The Mountains of Arizona

Peak 5094

The two peaks seen from the Geronimo Trail from the west. Peak 5094 is left, 5096 at right

Looking up the ridge to Peak 5094

Summit of 5094 through a patch of ocotillo

North view from summit

Northwest: Perilla Mountain highpoint

South: Peak 5096, then the hills near Border Monument 80, then Cerro Gallardo at right, down in Mexico

Peak 5096

Summit of Peak 5096

Perilla Mountin high peaks as seen from 5096

Peak 5094 from Peak 5096

The two peaks as seen from my Perilla Mountain hike a couple weeks ago, with blue-sky weather

Peak 5096 in front, and 5094 in back to the right, as seen when I hiked to Border Monument 80

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Perilla Mountains - Geronimo Trail

Peak 5094 • Peak 5096

These two peaks lie on a common ridge, north and south of one another, alongside the Geronimo Trail, about seven miles east of Douglas. Perilla Mountain is a couple miles to the northwest, and Border Monument 80 Hill is about a mile south. The Mexican border and the wall is a mile to the south, too.

The two peaks are nearly identical in height. The topographic map places a spot elevation of 5,103 feet on the north peak, and 5,100 feet on the south. However, lidar data suggests an elevation of 5,094 for the north peak, and 5,096 feet for the south summit. This is at the 3-meter (1/9 arc-second) refinement, which is not as detailed as the 1-meter scale, but better than the 10-meter (1/3 arc-second) scale. Standing on both, it's too close to call. (For those who are interested, the dataset is USGS NED ned19_n31x50_w109x50_mx_nogales_lot2_2007 1/9 arc-second 200903 15 x 15 minute IMG)

I considered hiking one or both of these peaks after hiking Perilla Mountain about three weeks ago, but chose not to. Then I was here last week hiking to the hill near Border Monument 80 along the Mexican border. I did not have time to work in these peaks on that day. Today started out with no plan but a half-day open, and some rain expected starting tomorrow, so I figured now would be a good time to go look at one or both of these peaks.

I left home about 8:30 a.m., the day cool but not cold, with a layer of low clouds blocking the sun and muting the colors. I stopped in Douglas for snacks, then went through Douglas and on to the Geronimo Trail until just past milepost 7. The two peaks are easily visible, forming two distinct humps connected by a high saddle. The northern one (Peak 5094) has a gentler profile while the southern one (Peak 5096) is a steep cone-shaped peak. On my previous inspections, this southern one looked potentially troublesome, with a rocky crown that looked possibly technical, or messy (or both). I knew I could get peak 5094, so I would decide what to do with Peak 5096 once I got here. I wanted to see its slopes from up close.

Peak 5094
• Perilla Mountains
• Arizona State Trust Land
• Cochise County

Date: March 6, 2024 • Elevation: 5,094 feet • Prominence: 434 feet • Distance: 1.75 miles • Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes for both • Gain: 704 feet • Conditions: Cloudy and overcast, cool but not cold


I parked in a pullout south of a stock tank (with a solar panel). Even though my car was just a few feet from the main road, it was well-hidden by brush. I had everything packed and ready to go, and was walking at 9:25 a.m.. I crossed the road and onto the scanter road that goes to the stock tank. Some cattle were there and they jogged away when they saw me. I ducked into the brush and followed open lanes and cattle paths about a half-mile northish, until I came to a track.

This track goes east-west and is visible on the satellite images, but not on the maps. It follows a fence line the entire way to the saddle. It was easy to follow and not too brushy, but the rocks were loose and apt to roll. What else is new. I was at the saddle quickly, maybe 20 minutes since leaving the car.

I then dipped into the saddle and started up its ridge, aiming for Peak 5094. The slope gets steep quickly, but is still easy to manage. Most of the slope is large bouldery scree, laying atop itself and often loose. I kept to cattle paths when possible, and moved carefully to be sure the rocks stayed put.

The cattle paths got about halfway up. The brush was open but a little thicker up here, with mesquite, low cactus and plenty of ocotillo. The tread was about the same, loose but not troublesome. I surmounted another rocky bluff and saw the highpoint close by. I walked through a saddle, then up the final 40 feet up looser slopes to the rocky summit.

The one-way hike had gone very well with no issues at all. The top is open with fine views. The register was out in the open, leaning against a rock. I opened it, and the papers were so rotten they literally disintegrated as I held them. They were blackened by years of sun, and unreadable. The pencil, though, still worked. I believe that after the big nuclear armageddon, only three things will survive: Twinkies, cockroaches and pencils.

I had a clean sheet of paper in my pack so I signed myself in and rolled it up into the jar. According to ListsofJohn, only Bob Martin and Mark Nicholls have been here, back in 2000. But I am sure there have been more people up here since then. For one thing, border crossers likely have been here (I saw some trash along the way, not much). The Border Patrol might run this once in a while. And it's close enough to the main road that a random few others have probably come up here.

As I descended, I looked over at Peak 5096, and studied its lines. There appeared to be a cliff-free slope directly to the top from the saddle, essentially a short but steep ramp to the top. It took me about twenty minutes to poke my way down the rocky slopes back to the saddle.

Peak 5096

Elevation: 5096 feet • Prominence: 559 feet • Distance: 0.6 mile • Gain: 436 feet • Conditions: Same


I knew if I over-thought this, I would probably convince myself that I should get home, I have work to do, I can always come back and so on. I knew if I just started walking uphill, my legs would over-ride my brain. Looking up, it looked very steep. But nothing that looked like an automatic show-stopper.

I slowly ambled uphill through the agave and brush. It held together well, better than over on Peak 5094. The route basically breaks into two halves: a steep lower half, and a steeper upper half. About halfway up, when I could sense things had gotten steeper, I found a path. This was a welcome surprise.

So I followed the path upward. It was a weak path but it was clearly a path. A migrant's path? Probably. I saw a couple water bottles along the way but little else. This path cuts a few steep switchbacks through the rockier higher slope, and at times, was hard to follow, but I always seemed to find it again. And the darn thing led right to the top!

The one-way hike didn't cover very much, about 0.3 mile, with over 400 feet of gain. I was pleasantly surprised how well it went, finding the path was fortuitous and most helpful.

The top is bare, with the eastern lobe a tad higher than the rockier west lobe. There are two small antenna apparati on the peak, which probably explains the path. These looked like Border Patrol or Sheriff things, held up by substantial cairns. I could not locate a register but wasn't surprised. I'm sure a few Mexican crossers have been up here to get a look at things.

I was just happy to be here and happy it went so well. I guess I was expecting looser terrain and more brush. I did not stop. I walked around the area, snapped a couple images, then started back down. I was able to follow the weak path about halfway down, then I bailed off it and just followed the slope down to the saddle. This side-trip took about a half hour.

The hike back to my car also went well. Once down lower and off the track, I had to battle some heavy brush and thorns. I also found a crosser stash that looked fresh, possibly just a few days old. A backpack, a sweater, some water bottles, things like that. I never saw anyone, though.

I was back to my car at 11:15 a.m., feeling pretty happy with how things went. I stopped for gas in Douglas and then got home to do some actual work.

These peaks are likely too far off the beaten path for most people, but if in the area and it's cool, these two peaks can be hiked in less than two hours and really are not difficult at all.

(c) 2024 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. .