PICKETPOST MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Picketpost Mountain is an hour east of downtown Phoenix, near Superior, AZ. This challenging hike requires some route finding skills and scrambling. In many ways it’s similar to Flatiron, but shorter and less crowded. Hikers who reach the summit can sign their name in a classic red mailbox and enjoy excellent 360° views. Just a few minutes down the road is Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a worthy diversion featuring wonderful family friendly walking trails.
If you start early the trail is shaded, a big advantage in desert hiking. From Highway 60 turn towards the marked trailhead, follow the gravel road until it T’s and take a left to the trailhead. The hike starts on the Arizona Trail. About 15 minutes into hiking you’ll come across a fork in the trail marked by a large pile of rocks, go left toward Picketpost Mountain.
Once you reach the natural draw it will seem like cliffs on either side of the trail are forcing you into the draw. However, at this point you want to turn left and stay on higher ground. Avoid bushwhacking your way up the draw. On our first hike here we followed cairns up the draw. We reached the summit but on subsequent hikes we’ve found that hugging the cliff to the left of the draw is a much better option.
Veering left, now you will climb up the chute.
At this point the trail has a lot of loose gravels and overgrown cacti.
At a distance you can see Weaver’s Needle and Four Peaks.
Featured image was taken in November 2016. All other images were taken during our hike in April 2018. We’ve hiked this trail many times, including February 2016, November 2016, October 2017 and April 2018.