.7 mi / 7.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1127 ft / 343 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1027 ft / 313 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:East Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Water Tank near Jewel Well  4560 ft / 1389 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1127 ft / 343 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1027 ft / 313 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Route:East Ridge
    End Trailhead:Water Tank near Jewel Well  4560 ft / 1389 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Paul McClellan
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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