Ascent of Maricopa Peak on 1997-02-14

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Friday, February 14, 1997
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Maricopa Peak
    Elevation:4084 ft / 1244 m

Ascent Trip Report

Named after the county and the Maricopa Indians who live along the Gila River. Barnes, p. 264

The peak is in Range A of the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. Permission to enter is granted by the Gila Bend Air Force Auxillary Field after viewing a video on Range hazards and signing a waver.

The best approach road is found by taking Vekol Road south from Interstate 8 and then going west into the Goldwater Range. This is a better road than the road south from Big Horn. (Note there is no usual exit at Big Horn, only a gate through the fence.) On Interstate 8 about 28 miles east of Gila Bend take exit 144 which is Vekol Road. Go south from the exit for 2.0 miles and go right at a juction which has a sign indicating it is 13.2 miles to the Table Top Wilderness. Continue south on this good dirt road through the Vekol Valley and at 7.2 miles turn right (west) at a junction. From this junction you will cross into the Goldwater Range which has a sign after about 4 miles travel. Continue for another 6 miles until you are driving in a sandy wash on the south side of the mountain. A 4WD vehicle is advisable in this area because of steep dips and sand. From any convenient place in the wash hike north to the peak ascending a ridge line. Near the top it is less steep on the east side of the summit. The USC&GS data sheet on CDROM shows the elevation to be 4048 ft. for the more recent Maricopa 2 benchmark. An elevation of 4085 ft. is given for the older Maricopa benchmark which was found destroyed in 1936. An elevation of 4084 ft. is shown on the topo map. There is no higher contour line than 4040 ft. on the map so it would seem that the 4048 ft. elevation may be the correct one. 2/97 RLC
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