The Mountains of Arizona •

Stoney Mountain

Stoney Mountain, Arizona
A roadrunner!
Stoney Mountain, Arizona
Stoney Mountain is the peak toward the right with a flattish top
Stoney Mountain, Arizona
Near the top
Stoney Mountain, Arizona
West view of North Mountain and Shaw Butte
Stoney Mountain, Arizona
Northeast view of the ridge I ascended

Veterans Mountain

Peak 1845 as I start the hike

View east at Piestewa Peak from the top of Veterans Mountain

Another view of Peak 1845

Now looking over at Shaw Butte

Why, that is Stoney Mountain

Peak 1845

Peak 1845, now from down low as I hike toward it

Getting close to the top

From 1845's top, looking south. The sky was blotted out with dust

Veterans Mountain from 1845's summit

All images

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Dreamy Draw Pass

Stoney Mountain • Veterans Mountain • Peak 1845

These three hills in the Phoenix Mountains west of Piestewa Peak and west of the AZ-51 "Dreamy Draw" Freeway. Stoney Mountain lies north of the two peaks. Peak 1922 (Veterans Mountain) lies immediately west of the freeway, and Peak 1845 is about another mile to the west. Veterans Mountain received its name in 2008, but I only learned of its name recently. No signs at the trailhead mention it by this name.

Stoney Mountain
• City of Phoenix
• Phoenix Mountains Preserve
• Maricopa County

Date: January 2, 2017 • Elevation: 2,020 feet • Prominence: 518 feet • Distance: 4 miles • Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes • Gain: 620 feet • Conditions: Cold, gray sky, no sun


I wanted to start off 2017 with a hike, and this peak, which lies across the freeway (AZ-51) from Piestewa Peak, was a good choice. It was close to home and wouldn't take too long. Good trails get close to the peak, and a lesser use-path leads to the base of the summit.

We had rain for New Years Day, and today started dry with no rain, but a low cloud ceiling. It was cool, temperatures about 50 degrees, and the sun barely could be seen through the thick overcast skies. It was good for hiking, although I would have preferred bluer skies. For photographs, the light was lousy.

I parked at the Dreamy Draw Dam trailhead, east of AZ-51 at the Northern Road exit. This was my first time ever at this trailhead. I did not even know it existed until I saw it on the maps. Given how many times I have been to Piestewa Peak, I was kind of annoyed with myself at not being aware of other trailheads in the area.

The parking lot was crowded, and I had to wait in line about 10 minutes until someone left. There were lots of people here—families, couples, kids, dogs, joggers and old guys like me. I rolled in and got my stuff in order, locked the vehicle and started walking about 11 a.m.

At the trailhead, a roadrunner came walking out of the brush toward a puddle, presumably to drink. I like seeing roadrunners, and this one allowed me to shoot an image of him (left sidebar). I walked in a few yards then turned left onto Trail 100.

Trail 100 is the main trail in the preserve, running a few miles from one end to the other. Here, I was just yards from the freeway. The trail gains onto a hump, then drops into a drainage and a tunnel underneath the freeway that allows access to the other side. The ground in here was slick mud from yesterday's rain.

Now on the other side, I walked Trail 100 which gained about 75 feet and traversed below Peak 1922 on its south and west. The trail then dropped about 75 feet into a desert basin, with fancy homes on the opposite slopes. There were a few hikers on this side, and a lot of mountain bikers.

The trail then gains about 100 feet to a saddle northwest of Peak 1922, and south of the high ridge that contains Stoney Mountain summit. Now on the east side of the small range, I kept to the trail as it skirted by some homes, meanwhile dropping into and out of a few arroyos. The ground was rocky and wet in spots. There were a few puddles.

I kept walking until I was on a ridge northeast of the summit, having walked about 1.5 miles to get here. The main trail then bends left (west) here, but at the ridge crest, a scant trail left the main trail, going up this northeast ridge, a direct bearing to the top.

For the most part, this lesser trail was easy to follow, but it's not a maintained trail. I lost it a couple times, and had to guess a couple other times. It keeps to the left of the rock fins along this ridge. About halfway up, the trail grows thinner as it traverses below a big rock fin. Everything was wet—the rocks were a little slippery, and the dirt was mud. I had to move carefully.

Soon, the trail meets the main crest north of the summit. The saddle is small, just a few feet wide. The trail then continues past one small pinnacle toward the main summit, now just 50 feet above me. Here, I had to use hands in a couple spots, but the scrambling was easy, easy Class-2 at the worst. Soon, I was on top.

I stayed up here a few minutes, shooting photographs and checking out the boring summit. Up here, the breeze was strong and I got chilled fast. I didn't spend long up here. The gray skies and faint sun meant that any images I took would not be good ones. You can see for yourself.

Going down, I went slow due to the wetness and sometimes-loose slopes. But it went well, and I was down the ridge to the main trail in about 10 minutes, and from there, back to the main trailhead about 30 minutes later. I had been gone for an hour and 45 minutes, covering four miles.

I saw a lot of people (and dogs) on the main trails, but no one on the summit or the spur trail. I suspect few people go to this summit. Those who want a peak will migrate to Piestewa Peak. Many people on Trail 100 were bikers or joggers. The scramble and the loose slopes up high probably would scare off the average hiker. It's not difficult, but it's not trivial either.

Veterans Mountain

Date: October 21, 2017 • Elevation: 1,922 feet • Prominence: 302 feet • Distance: 1 mile • Time: 45 minutes • Gain: 930 feet cumulative • Conditions: Warm and dusty


I was here in January to hike Stoney Mountain, and came back today for these two bumps. I was looking for some exercise, and these two peaks together would entail about 3 miles of hiking and 900 feet of gain, so it would be a decent workout. Today was warm, and very dusty. It had been windy the past few days, so the sky was full of hazy dust.

I did some morning errands then drove to the Dreamy Draw trailhead. I got my things in order and started hiking a little after noon. This was sigificant, my first hike here in months that did not require an early-morning start to beat the heat. Today's high was only supposed to be in the low 80s. It felt like the mid 70s when I started.

I followed Trail 100 underneath the AZ-51 Freeway, then to a junction. Officially, Trail 100 goes left, but an equally-good trail goes right, meeting again near a saddle on the north side of Veterans Mountain. That was my destination. I chose to go left, since the trail gets high on Veterans Mountain's south slopes, and I surmised there may be a hiker's path somewhere here. No such luck. So I continued on Trail 100, losing about 50 feet, then following it to the aforementioned saddle.

I didn't see any beaten paths here either, so I went in anyway, walking along loose slopes of shard-like rock fragments. I weaved through some low rock outcrops, then angled a little to the west and grunted up a steep slope of this fragmented scree. Fortunately, there were enough rocks and brush to grab onto or step on for good footing. Soon, I was below the summit rocks.

I found a slope that looked promising and followed it up, and soon, there was the top. The gain from the saddle was just over 300 feet, and while steep, sloppy and loose, I never needed hands to scramble. I stayed up top for about 5 minutes, snapping images of the surrounding peaks in heavy dust, plus enjoying the sounds of nature such as traffic on the 51.

The hike down went slow, but I scooted down without any events. I decided to descend a little more to the west, meeting Trail 100 well below the saddle. I took it slow, often had to walk with a very wide gait, but never once needed hands to clamber, just for balance.

Peak 1845

Elevation: 1,845 feet • Prominence: 345 feet • Distance: 2 miles • Time: 45 minutes

Now, I was heading to Peak 1845. I followed all sorts of trails in the basin between the two peaks, all seemingly merging into one that surmounts a small saddle up ahead. Just below this saddle, a side trail branches and gains to the ridge, and from here, the trail continues up steep slopes to gain the top of Peak 1845. I was happy to have the trail for this segment.

My break up here was short, time to take a few photos and drink water. It was pleasant, but I was eager to get back to the walking, so I started down. I retraced my steps and hiked back to my car, the round trip for both peaks taking about 90 minutes.

Yeah, these aren't the greatest peaks ever, but they make for a good workout and the crowds aren't thick at all, especially on Peak 1845. I enjoyed the time outdoors.

(c) 2017-2023 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. World Hockey Association