Ascent of Gro Benchmark on 1999-02-03

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Wednesday, February 3, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gro Benchmark
    Elevation:3293 ft / 1003 m

Ascent Trip Report

The name Gro is an abbreviation for the Growler Mountains. The mountains were named by Frederick Wall who discovered and named the Growler Mine after John Growler, an early miner. (Barnes, p.193)

This peak is in the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. Public entry for hiking and camping is allowed with a permit from the Refuge office in Ajo which regulates public entry. For information write or call the Refuge staff at: 1611 North Second Ave., Ajo, AZ. 85321. Phone: (520) 387-6483. Four-wheel drive vehicles are required. More information is at this site:

From the traffic light by the town square in Ajo drive southeast on highway 85 for 2.5 miles to a sign marking Darby Wells Road. This is on your right at the end of a large tailings pile. Turn right on this excellent dirt road and note the following mileages: at 1.8 miles turn right onto the Scenic Loop Road and then turn left after 3.6 miles at a junction. Follow this road as it heads southwest and passes a cemetery at 4.2 miles. At 7.0 miles turn left and head south onto a somewhat narrower road. The road will bend toward the southeast and just west of a large hill there will be a road coming in from the left. In this area, at 9.7 miles on the odometer, turn right (due west) onto a poor and little-used track which may require 4wd. Follow this road west for 1.2 miles where it ends at a fence at the Refuge boundary. From here the distance to Gro BM is 6.2 miles on a bearing of 247 degrees and it can be identified as the peak just north of a dip in the long ridge. The peak just to the south of Gro has radio gear on it. Go under the fence and hike southwest on the old road for 1.5 miles to abandoned Adobe Well. UTM here is: 315870E, 3571950N (NAD27). Continue across the open terrain and then up moderate slopes to the upper shoulder of the mountain. There is some boulder scrambling on the lava rock to reach the upper slopes. The hike to the summit takes about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Allow 3 hours to return to the car. 2/99 RLC
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