Hiked from the Mt. Lemmon Highway via the Oracle Ridge. Beautiful day with nice views. Found the cairn.
This was my favorite peak of this particular Arizona trip. I hiked along the Oracle Ridge Trail, which is underused and underrated yet has a very easy-to-follow trail and fantastic views. I was shocked to be passing tall grass meadows most of the way. It did not take long to descend from the summit to the CoHP on the north slope, well-marked with a large rock cairn. The last person to sign the CoHP register was Bob Bolton, a peakbagging buddy from my home state of Washington who had visited nearly one year prior to my visit.
AZ highpointing trip
Drove all the way to the summit. Check out pics and a trip report here: http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,112287.0.html
Nothing exciting at the cairn - but we were able to locate it quickly. Good thing, as an electrical storm moved in and it was time to retreat! Rice Peak's view was pretty decent, too.
I guess I am only a half-hearted or a fussy peakbagger. I tagged my goal, the COHP, but frankly I had zero interest in walking up to the top of Rice Peak. Bring your 4WD for this one.
The hike is listed as 6 miles each way along the Oracle Ridge, but there's not much elevation gain and trail is in good shape. It's awfully nice to have a good trail! Made the trip in about 4 hrs rt from the Mt Lemmon highway. Great day for hiking with overcast skies.
Geez - been up 3 times, and don't have a date recorded
for any of the ascents.
Only a cohp nut can appreciate the liner, but Rice
Peak is at least a named nubbin with views - but not quite a summit. With any luck Pima county will give 40 acres to
Pinal and kill the liner.
Long hike in from the fire station on the Mt. Lemmon road via the Oracle Ridge trail. Not as hot as I would have expected for May in AZ. Mediocre views from the summit, near zero from the COHP, which is a rock pile (I found 2 rock piles and 2 registers) surrounded by trees.
Hiked this peak twice - 1999 and 2003 - both times to get the county highpoint, and both times going up and over Rice Peak then down the north face. In 2003 we had plenty of snow still on the ground. Fun! Not as easy as you would think, by the way. Our reports
I didn't even try to get to the summit, only three hundred feet above me as my goal was the county highpoint of Pinal County.
I actually had contoured to within 150 feet of the summit before I dropped down to where the country crossed the east flank of Rice peak but after Dennis gave me the description of what was up there, I chose to save my energy for the long hike out. A good decision as we had a long hike and then a good drive to get to our next destination before it got too late.
Tough hike for a little mountain.