Ascent of Apache Peak on 2018-07-01

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 1, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Apache Peak
    Elevation:7711 ft / 2350 m

Ascent Trip Report

Though 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
Ascent Statistics
    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
Descent Statistics
    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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