Suizo Mountain • Highpoint: Suizo Mountains
• Pinal County


Suizo Mountain
 

View of the main mountain mass as I surmount a lower ridge
 

Not the summit quite yet
 

There it is, back there
 

Almost...
 

Black Mountain
 

The Tortolitas
 

Ridge I ascended
 

Newman Peak, and Picacho Peak to the left. The hill there is called The Huerfano ... "The Orphan"
 

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Date: December 20, 2017 • Elevation: 3,360 feet • Prominence: 480 feet • Distance: 3.5 miles • Time: 2 hours • Gain: 660 feet • Conditions: Clear, temps in the high 60s

I had driven south to hike Jeffords Peak, the highpoint of the Tortolita Mountains. That hike went way faster than I ever would have expected. We were done and back to our cars before noon. Having still a half-day open, I looked at some other possible hikes in the area to pad my totals.

North about 15 miles from the Tortolitas is a small "range" called the Suizo Mountains. The range runs about three miles long and features two or three main hills. The highest point is 3,360+ feet (3,369 feet going by an older map). The prominence is not even 500 feet. Normally, I would probably whiz right by this range, but today, it would be a perfect second hike. I would likely never drive this far just for this one peak.

I had looked at the maps befirehand, but had not printed any off, so I had nothing with me. I knew to get onto Park Link Road, then somehow get to Suizo Well on the south end of the range. I'd figure it all out when I got there.

After saying bye to Michael and Paul after our Jeffords Peak hike, I drove north, getting onto AZ-79, and driving about ten miles to Park Link Road. I didn't keep track of mileages, but the road is well signed. The Suizo Mountains can be seen as they jut above the flat desert plains. The summit is at the north end of the south "main" mass of the range, with a long gentle uphill gradient leading to the top from the south. It looked friendly.

Once on Park Link Road, I drive a little over 5 miles westbound, to a road about 0.2 mile west of mile-marker 13. It was signed as being Arizona State Trust Land, so this was good. I drove in about a half mile, dropping into and out of one small drainage which was a little rocky and rutted, but not too bad. Past this, I went right on a lesser road, although it was graded very nicely. I followed this road a few hundred yards to where it became rocky very fast. I eased back into a flat area and killed the engine.

I was southwest of the southernmost little hill of this range, elevation 2,700 feet. It was cool and pleasant, with a bright sun. I got my stuff together and locked up the car, and started walking a little before 1 p.m.. I followed this rocky road up a little bit, then it dropped into a broad sandy wash (Suizo Wash). I went right, trudging through the soft sand, coming to a fence spanning the wash. I hung a left and walked a track paralleling this fence.

I passed through a gate here, since it looked like a smart thing to do, angled left and soon, came to another fence. I had to get on my back to squirm under the barbed wire. I was now at the base of the main mass of the mountain. I could see the windmill at Suizo Well about a quarter-mile to the east, plus cattle making noise. There was no reason to go that way. I started up the slopes.

The slopes were rocky but not brushy, and easy to walk. Every step was solid and I had no scree or other loose crud to deal with. Soon, I had gained about a hundred feet, placing me on a ridge. I could view my situation better here. This "main" mass has a drainage on its south end, creating two ridges. I was on the eastern one, so it was logical to stay on it and follow it around to where it met with the main range crest.

The hiking was delightful. The brush was rarely a problem, and the rocks were helpful and not a hindrance. They often formed flat steps. I had to do no clambering or anything with the hands. The only downer was a blister forming in my left heel. I was breaking in a new pair of boots today. I had no issues on Jeffords Peak, but now, I was.

I hiked slowly but moved efficiently. Finally, I stopped to attend to my blister. I had some basic first-aid items to put on it, and it seemed to help. I continued on my trek. Soon I was closing in on where this subridge I was on was to meet the main range crest.

Trouble was, I had no map, so I assumed I was closing in on the summit. I was giddy with excitement. I slowed down to savor the victory walk. I get to within a few feet and see that I still have a half mile more to go! Okay, it wasn't too far, and only about 150 vertical feet. Still, it messed with my head a little bit. I had no choice but to keep walking.

Fortunately, now on the main crest, the grades were very lenient. I was at the top soon enough, taking exactly an hour, going by my cell phone's thing that tells time. I had a pleasant breeze up here and hundred-mile views in all directions. I took time to rest, pick out a few peaks, and wonder about the two rock platforms here on the summit. I looked for a benchmark but did not find one. I spent about ten minutes up here. It was very nice, and I was pleased how well the uphill hike had gone. My foot felt pretty good, too.

I followed the same route back down, but closer to the bottom I angled more west and walked across the flatter desert. However, this just funnelled me back to those fences, so I ended up repeating my route again for this last quarter-mile. I was back to my car about 3 p.m..

For a peak that I would likely ignore forever, and pretty much winged it, I found it to be a fun hike. The grades were easy, the brush light and the footing solid. It was about 3.5 miles round trip. Not many people come here and there appear to be some nice camping spots back here. I came away happy that I had visited this little peak and recommend it to future visitors.

I started driving back north, heading for home. I was beat by now. However, I had one more very short hike on the agenda, Poston Butte, a small lone hill near Florence. Since I'd be driving right by it, I stopped there to hike that little bump too.

(c) 2017 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.