Ascent of Apache Peak on 2018-07-01
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, July 1, 2018|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||7711 ft / 2350 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThough all of my limited sources, it appeared that there was a through route from AZ82 to AZ 83 that included passing by Apache Peak and FR 4589. I turned off of AZ82 and noticed a "No Outlet" sign. It was clearly wrong because there are some side "avenues" that hook into another road heading back to 82, but also I needed to go all the way through and decided to call the sign's bluff. I drove through what seemed to be someone's front yard and had to open a few gates with Game & Fish signs on them, just saying to keep the gates closed. There were also signs saying what hunting unit I was entering. The road was rough, with many loose cobbles and was just unpleasant. It was dark now and I was operating off of an old GPS that kept freezing and only had one of the roads in the area shown. I went down through washes and up the other side. It was about an hour and a half in my 2002 Outback until I turned onto the road that becomes FR4589 after a gate by a watertank. A water tank that I almost didn't make it to after a washed out part of the road tried to stop me. There was a steep pitch on the right mixed with a couple large rocks on the left and I had to rock old Gary on kittycorner wheels with momentum to get traction up the four foot hill. It surely wasn't good for my alignment. I eventually stopped on my approach when I thought I was stopped by a wash that was too deep and steep to make it through.
The next morning I found it was just my night eyes, and that the wash wasn't a big deal. I made it over another mile of rough road to the trailhead. But the fun was just beginning...
I began hiking on the use trail which had some low hanging obstructions and soon fizzled after five or ten minutes. I bushwhacked uncomfortably up the ridge to the south and topped out on a stout foothill. I followed the fence to the saddle, then started up the long trailless ridge towards Apache. A fence goes straight up this, and much like Fissure Peak, it's hard to tell which is the better side at times. It was a rough time, but I made it to the top of the peak I first noticed when building the Ocotillo Trail with a crew for an hour last fall at Kartchner Caverns State Park. I wasn't too excited about having to go back. It seemed to be going a bit easier, but I was looking at someone's GPS track and tought I would drop down the saddle and find a use trail along the wash back to my parking spot. This did not work at all and I ended up just dropping to the wash where the walking was easier. Near the car I had to figure out a way back up the side seeing as the end of FR 4589 is on a bit of a cliff over the wash. I was happy to finish this hike, but I knew the drive out wouldn't be fun either. I drove back out of the forest and then on toward Las Cienegas. There was a cool section where the road was just built on a ridgeline covered in Ocotillos that almost made driving out in the boonies worth it. I only had a quarter tank left of gas so I was getting a bit worried. I wasn't that many miles from a paved road, but I might have been a lot of time from one. I came into a powerline area and then entered Las Cienegas. Hilton Ranch Road, which I though was my was out from Coal Mine Rd was blocked off and closed in the preserve. I drove two miles back to the powerline (and had to open and close several gates), then headed north on that utility road to try to meet up with I-10. I came across a drop off that looked impossible to get back up with the Outback seeing as it was higher than my bumper and on a steep uphill curve. I had to back out and go back into Las Cienegas. Getting very frustrated, I got into the middle of the marsh and headed south. The road was good, but every time I got up to speed there was another gate to open. I think I opened and closed 25ish gates over my course of driving out (that does include some counted in both directions due to turning around). I eventually found a kiosk with a map and planned my way out. Eventually I got out on Empire Ranch Road and out to the AZ83. See!? I proved that there was an outlet. I just wished I picked the right road the first time around. I had driven a cumulative 4.5 hours without ever seeing another car. Was it worth it? Ehhhh... I'd probably go for a worse bushwhack from Kartchner or another trail in the area that skips the questionable drive. It'd be cheaper and maybe shorter in time off the pavement.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||2441 ft / 743 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||2441 ft / 743 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||4.1 mi / 6.5 km|
| Grade/Class:||Class 2|
| Quality:||2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Calm, Clear|
| Gain on way in:||2381 ft / 725 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 2311 ft / 705 m; Extra: 70 ft / 21m|
| Loss on way in:||70 ft / 21 m|
| Distance:||2 mi / 3.3 km|
| Start Trailhead:||FR 4589 Apache Canyon 5400 ft / 1645 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 8 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||2371 ft / 722 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 2311 ft / 705 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m|
| Gain on way out:||60 ft / 18 m|
| Distance:||2 mi / 3.3 km|
| End Trailhead:||FR 4589 Apache Canyon 5400 ft / 1645 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 5 Minutes|
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