Dean Peak P1K RS
Peak 7,745ft 2x P300 RS
Peak 5,875ft P500
Rattlesnake Hill
Peak 5,097ft P500
Squaw Peak P900 RS

Oct 6, 2022

With: Iris Ma
Tom Grundy

Squaw Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 GPX Profile
Peak 7,745ft previously climbed Aug 5, 2020


We were camped in the Hualapai Mtns of Arizona, on our way to Sedona, AZ to meet up with others. Today, I was most interested in Dean Peak, a P1K I had noted while climbing nearby summits a few years earlier. I readily admitted to Tom and Iris that Hualapai Mtn, a county and range HP as well as a P4K, was the better objective, so they decided to do that while I went off to Dean. I would finish well before them and go on to do a handful of other summits on the way to Flagstaff, keeping in touch via text throughout the day. We eventually met up again for the last summit, the only one we did as a group.

Dean Peak - Peak 7,745ft

It appears most, if not all folks approach this from the the east via BLM roads in McGarrys Wash. That hike is almost 9mi roundtrip up old roads and cross-country. When I was visiting Peak 7,745ft about a mile SW of Dean Peak two years earlier, I wondered if it wouldn't be easier to approach from that side. Others had commented that the route looked brushy and difficult, but it was so much shorter than the standard route that I felt it needed to be tried. My route would work out to be 5.5mi, longer than I had estimated, but better than 9mi. On that first visit, I was able to drive an OHV road partway up to a locked gate. A new gate has been installed at paved Hualapai Mtn Rd across from the campground, so the hike would be a little longer. Parking is restricted to those who pay the park day use fee, so I parked down the road where I found no such signage. It would do me little good - I had a notice from the park rangers when I returned. I hiked up a gully and cross-country to reach the road that would take me up towards the towers found on the two points northeast of Peak 7,745ft. From the end of the road above a saddle NE of Peak 7,745ft, I hiked down to the saddle and then traversed the north side of Peak 7,745ft to reach the ridgeline connecting it to Dean Peak. The traverse was a bit brushy and had me a little concerned t his could be more trouble than it's worth, but things rapidly improved once on the ridge. There was a very good use trail that I could follow for most of the distance, initially skirting obstacles on the left through forest. Where the trail gets lost back on the right (SE) side of the ridge, I was happy to find a collection of ducks that led nicely up steep, rocky slopes that proved the only real impediment. It wasn't a piece of cake by any stretch, but the cross-country portion to reach the base of Dean's summit rocks took only an hour. And fun, too. The summit rocks could be more easily climbed by traversing right and joining the route up from the east, but the SW side proved a fun class 3 exercise. I was atop the peak by 9a, two hours after starting out. A register left by John Vitz in 2004 had six pages, most recently by Stav Basis the previous year.

On my way back down, I stopped to pay a return visit to Peak 7,745ft in the way of gratitous stat-padding. It's a bit brushy at the top, but not bad. I was happy I did, too, because I found a register I hadn't noticed on my first visit. It was left by Mark Nichols in 2006 on a single sheet of paper with perhaps a dozen names now. I started back to the saddle and road to the northwest when I realized I had forgotten my poles I'd left on the ridge heading to Dean Peak a few hours earlier. Luckily I had only a few minutes of backtracking to find them, then continued my return. I was down to the Jeep before 11:30a, having taken something less than 4.5hrs for the outing. After getting my note from the rangers, I drove up to the ranger station to pay the $8 fee. They were a friendly bunch, so I didn't mind the extra work.

Peak 5,875ft

The next three peaks were picked off the peakbagger app with minimal beta. I drove back down Hualapai Mtn Rd, then right on the Interstate 40 shortcut, DW Ranche Rd. Peak 5,875ft lies on BLM land above the Pinion Pines community. There's no trailhead per se, and it seemed a bit sketchy for the first 100yds or so until I was clear of the neighbors. An old utility road goes around the edge of the neighborhood and helped in the flatter, lower reaches. The East Slope I climbed is a mix of pinyon, agave and brush, combined with much rock in the upper half. All class 2, no bushwhacking required. The summit ridge has no obvious highpoint. Bob Packard had climbed it in 2000, but I had no luck finding a register, if he even left one. Nice view of the higher Hualapai summits to the southeast. I spent just over an hour on the outing.

Rattlesnake Hill

Back on DW Ranch Rd, I drove to I-40 and across the overpass to the north side where I parked for Rattlesnake Hill. This low hill stands alone at the edge of Hualapai Valley. If I'd done a few more minutes' research, I might have discovered that one can drive nearly to the summit. Instead, I hiked from the overpass, initially on the old US40 pavement (that was kinda cool, in a Mad Max sort of way), then cross-country up grass/rock slopes to the summit in less than 20min. No trees and not much brush, clearly a much drier climate here at 4,000ft or so.

Peak 5,097ft

This was a gimme just off the south side of I-40 on the way to Flagstaff. I parked along the highway, not knowing if that was legal or not, but getting away from the pavement quickly. It's an easy summit up class 1-2 slopes. There's a nice pile of granite rocks at the summit to give it a summit feel. No trees, but more brush than the previous summit. Ted Brasket left a register here in 2006 at the age of 76, no other entries. Roundtrip time was just under an hour.

Squaw Peak

Tom and Iris had passed by the Jeep about 10min before I got back to it. That would make it easy for us to connect further east up the highway at the Anvil Rock Rd exit. We left Tom's truck there, piled into the Jeep and drove south for the drive-up to Squaw Peak, about 15mi from the highway, but only a few miles on dirt Radio Tower Rd. The peak is in Courtney's Rambles and Scrambles and has 900ft of prominence, though it is otherwise unremarkable. We walked around the perimeter fence at the flat summit where the largest of a collection of telecom installations is located. Really, it's not worth the detour off the Interstate.

Back to I-40, we drove to Flagstaff where we met up with TomB and Eric for dinner, a Thai restaurant that proved decent. Afterwards, we headed south on SR89Alt towards Sedona, stopping for the night at the dispersed camping off Forest Road 237. It's a very busy place at this time of year, primarily because the dispersed campsites around the entire Sedona ecosystem is highly limited, and equally regulated as we would come to find out.


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