Mt. Ajo Trail

Page Type
Arizona, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike. 10 miles round-trip; 2400 feet elevation ga
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 1 walk-up

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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Created On: Dec 5, 2002
Last Edited On: Aug 8, 2003


See "Getting There" section of the main page.

Route Description

From the trailhead, follow the maintained trail towards Bull Pasture until reaching a saddle at 1.8 miles that overlooks Bull Pasture to the east. From here, follow a ducked use trail leading to the southeast and a rock thumb rising above a saddle. From the saddle, continue on the use trail for half a mile to the northeast, traversing around the head of the canyon and passing a small rocky bridge to the right. After reaching an area called the Cones (named because the 50 feet-tall volcanic rocks resemble cones), the trail splits. Take the right fork that leads to the left (north side) of the Cones and climbs fairly steeply. The use trail is easy to follow through here. After a few hundred feet of climbing, the trail levels a bit and traverses the upper head of the canyon. A false summit is now visible.

Upon reaching the ridge top just before the false summit, the use trail crosses the ridge eastward into the Tohono O’odham Reservation. At this point, the trail is fairly easy to lose. Traverse the east side a hundred feet below the false summit, remaining close to the base of a fairly small rock face on the left. Approximately 150 feet after crossing the east side of the ridge you reach a narrow chute on the left that leads up the mountain. There is an agave plant at the bottom of the chute and an overhanging rock. After ascending the chute, the route is once again easy to follow, as it regains the ridge top and leads towards the summit.

Alternate Route
About 0.5 mile below (west) of Bull Pasture, the trail splits, leading to the bottom of Estes Canyon. Although this route is 0.5 mile longer, it cuts across an outstandingly beautiful area and is an easy alternative.

Essential Gear

Plenty of water because none is available. A comb might be useful for removing barbed cholla cactus spines, if you're unfortunate enough to contact one.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Mt. Ajo Trail

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