Picketpost Mountain, 2001

  Picketpost Mt.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Picketpost Mountain  is a flat-topped, 4375-foot peak near the town of Superior, Arizona, approximately 60 miles east of Phoenix. The mountain in itself is rather spectacular even viewed from the desert floor. It appears to travellers passing on nearby US 60 as a massive, blocky peak that stands out for its immenseness and rugged desert beauty.

Rising nearly 2000' above the desert floor, this central Arizona mountain offers startling views to anyone who is hardy enough to tackle the rugged trail to its summit. This is not an official Forest Service trail.... some scrambling and route finding ability is required. For the first 3/4 mile, the trail follows abandoned dirt roads to an old mine and the actual signed trailhead. Beyond that, a well-marked route ascends the rugged western face, generally following a gully up the mountain's midsection.

Start of trail
Start of the trail
Abandoned Mine
An abandoned mine
West Face
Climbing the west face

Variations of the route feature slippery gravel, polished slick-rock and large chockstones. To complicate matters, pristine Sonoran vegetation is well represented in this region, including an abundance of the scary, dagger-like agave. A healthy dose of caution is required to safely navigate the route both when ascending and descending the mountain.

Dave surveys the route
Pristine cacti
Summit Plateau
The summit plateau

Views from the summit are 360° and include Four Peaks, the Sierra Anchas, the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains, and many peaks in the Superstition Wilderness, including Weavers Needle, Iron Mountain and Mound Mountain. Also perched on the summit is an old mailbox that was transplanted from Washington in 1994. An inscription engraved inside the mailbox indicates that the box was once run over by a John Deere tractor and a 1978 Chevy, and hopes that the mailbox will be safer on top of Picketpost Mountain.

Picketpost summit
The mailbox
Cindy checks mail

We spent an hour on top of the mountain relaxing and enjoying the fine views, before carefully picking our way back down the trail.

Cindy enjoys the view
Nearby town of Superior
Relaxing at the summit

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