November 20, 2017
Just got back from Wickenburg, Arizona on Sunday. We were camping at Vulture Peak trailhead and had a great time with family. Campfires and country music are two of our favorites things, and the backdrop of this beautiful mountain really makes those two even more special. The following are some interesting facts about Vulture Peak, in case you're interested in spending a night or two there. (You can stay up to 14 nights for free, it's BLM land)
The trail itself is a big draw from locals and out of owners alike, as the beauty is second to none. We hike A LOT, and generally our goal is to find the hardest trail we can, you know, the one's that have you feeling like you're gonna die? This one is hard, but not too hard. It's an out and back, 3.9 miler. Finding the exact trailhead from the parking area was a bit difficult and took me 15 minutes of walking back and forth until I was certain I had the starting point. The only complaint I have on the hike is this, it could easily have been marked better.
As you ascend the trail, and leading up to the real face of the mountain, your climb is fairly easy and meanders over small foothills. When you reach the base of the rock mountain, you begin your more aggressive climb. It never get's to the point where I compare it to Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, AZ, but it's still a worthy hike with incredible scenery and solitude you won't find at many other places in the area.
There are 2 summits, an easier, safer one and a more dangerous, much more challenging alternative. The alternative only takes you maybe 15 minutes longer, but you really have to watch your footing and plan your way, it's rock climbing much of the way. You will know you're on the top when you find the USGS marker and an old ammo box. The views are unbeatable.
In my mind, this is one of the best hikes I have taken, and believe me, I have been on quite a few. Check out this cite on Vulture Peak for more info.
Back at camp, at the base of Vulture Peak, we had a perfect place to watch the sunset and a nice fire to keep us warm. The nighttime temps were falling into the 50's in November, and although 50's is not super cold by many people's measures, we are Arizonians, so we were freezing. We brought along this I'll Sleep With Anything hoodie we found online to keep us toasty warm. It's super funny and pretty much 100% true!
Packing out was easy. We have a travel trailer, and the hardest part, after making sure everything is put away for travel, is finding a place to turn around. There's a large turn around at the end of the park road, right before the trail head, where any rig would be able to make the turn to head out. Back to civilization in Phoenix. We had a great time, and we hope the links and info help you out on a future trip!
November 15, 2017