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Best Desert Scrambles

List Created by Adam Walker. (List showing his ascents)

Showing Ben Baumann's most recent ascent dates for climbed peaks (16 out of 103, or 15.53%)

RankPeak Elev-Ft AscentsAscent Date
1.Organ Needle8980111 
2.Mount Holmes799839 
3.San Rafael Knob792142 
4.Cabezon Peak778548 
5.Baboquivari Peak77341832015-11-08
6.Florida Peak North746041 
7.George Benchmark728915 
8.Mollies Nipple727114 
9.Coronado Butte716219 
10.South Guardian Angel71401032016-10-31
11.Pinnacle #170108 
12.Bridge Mountain69883322016-10-29
13.Lady Mountain694544 
14.Bridge Mountain680314 
15.Mountain of the Sun672226 
16.Roof Peak655313 
17.The Watchman654522 
18.The Beehive64769 
19.Moapa Peak64711912015-05-16
20.Tabernacle Dome643015 
21.Bottleneck Peak64034 
22.Mexican Mountain63937 
23.Capitol Butte6355672020-12-24
24.Mitre Peak61901 
25.Johnson Mountain61067 
27.The Battleship585020 
28.Meadow Valley Mountains High Point577222 
29.Jumbo Peak576165 
30.Antelope Peak57225 
31.Mount Spry57205 
32.Carter Peak56885 
33.Loy Butte568018 
34.Elephant Butte565392 
35.Courthouse Butte545119 
36.Muddy Peak53871602015-04-04
37.Elephant Tusk52493 
37.Playground Peak52492 
39.Morning Glory Spire524026 
40.Pyramid Butte51631 
41.Ironview Peak502486 
42.Bat Mountain North495832 
43.Castle Tower488023 
44.Ten Ewe Mountain472045 
45.Sugarloaf Peak46609 
46.Sheep Hole Mountains High Point46132092015-03-11
47.Weavers Needle45531402015-11-07
48.Spectre Peak44822002016-12-29
49.Steel-cut Peak44064 
50.Pictograph Mountain421716 
51.Honey Nutt Peak41403 
52.Possible Mesa40457 
53.Iguana Peak40198 
54.Secret Pass Peak40074 
55.Palen Mountains High Point38481422016-04-28
56.Eagle Mountain38062052014-03-12
57.Peak 112436887 
58.Kelbaholt Peak368718 
59.Peak 358135811 
60.Mopah Point35301492016-12-28
61.Big Horn Peak348034 
62.Clifty Benchmark327316 
63.The Sentinel320934 
64.Kino Peak31971142017-04-11
65.Pinkley Peak314533 
66.Chalcedony Peak30544 
67.Little Maria Mountains High Point304218 
68.Valley of Fire Peak297238 
69.Stepladder Mountains29401322016-02-13
70.Hat Mountain28547 
71.Battleship Mountain279748 
72.Haystack Peak278324 
73.Travelers Peak2697982010-11-27
74.Dos Picachos26957 
75.Sawtooth Mountains Peak 261426149 
76.Cabeza Prieta Peak255913 
77.Tank Mountains High Point250614 
78.Crimson Staircase245416 
79.Misstep Peak24443 
80.Courthouse Mountain241310 
81.Peak 239223920 
82.The Orphan228016 
83.Peak 223622369 
84.Signal Mountain218214 
85.Lighthouse Peak206810 
86.Peak 205620567 
87.Mohawk Peak197513 
88.Peak 192019204 
88.Picacho Peak19201652017-04-10
90.Peak 189418946 
91.Peak 1860186010 
92.Honkidori Benchmark18026 
93.Palo Verde Peak176030 
94.Gold Dome174010 
95.Klothos Temple166516 
96.Mecca Hill Benchmark164214 
97.Peak 156915692 
98.Little Picacho Benchmark153823 
99.Shangri La Butte152012 
100.Havasuper Peak146011 
101.Muggins Peak142413 
102.Thumb Peak137520 
103.Peak 114411445 

Front Runners List: Click to see list completion progress by climbers that log their climbs using

Multiple Ascents Grid: Click for a grid showing all of Ben Baumann's ascents of peaks on this list (including up to 10 rounds of repeats).

Compare Climbers: Click to compare ascents of up to 5 climbers working on this list.

List Description

This is a selection of the most fun scrambles and scenic routes in the desert southwest. Most peaks are rated YDS class 3, but a couple are briefly 5th class. The list is a work in progress and will be formally published when we are finished with our considerations.

What makes a desert peak fun is subjective, but the aim here was to seek out and identify exceptional scrambling and route-finding puzzles, while dismissing peaks with excessive loose rock, bushwhacking, and boulder-hopping. Obscurity and isolated settings were also highly prized. All peaks have at least 300 feet of prominence.

The list was a joint project by Stavros Basis, Adam Walker, Matthias Stender, Richard Carey, Andy Martin, Sam Grant, Steven Song, and Matt Lemke.

If you're looking for some harder objectives, check out my Desert Towers list.


Map Showing Location of Peaks

 = Peaks climbed by Ben Baumann   = Unclimbed peaks

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