This route follows a series of west-trending ridges that lead directly to the summit and completely bypasses the multitude of cliffs. Overall the climbing is easy, albeit brushy with loose unseen rocks.
Western Ridges as seen from the corral at Bobs Flat
On US-70 in the city of Pima, about 8 miles west of Safford, take Main Street North to Bryce, then Black Point Road north for 6.7 miles to an intersection at N 33.0027, W 109.763 (this is the only possible confusing turn on the drive in). Go right and drive another 3.7 miles easterly into the foothills. Make a left just before a gate and corral at Bobs Flat. Park at the corral since the gate may be shut if you drive in past it. This is apparently part of the Bryce Mountain Ranch. However, the road to here appears to be public the entire way.
(Refer to the annotated map provided on this page)
The hike breaks into three easy sections:
1: Aim for a saddle at 5,820 feet on the west ridge, just east of Pt. 5,940. Try to climb up the "correct" slope, otherwise you may get hemmed in by drainages. We went too far west at first and had to traverse, but it wasn't too nasty. The final 200 feet to the ridge here can be messy and sloppy.
2. Now head ENE to Point 6,778 up easy open slopes. As you approach Pt. 6,778, bear right slightly and find a trail of sorts about 150 feet below the ridge line. Follow this trail east to a broad meadow at a saddle directly below Bryce's Summit.
3. Aim now for a high saddle just north of Bryce Mountain, then turn south and up to the top. And that's that!
As a variation, consider ascending or descending via the canyon (orange color on the map)
Long everything: shirt, pants, good boots, gloves. This is brush/cactus central. Beware snakes in warmer weather. I found a hiking pole to be very useful.
Meadow below the summit
External LinksNov 22, 2008 Trip Report
Canyon ascent/descent alernative route