Mount Turnbull is the highpoint of the Santa Teresa Mountains. These rugged desert mountains are located in southeast Arizona between the cities of Safford and Globe. The Santa Teresas are a largely unknown mountain range. They are located far off the beaten path, and it takes a long drive on backcountry dirt roads to reach them. As a result, they see few visitors. The southern half of the range is located in the Coronado National Forest, and contains the Santa Teresa Wilderness Area. The northern half is located on the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The highpoint of the National Forest section is known as Pinnacle Ridge, which reaches an elevation of 7,550’. Mount Turnbull is the range highpoint, and is located on the reservation. It has a prominence of 3,560’, which is big enough to make an appearance on the Arizona Prominence Map.
Mount Turnbull is an impressive mountain. It rises 5,800’ above the nearby Gila River, and is topped by a 200’ rock pinnacle. Mount Turnbull is highly visible to anyone driving by on US Highway 70, and is a dominating landmark in the area. However, because it is located on the reservation, it is a virtually unknown mountain, and few people ever climb it. The San Carlos Indian Reservation does allow recreational opportunities on its land. You will have to contact the reservation for the latest information about recreational access, and recreational permits are required.
From the town of Safford, drive about 33 miles northwest on US 70 to Bylas. Continue west past Bylas a few miles, then turn left onto Indian Route 3, and drive to Calva. Continue west past Calva about two miles or so. The unmarked turnoff to Mount Turnbull is located here
. Drive up the road several miles to this spot
. You should park in this general vicinity.
Contact the San Carlos Indian Reservation for information on recreational opportunities. Their number is 928-475-2343. A fee is required for recreational activities.
Topo Maps: Dewey Flat and Mount Turnbull. The San Carlos Indian Reservation also sells maps of the reservation.
Camping is allowed on the reservation, but permits are required. Contact the reservation for the latest information.