The area is closed for red squirrel habitat but aside from some chittering lower on the slopes there was nothing but birds up above in the burnt out forest. The summit area has excellent views once you get a couple hundred feet in any direction. I bagged the peak closer to the observatory by mistake then came back to the actual summit, which has cute rock towers. Two hours up from the end of the pavement and two hours down. Going to have to use more sunscreen!
This mountain is burned. We didn't see any squirrels except down at the campground. Hiked up Heliograph afteward. trip report
I should have ridden the paved road, which is one of the most spectacular climbs in the country, far more interesting than the dirt road to the top. Thanks to a fire, there are decent views of the valleys 7000'+ below on either side, as well as the "Imperial walker"/telescope. No squirrels, and very little snow. Ultra #50 -- almost there!
I grew up in this area, spending a lot of time playing in the snow in the winter, swimming, fishing, motorcycle, and horseback riding and camping on this beautiful mountain. Nice retreat from the valley in the summer heat.
The drive to the TH provides better views than the summit...
Used the combination of 2 old jeep roads same as others described here. I enjoyed the hike a lot: very lush, many wildflowers, deer, no people.
Climbed via the hospital flat campground. Didn't see a soul- or a squirrel. As others noted, top has burned but only a little deadfall at the very top. Limited views. Register in the tree stump is completely waterlogged
Hiked Forest Road 507 to near the summit where I went cross country through downed burned timber to the summit ridge. I eventually found the summit registry in a burned out tree stump under some rocks and downed timber. Look for a circular rock design near the stump. I found the benchmark nearby as described in the summit registry. The road was mostly clear of snow. The wind through the standing burned timber made mysterious sounds. A very pleasant solo hike.
I did this on a long day which also included Rice Peak near Mount Lemmon. I did not see any negative signage or squirrels along the route.
and no one around...
Didn't see any signs anywhere about it being closed, but heard some of the squirrels chattering at me from the trees. Nice views of the other sky islands from the road.
Great hike, and what a view!
Found the trail (old logging road) just above the campground that is in ok shape with some brushing done. Took this to its merger with the pass on the main road that goes to summit. Did this with my one and three year old....the first of 2 ultra peaks in 2 days for them in Arizona. Pictures and map of route taken at http://www.willhiteweb.com/arizona_climbing/pinaleno_mountains/mount_graham_257.htm
Back in 1990 (?) when I walked the closed road
from the south with Sarah, it might have been legal.
I'd like to grease some wheels, and get legal
permission for a very few hikers to visit the summit.
The time and route could be chosen by the Forest service.
Fees could be paid, etc.
Am not making much progress - if you have any ideas
please contact me. Thanks - Andy
One summit, zero red squirrels. It was a cold day, below freezing when I started but that was an improvement over how cold it was while car camping beforehand. Hiked from where the old summit road takes off from the main road, as both were gated. Probably ten miles or so though I cut that down a bit by chopping off some of the switchbacks.
This is a very impressive peak! It towers over the surrounding terrain and creates an ecosystem all its own. I agree with past logs that the drive up the road is more tiring than the hike itself.
Spent a week in Arizona visiting an old HS friend. We summited and on way down got busted by the USFS.(The summit was closed due to ongoing scientific study of the endangered red squirrel and the proposed UA telescope. We walked by the closed signs thinking; "We'll never see a FS ranger!") Pleaded ignorance and confusion on reading the closed area signs. Later in the week, we spent a few days in Havasu Canyon, Humpreys Peak, Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater.
Road walk with Dean and Rick. Nothing too strenuous about this one. Driving up the paved road is more tiring than the hike.