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Southeast Arizona in October

I am in the initial stages of planning a trip to southeastern Arizona at the end of October and beginning of November. If all goes according to plan, this will be a car camping and peakbagging trip with plenty of activations thrown in. I’m looking for advice on peaks to add to my list. I’m primarily looking for ultra-prominent peaks, county high points, and short hikes or drive ups. At the moment, I am somewhat limited in how much hiking I can do so I’ll probably do just one real hike and then try to load up on shorter things and drive ups.

These peaks are all for sure:

  • W7A/AW-001 - Mount Lemmon
  • W7A/AW-003 - Mount Bigelow
  • W7A/AE-051 - Sugarloaf Mountain
  • W7A/GR-001 - Greenlee County HP

And then I am hoping to hit some, but not all of these:

  • W7A/AE-007 - Mount Graham - I understand this might still be off limits? Peakbaggers don’t seem to care, but SOTA people do.
  • W7A/AE-011 - Heliograph Peak
  • W7A/AE-012 - Chiricahua Peak
  • W7A/CO-001 - Carr Peak and W7A/AE-013 - Miller Peak

I am basically looking for anything interesting east and south of Phoenix, though I may possibly continue up US 191 towards Petrified Forest NP, and then back to Phoenix. Enough stuff along that route would make me more inclined to go that way.


Mount Graham is most definitely off limits. But you might look at W7A/AE-010 Webb Peak as an alternative, it can be a good double with AE-011.

I’ll take a look at my list and see if I can come up with any other ideas. Might be fun to meet up while you are in this area!

Keith KR7RK

Webb Peak is a perfect example of the kind of thing I am looking for. I’ve put it on my map. Thanks! I just read your trip report about it.

Do you think I will have any problems with road closures at the end of October and into the beginning of November? On the one hand, this is much further south than the other trips I’ve taken out west, all of which are at their end of season by the end of September. On the other hand, it’s all still pretty high up.

Chris, As Keith points out, Webb and Heliograph are a good pair. There is a campground at the trailhead (and road, for road walk) at the base of Heliograph. (and more nearby, if that is full.
Very near the trailhead for Webb, is a visitor’s center, with an old-time very helpful volunteer.
Chiricahua is a long drive, but a nice hike, with not too much elevation gain, and also a campground near the short, (high clearance required) road that goes to the trailhead. Suggest you stay at he camp and get an early start for Chiricahua, because afternoon weather can get extreme quickly. Carr is beautiful, but an honest hike. Miller is a righteous hike; (see my description.)
All Best, and welcome to Southern Arizona. Ken


Here is a link to a PDF file called AZ SOTA Summit Difficulty Scores 2019-0726.pdf which you may find useful in planning your activations in Southeastern AZ. The file is a record of my SOTA activations to date and includes the following information (with some data omissions):

  • Activation date
  • Summit Reference
  • Summit Name
  • Geographic area (Tucson, Sierra Vista, etc.)
  • Terrain (drive-up, trail, road, bushwhack, etc.)
  • Summit Score
  • Hike Difficulty Score (my proprietary score on a scale of 0-10, 0 is the easiest, 10 is the hardest)
  • Hike Difficulty per Point (my proprietary score on a scale of 0-10, 0 is the easiest per point scored)
  • Hike Distance (miles)
  • Ascent Time (my personal time)
  • Total Ascent (gross feet)
  • Measured Elevation - Low (ft)
  • Measured Elevation - High (ft)
  • Starting Latitude & Longitude (My starting GPS coordinates)

I hope that you (and others) will find this information useful. The link to this file will expire on 25-JUL-2020.

Have fun!

Paul K9PM

1 Like

Paul -

This is fantastic information. I am slowly going through it and comparing my proposed route to anything you’ve marked as a drive up or short hike. It’s definitely going to take me a couple more days to get through it all. Having the geographic area in particular is a big help. I’ve already added several things I didn’t already know about. I might have to do something like this for my own activations.