I went up the drainage SW of the peak to reach the main ridge. It was steep and rough with sustained scrambling but overall not too bad, nothing beyond class 3. Great climb! Very remote feel until you hit the top. Saw many wildflowers and cacti in bloom. Went alone.
With Chris Gilsdorf, Adam Helman and John Klein. Long day, got cramps in my legs.
Climbed as part of a 6-member "AZ Peakbaggers" meetup, led by Eric Kassan of the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club. We climbed a WSW ridge from the end of a jeep road, with washes on either side. This involved some class 3-4 rock scrambling and avoiding cactus, but was straightforward. I usually hike/climb solo anymore, but I was glad to be part of a competent group on this climb, as otherwise I might have been too cautious to summit. We descended the same ridge, then traversed left into a wash. We descended class 3-4 dry waterfalls in the wash so the ridge might have been a better descent route. Breezy and cool on the summit. No other parties.
I have wanted to climb to the top of the Sierra Estrella mountain range for years, as I live in Goodyear, AZ and see it almost every day. I parked in Estrella Mountain ranch and rode my mountain bike to the base of the mountain. Ironically, I met another person at the base who had driven there and was also getting ready to climb to the top. We ended up making the climb together. He was a great guy and it was nice to have the company. I think that I would have been a bit nervous, if I had done the hike alone. The terrain was very rough and there is definitely potential for injury. The climb to the top was very challenging. We were trailblazers and made our own route. We figured out on the way down, that we had choosen the wrong way to go up. We stuck to the main wash on the way down, and this was definitely the easiest way to go. The view from the top is amazing!
It's hard to call our outing an 'attempt' as we didn't leave enough daylight to even consider going the entire distance.
In getting to the hike, we found the situation quite straightforward. But, four-wheel drive is a necessity and the most comfort is to be had in a vehicle that is accustomed to the desert. Take Rainbow Valley till reaching either the Queen Creek alignment (signposted) or Ocotillo. These are dirt farm roads that turn into sandy tracks thereafter. Continue until you hit the service track for the powerlines that run behind the Estrella Range. Allow 45 min to 1 hour from the Jackrabbit exit of I-10.
Our intention was to climb the red route on surgent's map but made the mistake, not realizing it until encountering significantly more difficulty than we had expected given the route description, that we'd climbed one ridge too far south-east.
The upper portions were sustained Class III on good rock which made the climbing interesting though discouraging because of the lack of progress. In the end, we reached the point where the red route ridge comes together on the north with the ridge we climbed (approx. 3100 feet), at which point we turned and descended the red route.
One of the more neglected peaks in AZ, considering the millions that can see it daily. But needs better access and a trail to entice these folks.
Climbed with Guy, Mike, and Bob Kerry.
Good stuff - far removed from the crowds below
A small but rugged desert mountain range.