Grassy Placer Peak summit area
This gentle little stroll takes in two Sierrita summits, UN 6180 (un-named but ranked) and Placer Peak (named but un-ranked). The route leverages area dirt roads for mostly easy going. The off-trail segments are minor and in good visibility (which is common in these parts), any hiker with a map and common sense should be able to reach both of these summits easily.
Note that none of these dirt roads are signed/named, thus the “down home” directions.
1,430 feet net gain | 1,570 feet cumulative gain
2 (due to minor off-trail segments)
Rocky path toward UN 6180
From the east is via McGee Ranch Road.
From I-19, take exit #75 (Helmet Peak Road, Sahuarita Road). Take Helmet Peak Road west for approximately 5 miles. Turn left on Mission Road. You will reach a locked ranch gate at a water tower about 4.5 miles west of Mission Road. Parking is available around the water tower.
• From the parking near the water tower, head west-southwest on the main ranch road.
• Shortly after passing the ranch tank on your right (this is a pond, not a metal structure), a road forks to the right. Continue straight on the main road.
• After weaving in and out of two coves (the second of which contains an old cabin), at approximately 2.75 miles, reach the low saddle between UN 6180 and Placer Peak.
UN 6180 path up
• From this point, UN 6180 requires .45 mile of travel (.9 mile round-trip) and 330 feet of elevation gain to reach the summit.
• From the main road, ascend a north-west trending rough road (resembling a 2-rut ATV trail) near the summit. A short, faint spur will take you through the grass to the top of the peak.
UN 6180 path down
Placer Peak Side-Hilling
• The summit of Placer Peak is .3 mile away (.6 mile roundtrip) and requires 140 feet of gain.
• From the main road, a cow trail (literally!) hugs the southwest side of the ridge. Eventually, you’ll need to depart the traversing cow path to more directly ascend the slopes of the peak to the summit.
Return to the saddle and descend off the northeast side of the saddle on the main road to return to the parking area.
Cow trail to Placer Peak
Standard hiking gear appropriate to the season, comfortable hiking shoes and a lot of water should be sufficient. Many will enjoy the security of trekking poles on some of the steeper, rockier and ball-bearing coated slopes and road surfaces, particularly the southeast ridge of UN 6180.