Sacaton Peak • Highpoint: Sacaton Mountains
• Gila River Indian Reservation
• Pinal County

Sacaton Peak

Summit towers are visible. The actual highpoint is under the little tower visible to the left, peeking over the ridge

Scott and Matthias approach the ascent gully

The highest point and the lone tower that sits upon it

Scott works up the slope toward the summit

Me at the top

Summit tower

View northwest

Montage: UL: summit towers, looking into the sun; UR: closer view of the actual highpoint tower; LL: another shot of me; LR: view of the road and highway AZ-387, where the road starts

Looking down the canyon we ascended

A typical view within the canyon

Exiting the canyon

Arizona PageMain Page

Prominence Peaks


Date: December 20, 2015 • Elevation: 2,755 feet • Prominence: 1,345 feet • Distance: 3 miles • Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes • Gain: 1,100 feet • Conditions: Cool with spotty clouds • Teammates: Scott Peavy & Matthias Stender

The Sacaton Mountains are a series of rocky bumps in the Gila River Indian Reservation, north of Casa Grande. The highest point is on Sacaton Peak, where a bunch of communications towers stand. From Interstate-10, itís possible to see part of the dirt road that goes to the top.

A number of years ago, I drove out to see about hiking this peak. I exited Interstate-10 at the AZ-187/387 exit, then got on Route AZ-387 for a couple miles. The highway crests a rise and here, the dirt road starts on the south side of the highway. Apparently in the old days, it was ďlegalĒ to hike this road to the top. Thatís what a few people had done, and what I intended to do. However, the road is gated at the highway, and signs warn against trespassing. I didnít hike the peak that day.

Fast forward a few years, and I was with my usual hiking teammates. We agreed to hike this peak, but not to follow that dirt road. Although the peak itself would likely not be patrolled, the Gila River Police probably run the highway regularly, so seeing a car parked there might attract their attention.

I picked up one of our team, and met the other. Along the way, we drove through a short but intense downpour, which was unexpected. A front was moving through quickly. Within an hour, the day would be mostly clear skies again. The temperatures were chilly but pleasant.

We found a point off the reservation where we parked, and then walked onto the reservation. There were no signs here stating the land status or telling us to go away. There are a number of ridges and drainages that lead to the top. We found a drainage that looked friendly, and it led us up to the road with no troubles. The terrain was rocky and occasionally brushy, but much prettier than we expected, and very enjoyable.

Once at the road, we crossed it to the rocks on the other side, our plan to avoid the road entirely. Surprisingly, there is an old trail that switchbacks to the top, which we followed. In a little over an hour after starting, we were atop Sacaton Peak. The main towers are situated south of the highest point. A measly lone tower stands atop the highpoint bump. We spent a few minutes up here, but didnít waste time.

We downhiked back to the road, then immediately back into the canyon, and down a couple hundred feet, where we then stopped and took a longer break. The day was blue and clear, but as we hiked out to the cars, more clouds were moving through, although we had no more rain.

The round trip took a little over two hours and covered three miles. Once back at the cars, we talked a little bit, but then left for home. This was an enjoyable short hike, but we tried to keep our time on the reservation to a minimum.

(c) 2015 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.