KOFA Wildlife Refuge
Mileage - 6.25
Time - 3:30
AEG - 2,206ft
Castle Dome Peak is a giant formation resting on top of the Castle Dome mountains in the KOFA Wildlife Refuge in Southwestern Arizona. Rugged, remote and without question a seasonal hike (due to extreme heat), this part of the state sees little visitation outside of the winter months. Matt and I had a change in plans this holiday weekend and Castle Dome was our second option in an attempt to summit a couple more prominent desert peaks.
The hike itself was really quite fun. Perhaps we were just relieved to finally be out of the car or it could have been the interesting scenery, or maybe it was that last hand over hand scramble to the top. I think it was simply being out in the mountains exploring a new area. The first 1.5 miles flew by as we walked through a wash to find the first turn which would lead us up a scree field just below the 600-foot massive. The next 1-mile section was the toughest part of the hike, both up and down (above right). A steep grade and loose rock made us work hard and elevate my heart rate in a short amount of time. The final climb was great! It offered a little bit of adventure without a great deal of exposure or technical sections. Before we knew it, the summit was ours and we could check the 61st most prominent peak off the list.
Castle Dome Peak summit (3,788ft) facing West toward California
Castle Dome Mining Museum with the peak dead center