The Mountains of Arizona •

Elevated view of the three peaks, Crash-up, Nugget & Globe Hills HP, seen from high up on Quartzite Mountain's slopes (April 2021)

Crash-up Mountain and Nugget Mountain as I start the hike

Panning a little to the right, now we see Globe Hills Highpoint

Crash-up Mountain as I approach

Summit of Crash-up

View of Nugget Mountain as I descend off of Crash-up Mountain

The saddle between Nugget Mountain and Globe Hills HP neatly frames in the Apache Peaks

Nugget Mountain

Big cairn atop Nugget

View of Crash-up from the saddle between Nugget and Globe Hills HP

Nearing the top of Globe Hills HP

Nugget as seen from the Globe Hills HP, note the brush and rocks. There was a lot of it

Crash-up as seen from Globe Hills HP

The three peaks as I exited, this was the only time I could get all three in one shot

• • •

The Arizona
Mountains Gazetteer

Click to find out more!

Globe Hills

Crash-up Mountain • Nugget Mountain • Globe Hills Highpoint

These three hills lie nearby one another in the Globe Hills, an unofficial name given to the grouping of hills north of Globe, south of the Apache Peaks massif, and west of highway US-60. I was here in March, hiking Quartzite Mountain. From Quartzite's slopes, these three hills are easily visible, and I immediately was interested to hike these three hills as a single loop hike. Seven months later, now in the cooler months, I returned, to do battle with these three hills.

Crash-up Mountain
• Globe Hills
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Date: October 13, 2021 • Elevation: 5,105 feet • Prominence: 368 feet • Distance: 1.5 miles ascent, 1 mile descent • Time: 3 hours & 50 minutes for the whole hike • Gain: 785 feet ascent, 345 feet descent • Conditions: Just spectacular, blue skies, cool, dry, wonderful


I left home at 5 a.m., heading eastbound on US-60. At this early hour, traffic was light, expecially going east. By 6:30, I was in Globe, where I stopped for gas and snacks. I then located myself onto Copper Hills Road on the west end of the main part of Globe. The road is paved, then hard-pack, running a few miles through the hills and scattered homes. I crossed onto the Tonto National Forest, where the road decreased in quality a little, but it was still drivable. I rumbled about another two miles, parking north of Copper Hill Tank at a bend in the road, elevation 4,320 feet. There are a couple mine adits here and I parked atop a refuse pile, off the road. It was sunny and clear, mild, but cold for now, in the high 30s. I started hiking at 7:05 a.m..

I walked northbound up the road, FR-224, a half-mile gaining about 250 feet, placing me on a ridge, the road descending down the other side, but a side road going left (west) into the canyon separating Crash-up Mountain and Globe Hills Highpoint. At this vantage, Crash-up Mountain was essentially right in front of me facing west, then Nugget Mountain was in the back, a pointier summit, then Globe Hills Highpoint to my right, a ridge-like summit. I intended to hike the three starting with Crash-up, working in a clockwise pattern.

I followed this road branch west, dropping about 50 feet. It continues downhill to the right, but a secondary branch went left and uphill, achieving a small hilltop enclosed in a 4,600-foot contour, a gain of about 40 feet. The road ends here. I dropped about 20 feet then walked uphill through low grass and scattered rock, gaining about 500 feet, a straight-shot to the summit of Crash-up Mountain. I did not track my time, but this went quick and I was up top probably no more than 45 minutes after starting. In the sun, the temperature rose a few degrees. It was cool still, but very comfortable and absolutely magnificent.

The top is generically rocky and brushy with a few low trees, but open with good views. I snapped a couple photographs, then signed into the register hidden within the cairn. Bob Martin was here in 1996, then Mark Nicholls in 2001. Then no one until Bob Moore in April 2021, a span of 20 years. I found that surprising. Surely a random hiker or hunter has been here since then. I signed in, and hope it's not until 2041 when the next person visits.

I resumed hiking, now aiming for Nugget Mountain. I continued northwest along the long summit ridge, battling some brush and trees here for a few dozen feet. When things started to open up again, I angled downhill, going more to my left than down, aiming for a track down below. This would be the same track that I had briefly walked on at the mouth of this canyon.

Nugget Mountain
• Globe Hills
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Elevation: 5,147 feet • Prominence: 360 feet • Distance: 1 mile round trip • Gain: 387 feet


I descended to the track, then followed it uphill to top out on a small bump, passing a fenceline/gate along the way. The track then dropped gently, aiming for the saddle connecting Nugget Mountain with Globe Hills Highpoint. Nugget Mountain has a much steeper profile than the other two peaks and the top is surrounded by a small band of cliffs.

At the saddle, I walked a little more to inspect ways up Nugget Mountain. On its east (slightly southeast) side is a brushy slope and a weakness in the cliffs. It looked like the best bet so I started up. The slope here was thickly-vegetated in grasses, agave, cactus, small woody scrub and small trees. There were plenty of rocks and moving through this was slow. More than once a rock rolled out from under me, or I got caught up in the plants.

Toward the top, the break in the cliffs is actually a small slope of small talus, about a 20-foot gain. Some of these rocks moved and a couple just fell right over with the slightest push. Once above that, I was essentially on top. The highpoint was a short stroll away with about 15 more feet to gain. The top was open, with some brush, and the biggest cairn of the day, a four-foot tall pile of rocks. The register held just two names: Bob Martin from 1996, and Mark Nicholls from 2001. Bob Moore evidently did not come here back in April. I find it hard to believe I would be the first person here in over twenty years, but given the brush and sloppiness of the slope, maybe no one else has cared to bother. I added my name, then placed the register back. I took a ten-minute break up here, enjoying the views and solitude.

I hiked down essentially the same slope, not trying to be clever. I just followed open lanes (so to speak), when I could. I was back to that track, this particular round-trip hike taking about 45 minutes. So far, I was doing great, feeling energetic, and it was still early.

Globe Hills Highpoint
• Highpoint: Globe Hills
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Elevation: 5,160 feet • Prominence: 448 feet • Distance: 0.75 mile ascent, 1.25 miles descent • Gain: 400 feet ascent, 840 feet descent


I next started up the gentle west ridge of the Globe Hills Highpoint, the going very easy at first due to the gentle grade, lesser brush and more of the nice flat rocks to quickly walk on. About halfway up, things started to get steeper and brushier, but I still made pretty good time. Up ahead, the top came into view. I was on the top's west tip quickly, a gain of about 400 feet from the track down low.

Unlike the first two peaks, finding the highpoint would take some seaching. Any one of about a half-dozen rocks could be the highest point, a couple hidden in thick mountain oak. I tagged anything and everything. At what I thought was the highest rocks, I did not see a register or cairn. As I moved east, I continued to kick, tag, slap or sidle by any rockpile that looked like a possible highpoint. Brush made it difficult to sight between some of the points.

I found a small cairn and sure enough, a register. However, water had got in to the small baby-food jar that held the register, and over many years, had turned the paper within it into a black mush. I opened the top and the paper schmutz just blew away. It wasn't charred. It was just black moldy dust. I hope I didn't breathe any of it in.

The tiny pencil nub barely worked, so I tore off a piece of paper from my map, signed my name onto it, placed it back into the bottle and set it back in the little cairn. It may not last another twenty years. I continued along the ridge, just trying to avoid the brush. I found an opening through the rocks onto a lovely slope that went straight down to the road below me. I eased down, then walked carefully downslope, now back on the old track a little west of an earthen water tank.

Now on road, I walked it up and down, past a gate, then up to the saddle I had been on a couple hours ago when I started the loop. I took a longer break here to relax, then walked the last half-mile back to my car, arriving at 11:50 a.m., a 3-hour, 50 minute hike covering about 5.5 miles. I was feeling good, pleased the hike had gone well.

I had another peak on the agenda, Ramboz Peak, which lies about three miles south. I had print-outs of the satellite maps showing the warren of roads that get close to it. I got up one road and came to a gate with "no trespassing" signs on it, so I tried another road, same thing. I gave up on hiking Ramboz Peak. Even though it is on Tonto Forest land, evidently someone has an inholding here and I'll need to figure another way to that peak, some other day.

I was parked on top of a ridge and the day was just stunning, so blue and clear and calm and mild. Not a cloud anywhere. In no hurry, and it still not yet noon, I got out the camp chair, some snacks and had a lunch overlooking the canyons below and the hills I had just hiked. Tomorrow is my mom's 80th birthday, and I sat there, wishing her a happy birthday from a distance. My wife texted me with some very hopeful news on a matter that has been dogging me for months now, and that lifted my spirits tremendously. I spent the better part of an hour at this vantage pont, enjoying the incredible scenery and weather, and appreciative of my blessings in my life.

(c) 2021 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.