Harquahala Mountain Summit Road

4.7/5 (15 reviews)
Wenden, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 11/22/2021

Trail Information


Arizona BLM is offering you a chance to feel like you are on top of the world. Harquahala Summit stands at over 3,300 feet. It provides small SUVs the opportunity to try out their 4wd capabilities. As you ascend the mountain, the terrain will turn from beautiful desert scenery to a rugged and rocky mountainside. At the summit, there are breathtaking views and a guest log to sign at the observatory. Near the windsock, you will find a marker embedded in a rock stating that you are at the highest point in SW Arizona. Along the side of the building, information is provided about the observatory and many of the questions you may have about the area. Be sure to go prepared for a rugged desert environment.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (16 reviews)
Visited: 03/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

BLM ran dozer to the summit. Ran down high spots, filled in low spots and widened the road in places for pull outs. Not complaining, it was still a great day on the trail. And thankfully they didn’t blade the road to townsite. You will need a spotter and a high clearance rig to get down and back. Broke trailing arm mount on the way back up from the townsite. It was quite an adventure getting back to the staging area.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 11/28/2021
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/20/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

This trail is definitely harder than rated. I would say 4x4 required. Pretty bumpy all the way with some steep loose climbs. Made it up with my new stock Gladiator Mojave but I had to pick some lines carefully. Definitely worth the trip!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/18/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

This is our third time on this road and holy moley Batman, the monsoons were not kind to this road. Definitely a 4WD road right now. Tons of imbedded rocks and just incredibly rough all the way almost every yard of it. Took us over 90 minutes to go the 10 miles in a lifted Jeep. Met a guy from CAP ((they own the tower up top) and he said they’d have a guy work on the road later so hopefully it will improve soon. One other couple was up there in a side by side and the first thing said was how much worse the road is.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/18/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

This BLM Back Country Byway is a great trail for a day trip or to spend multiple nights. We’re on Day 4 after driving to the top and spending the first night there, then due to cold wind, making our way down to one of the many designated camp sites (with metal fire rings and picnic tables) lower on the route. While “easy,” it’s steep in spots with loose rocks and some high-clearance bits, but for such a remote, steep two-track, very well maintained. Nothing scary if you have confidence in your driving and your vehicle, but we both (two Jeeps) used low range in stretches, and the steep switchbacks and shelf drops render the roughly 1.5 or 2-hour trip up (10 miles, but you’ll stop a lot to enjoy the views) somewhat exhilarating and super rewarding for those of us not in the rock-crawler category. While this is probably doable in 2WD with high clearance, I would not try it (though the first few miles it would be fine). Fantastic 360-degree view from the top (clouds formed right UNDER our noses the first morning), and wonderful views from several of the other camp sites. Lots of history to the abandon science station at the top, and some of it is spelled out in worthwhile metal posters that are more than half unreadable due to weathering. Super quiet, except for the distant roar of military jets a few times each day. We arrived Sunday afternoon, saw 2 or 3 ORV groups leaving the staging area at the bottom, then only 3 other rigs in 4 days, both doing same-day ups-downs. We hear it’s busier on weekends.

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