Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Signal Peak - Arizona

Signal Peak Hike
KOFA Wildlife Refuge
Quartzite, Arizona
Mileage - 4.15
Time - 2:30
AEG - 2,309ft

Signal Peak is the highest point in Yuma County and 16th most prominent mountain in the state of Arizona, though it sees very little visitation from a lack of developed trails, campgrounds or services.  The route we chose started from Kofa Queen Canyon "Road" approximately 7.5 miles from the signage along Palm Canyon Road and headed East into the canyon.  The trade off for the remoteness is an absolutely pristine mountain range filled with big game animals like the desert bighorn sheep which we were lucky enough to see a herd on our ascent! 

What better start to a three-day weekend than to check off a top 25 peak on the prominence list and explore another new area of the state.  Matt and I have been pushing hard to reach these remote regions of the desert Southwest while winter temperatures make it possible.   Summertime is out of the questions as daytime highs average 110 degrees and often top 120 in this part of the state!  The hike was pretty straight forward, the three of us climbed directly up the main drainage toward the peak in a gnarly off-trail fashion. It wasn't until we nearly reached the summit that there was a visible trail below our current location.  Once we conquered this rugged beast, having a trail to follow cut our decent time in half and before long my Jeep was in sight (photo credit - Matt K).   

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