San Tan Mountain (San Tan High Point)

San Tan Mountain (San Tan High Point)

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 33.17072°N / 111.70567°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Additional Information County: Maricopa
Activities Activities: Scrambling
Additional Information Elevation: 3104 ft / 946 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

San Tan Mountain High Point as seen from Goldmine Saddle
San Tan Mountain High Point as seen from Goldmine Saddle
Oddly enough, the high point of the San Tan Mountains is unfortunately not contained in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Although rarely patrolled, the mountain is apparently illegal to climb as it lies on Gila River Indian Reservation Land. (Credit: surgent) This page is here for those who see this mountain and are curious to know why there is no information to be found on it, etc. 

Those wanting to attain this summit have to travel cross country from West of the Park.  Multiple people have attained the summit in recent years by starting south of Hunt Highway going down either Wagon Wheel Road or Bell Road.  There is a summit register on top that says "San Tan Mountain".  

Peakbagger links to those who have attained the summit: http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=4140

There is no trail to the summit---this is a cross country affair dodging all multitudinous Cacti with a Cactus infested class 3 scramble to the summit where you may encounter Killer Bees.  Javelina wild boars are also in the area.  

GPX File to the summit is available to download above. 

Anyone with pictures or more info please feel free to add!

Getting There

End of Bell Rd parking area with White Gate
End of Bell Rd parking area with White Gate
From Hwy 60 (Superstition Freeway), take the Higley Road exit and drive south on Higley road as far as it goes and turns in to Hunt Highway.  From Hunt Highway, go East past Power Rd until you see Bell Rd as your 2nd right after power and turn right on Bell Rd. Follow Bell Road until the road turns to dirt and there is a white gate shortly afterward.  Start your cross country trek from there!

For those that want to start at an official trailhead and take on more mileage, you from the Dynamite trailhead and follow the trail for a bit until starting the cross country from there.  

Route

Screencap of Route from GPS Data
Screencap of Route from GPS Data
Start at the end of either Bell Road or Wagon Wheel Road and route find your way almost directly west to the summit.  It's pretty easy to see your target and find your way.  The attached GPX file can help guide you.   Staying farther north and going up the draw to the north and east of the peak to the summit is the better option than going past and coming up from the south although both work.

From the parking area at the very south end of Bell Road, you will have to go through or around the gate and then turn to your right (2 O'Clock) which will point you directly toward the summit.  There are some dirt paths to follow for short amounts of time, but none will take you very direct so you can follow the path of least resistance while aiming for the peak.  Depending on the route you take, you may encounter a few barbed wire fences.   Eventually you will find your way to the drainage that heads up to the saddle south of the peak.  After ascending the drainage for a while it starts to get steep.  About halfway up, it is easier to take the drainage on your right before the peak to attain the ridge and then when you get the ridge, take it on your left up to the summit.

Alternatively, you can just follow the drainage all the way to the saddle, and then hang a right straight up to the summit, but this requires more scrambling among Cacti.  It is a pretty gnarly, but fun scramble in places.   

Red Tape

Some of the better conditions you'll encounter enroute to the summit (center)
Some of the better conditions you'll encounter enroute to the summit (center)
This land is not public use land and it is possibly illegal to climb this peak as it lies on the Gila River Indian Reservation.  

When to Climb

October to April would be best to avoid the extreme heat as there is no water on the route.  

Camping


External Links

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