- 80 miles west of Phoenix
- Rough Dirt or Gravel
- Suitable Vehicle:
- 4wd Vehicle
- 21 miles roundtrip
- 2 hours
- Drivable year round, but summer is hot
DescriptionThe Harquahala Mountain Summit Road offers a little something for everyone!. The road itself is rugged and challenging for those with 4wd vehicles. For the scenic enthusiast, the summit is the highest point in southwest Arizona with nice 360 degree vistas.
For hikers, a pack trail leads from the summit down the mountain through the Harquahala Wilderness Area. The trail has several difficult and steep portions. For the history buff, the drive displays old mining debris, shafts and stone houses from earlier miners.
For the nature lover it has beautiful Sonoran Desert scenery with blooming flora March through May and distinct ecosystem variations can be seen with changes in elevation. In addition to the typical desert reptiles and critters which can be encountered, bighorn sheep may also be spotted.
The grand finale is realized at the summit with the Harquahala Peak Observatory. The observatory was built by the Smithsonian in 1920 to measure and record solar activity. It was abandoned in 1925 and in 1975 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has since been stabilized.
From Phoenix, take I-10 west to the Salome Road Exit (50 miles). Turn right and follow for 9.6 miles to Eagle Eye Road. Turn right and go 8.5 miles to a dirt road which heads north towards the summit. Or travel north on I-17 to the Carefree Highway exit, turn left on H-74, heading west past Lake Pleasant, to H-60. Turn right and head northwest to Wickenburg. From Wickenburg, continue on H-60 (which veers west), to Aguila. Turn right, heading south, on Eagle Eye Road 18.5 miles to the dirt road heading 10.5 miles north climbing the summit.