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Ascent of Roof Butte on 2006-09-03

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Sunday, September 3, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Roof Butte
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:9800 ft / 2987 m

Ascent Trip Report

Roof Butte has about 3150' prominence, ranking 22nd in AZ by that measure. I had originally planned to climb Roof Butte on the return leg of a recent trip to CO, but I found myself with a few extra hours one afternoon on the going leg, so I decided to give it a try. Andy Martin and Bob Packard had kindly provided me with beta for an approach from the S, through the town of Lukachukai, but my position was more amenable to a N approach, for which I had topo maps but no beta.

From US-491 about 6 miles S of the town of Shiprock NM and very close to where the highway makes its closest approach to Shiprock itself, I turned W on Navajo 13, which is paved. Mile posts begin at about 20 here and decrease to 0 at the AZ border, then they begin anew at 24 and decrease from there. A mile past the border is the small town of Red Rock, where Nav 13 turns from W to S. Most maps suggest the road becomes dirt at this point, but to my pleasant surprise it remained paved. Nav 13 climbs steeply directly toward Roof Butte. 10 miles beyond the Red Rock Trading Post and ½ mile past a sharp right turn where the grade lessens, I turned left onto an unpaved side road at the beginning of an open pasture. The turn is at Point 8127 shown here.

This road is quite rough and rocky and a low clearance vehicle would have trouble, but my high-clearance 2WD pickup did fine. After 2.0 miles, the road gained the easily identifiable 8953' pass between Roof Butte and Point 9566, which lies 1 mile SE. Here I parked and walked the remaining 850' gain up the rough jeep road to the summit.

The highest rock is behind a green concrete-block shack at the end of the road. I did not find a register.
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