The Mountains of Arizona •
Patio Peak • Peak 5962 • Mule Mountains
• Cochise County

Gold Hill is in front, Peak 5962 (Patio Peak) in back

Nearing the top under a dark cloud

Summit hill

The top

View of Bisbee

Gold Hill, and Cerro San Jose in Mexico, in back

Black Knob, looking southeast

Hiking the road down

Looking back up

Parting view of Peak 5962

Peak 5962 is to the left, and Gold Hill, seen from the Lavendar Pit mine

All images

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Date: November 25, 2023 • Elevation: 5,962 feet • Prominence: 982 feet • Distance: 5 miles • Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes • Gain: 1,115 feet • Conditions: Fast-moving clouds, some sun, breezy and cold


Peak 5962 is the highest point of a clump of peaks southeast of Bisbee, the southeastern extent of the Mule Mountains. A more noticeable peak called Gold Hill stands out, with a more pointed profile. Peak 5962 lies north along a common ridge, about 20 feet higher in elevation. Both peaks are visible from points around town. For example, both are easily seen from the Lavendar Pit viewing area. Gold Hill will be immediately obvious, and Peak 5962 rises to the left, a more gently-rounded peak covered in scrub.

A local name for the peak is Patio Peak. I found this reference with some fine photos of the peak and surrounding area. They approached it from a different direction than I did, but I ended up following the same road/track to the summit as they did.

An old track goes to the summit of Peak 5962, and the natural inclination would be to hike both in one outing. I'd assess the feasibility of getting up Gold Hill when there. I knew I could get to Peak 5962 assuming access was not barred. Yesterday, I drove around town and scouted some of these fringe roads. The maps show much of this area as private, but I was happy to learn the roads are open to the public. The peaks are on BLM land with some State Land off to the side, but the initial mile from the road goes over private property.

I actually had other plans for today, but I bailed from the peak I was looking at due to high winds, and returned to Bisbee, now with a couple hours to kill, so I decided today would be a good day to explore this peak. From Arizona Road in the Warren district of Bisbee, I went south past a foreground hill, and then left onto Gold Gulch Road, driving for a mile on this wide hardpack dirt road, parking on a small elevated bluff. Gold Hill stood before me, Peak 5962 partially hidden in the back.

There is a fenced, gated and posted property to the north of Gold Gulch Road, but where I was parked, although ostensibly private, there was no posting or fences. There was a sign mentioning no shooting. Apparently back in the day, this area was developed as a shooting range. I bundled up due to the stiff wind, the skies cloudy with some sun, temperatures in the high 40s.

I walked down a lesser track to a lowpoint, then followed this main track to a gate with prominent "no trespassing" signs. So I backed off and tried another track, which led to another gate with the same "no trespassing" signs. But luckily, this was the farthest extent of that property. The fenceline then made a bend and I had unfenced, unposted, unfettered access into the hills. I followed a footpath that paralleled the property's fence, then down off a bluff onto a road, then into a gravelly and rocky drainage, Gold Gulch itself, which emanates southward from a small basin hemmed in by the surrounding peaks.

I did not feel uncomfortable being where I was. These tracks showed tire prints that looked recent and likely from ATVs. Most private but unposted and unfenced land out here likely belongs to the mines, but since there are no active mines out here, the land is generally left alone. When the mines don't want you somewhere, trust me, they know how to put up fences, barbed wire and signs. There was none of that out here.

I walked through the gulch for about 500 yards, then the road ascended out of it, then back in, then back out, now on some gently-sloping bluffs coming off the main peaks. At one Y-junction, I could see "my" road heading uphill to the east. This is the road I wanted. I passed a metal stock tank along the way. The road gets rubbly and steep, and about 500 vertical feet later, I was on top the ridge connecting Gold Hill to Peak 5962. Back up on the ridge, the wind kicked up and chilled me. I put back on a layer.

I then walked the track to the top. The road is in poor shape and after a point I saw no tracks. An ATV would have trouble on this road, and I suspect it never gets driven any more. Mesquite trees grow everywhere and line the road. Grass and low cactus grows everywhere. I was on top the peak soon, a one-way hike of about 2.5 miles in a little over an hour. The top is bare and flat, with a low pile of rocks and two solar panels, but I am not sure what they are collecting electricity for.

I stayed up top for about 5 minutes, mainly waiting for the sun to emerge so I could get some better images. The best view was west, looking at the various homes and buildings in Bisbee and the surrounding Mule Mountains. I had excellent views south into Mexico. The wind was heavy and cold and I mainly walked around the peak to stay warm. I did not find any registers. Some local hiking clubs come up here. See the link above and there are at least three trip reports for this peak. So it gets visited. Lists of John shows that Bob Packard was the last person to log an entry, in 2005.

For the descent, I followed the road, all the while studying the lines of Gold Hill. There is a track that goes up toward it, but it ends well below the top, which from this direction, are guarded by tall cliffs. However, it appears the western ridge looks viable, and I will likely return to climb it. But today, it would mean descending all the way down only to reclimb it all. I'll just come back. I was back to my vehicle a little before noon, a two-hour, thirty-minute hike.

I enjoyed this hike and although probably not worth a trip all this way just for this peak alone, it's an easy hike with fairly easy logistics. No one had bothered my car. I had left my State Lands permit in the window and a note that I was hiking the roads, not hunting. I think their main concern is the random shooter or illegal hunter.

(c) 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.