The Mountains of Arizona

Peak 3496 as I approach it

Summit of Peak 3496. Way in the back is snow-covered Four Peaks

The ridge system leading to Peak 3640, which is the left part of the summit ridge up ahead

Peak 3640 nigh, but between me and it is a gauntlet of cholla

Summit of Peak 3640

Descending now, the sun came out briefly. That's the Reymert Mine, behind is Picketpost Mountain, then the cliffs above Superior, and way in back, why, that's Pinal Peak, in snow

Look back up at Peak 3640 as I descend

View of the ridge I followed up to Peak 3496 from this morning

The ridge I just descended from Peak 3640, from the same point as the previous photo

Sign at the gate. I like how this is the hazard training. No zooms or SOP books to read

A map of my route. The red dot is the gate and where I parked. I walked this route counter clockwise.

All images

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Reymert Mine Peaks

Peak 3496 • Peak 3640

I had a morning free, and looked around for — what else — a hike to do. I homed in on a batch of peaks surrounding the Reymert Mine and the old Reymert townsite, located a couple miles south of US-60, southwest of Picketpost Mountain. I actually became aware of the peaks and the region in general reading some of those backcountry Jeep/4wd driving sites, which I find often have good photos and general information about the area, emphasizing the roads and other access concerns. For me, getting close to the peak is half the battle. That's where these sites come in handy.

Reymert townsite lies a little southwest of the peaks, on the sloping foothills toward the desert flats. The Reymert Mine lies within the hills and is an active mine. The peaks lie on Tonto National Forest land, so access is not restricted, but some of the roads getting to the peaks lie within the mine property, which would inhibit access.

I chose to concentrate on the two peaks west of the mine. I knew I could get close to the northern one, Peak 3496, as the road is still open to the public up to the base of this peak. The other peak, Peak 3640 ("Reymert Peak" since it straddles the Reymert mine and townsite), would be difficult to reach via the road, but hopefully reachable by following ridges outside the mine property. My plan, then, was to hike a triangular-shaped loop from Peak 3496 to Peak 3640 and back to my car. The mileage and gain figures looked very reasonable. The issue would be what kind of barriers would lie on the ridges ... cliffs? horrible brush?

The third peak, Peak 3670, lies east and I had a map for it, but I was almost certain I would not be able to get to it without trespassing. I'd decide that when I got closer, but I wasn't expecting success on the third peak. If I could get the first two, I'd be happy with that.

Peak 3496
• Superstition Mountains (foothills)
• Tonto National Forest
• Pinal County

Date: January 5, 2023 • Elevation: 3,493 feet (per Lidar) • Prominence: 308 feet (per Lidar) • Distance: 3.9 miles whole hike • Time: 3 hours, whole hike • Gain: 1,380 feet (gross, whole hike) • Conditions: Cloudy and gray, sometimes strong breeze, whole hike


I was on the road at 6:30, heading east, traffic heavy but not too bad as most people are heading into Phoenix. About 45 miles later, I was on the stretch of US-60 between Gonzales Pass and Superior, with big Picketpost Mountain right there. I exited onto the dirt road that leads to the Picketpost Mountain/Arizona Trail parking lot and trailhead. However, I went the other way.

The road jogs right, then a sharp left, heading south. It's a good road, mostly smooth, but narrow. And within fifty feet, I had to pull way aside to allow one of those big mine trucks hauling out a load. I did not have to drive very far on this road, but I was suddenly mindful that the big trucks own this road, and I better be careful. The public is not barred from the road. But when a big truck and a smaller vehicle meet, the laws of physics take over. The big truck always wins.

I covered the remaining mile or so with no more truck encounters, and parked in a small clearing at the gate where the road leads into the mine. The gate was open with a strongly-worded sign about the rules once you enter the area. While it did not specifically say "no trespassing", it's pretty clear they don't want the people just showing up. I wasn't going to push my luck at all, nor did I need to.

It was close to 8 a.m. when I finally got properly dressed and everything packed. The day was cool with clouds, but no chance of rain. There were patches of blue sky and every now and then the sun would shine through and light everything, but otherwise, it was dingy gray most of the time.

I dropped into Reymert Wash down below the road, and walked it "upstream" about a hundred feet. I left it when I saw the first good-looking slope. There was even a trail... or path. Regardless, it was something to follow. I gained steeply uphill until the grade lessened and everything opened up more to where I could see what I needed to do. The tread was solid, the brush and cactus well spaced, steep but never too steep. The ground is covered in granitic rocks up to about 2 inches in diameter. The recent rains had made the ground slightly damp to where they held the rocks in place better than when dry, when the rocks might be apt to slide.

I gained upward, Peak 3496 now visible. I mounted a small rise, then dropped about 50 feet to a saddle below the last slope to the top. This went well, and I was on top of Peak 3496 about 40 minutes after starting, covering under a mile. I was pleased to get this one with almost no extra effort. The hike had gone very well.

The top is bare with some low brush and a cairn. I found the register and signed in. It was one of Bob Martin's old registers, placed there in 1997. I was surprised to see how many people had signed in. It looked to be about three or four people/groups per year, a lot of familiar names and a lot of unfamiliar ones. A few mentioned they were hunters, which may explain the extra names.

The views were good, but the colors were muted. To the north I could see the peaks in the Superstition Range including Weavers Needle, which is always the most obvious thing when looking that way. Behind it was the snowy hump of the Four Peaks massif. I took a break here but not very long. Up higher, the wind was stronger here and easy to get a chill unless I kept moving.

Looking south toward Peak 3640, I studied the ridge system between me and it, and it looked good. Peak 3640 was about a mile away, and the ridges seemed friendly. Nevertheless, in a worst-case scenario, it would be easy to bail off the ridge and down into the drainages if I had to. So it was a safe gamble.

The 1-meter Lidar dataset (USGS 1 Meter 12 x47y368 AZ_MaricopaPinal_2020_B20) gives a summit elevation of 3,493 feet and a pominence of 308 feet. The peak's name, however, remains "Peak 3496" as that is how it is written on the map.

Peak 3660 • Reymert Peak

Elevation: 3,660 feet (per Lidar) • Prominence: 470 feet (per Lidar) • Conditions: Actually got sunny for a bit


I descended off Peak 3496, then up and over a tiny bump to its south. Then I descended the only "really steep" part of the hike, a drop of about 300 feet to a saddle below. This segment was steep enough to cause rocks to slip underneath, and I had to move laterally to stay on the best lines. Taking it slowly, I inched down and was now below the peak, all in one piece. I was at elevation 3,190 feet, give or take a few feet.

The next mile (or most of one) was a walk up and down the ridge. I climbed "Hill 3114", about a 130-foot prominent bump, and descended back down to about the same elevation as where I was. Then I climbed yet another bump, this one just about 60 feet of prominence, and back down to 3,190 feet. I sensed a trend here.

The ridges naturally lead only one way. I simply followed where they went. The hiking was fun and not difficult at all. The slopes were lenient and never brushy. The only negative was the stiff wind, which chilled me. The ridges lead up to a hill, Elevation 3,573, a little west of Peak 3640. It wasn't until I got to this bump that I could actually see Peak 3640 in its full form. I stopped for a moment here and studied it, plus to catch my breath. The cholla was very thick up here, really the only place the entire hike where I encountered thick cholla.

I dropped a few feet into a gentle saddle, then up to Peak 3640. The top is also bare, with one big saguaro on it, and a rocky clump at the apparent highest point. I found a register in a small cairn. This one was newer, replaced by a past hiker who said the previous one had got wet and damaged. He had transcribed some names going back about 6 years. I was the first to log in in about two years. I suspect that those who had visited Peak 3496 also came here, since it is such a natural thing to do.

I took a longer break here. I had been hiking all of about ninety minutes, believe it or not. I looked around at the scenery. A number of hills rising to the south, down Florence way. Big peaks like Newman could be seen southwest. To the north and northwest were the Superstitions. Picketpost Mountain stood high, behind the Reymert Mine. They were busy today, I could here the beeps of trucks moving. The breeze stayed strong (not too bad, about 20 m.p.h.), but I stayed put to enjoy the moment and not rush back down.

I did study the slopes and routes over to Peak 3670, and yeah, I'd be crossing the mine property, with no obvious end-run option. That peak isn't critical for my long term positive mental health, but I felt a tiny amount of bummed-ness that I couldn't easily tag it. I also studied the slopes and ridge down that looked like it would go almost all the way back to my car.

I got down maybe 50 feet and suddenly, the sun popped out! For one thing, it felt great. Two, it suddenly lit up everything, so I got my camera out and shot as many images as I could. I would stop for five minutes in one spot hoping the sun would pop out again, for that "perfect" image.

The hike down went great. Absolutely no problem at all, no barriers, nothing. I just stepped downward and enjoyed it all. Lower down, the paths picked up again, obvious cow paths, along with obvious cow sign. I actually stepped right into one. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't normally do that. Speaking of cows, they get quite high! There were paths even on that high ridge along with their round mounds of brown. I saw a couple, grazing high on the slopes. These guys are hardy cows. I hope to eat them someday, and gain better climbing skills as a result.

The ridge dropped me right into the Reymert Wash and just a few yards from my car. I actually ascended out of the ridge and onto the road inside the gate, technically on the mine grounds without my hardhat and ear protection. But I was only on the road for a few seconds. I was back to my car at 11 a.m..

This hike had gone extremely well. The whole route was cake to walk, navigation was obvious, and the views very good. In clear conditions, it would be even better. I enjoyed this hike a lot and recommend it.

I had one more peak on the docket, Peak 3002 by Gonzales Pass, about five miles away. It is one of three peaks that stand at the pass. I hiked two of them in July 2021, and wanted to get Peak 3002 done to complete the set.

The drive out went well, but I was extremely careful. At each bend, I would crawl to it to make sure there wasn't a big truck coming up. There's no way to evade one if I was even going at 5 miles per hour. If I was to make a turn and there was one, it would hit me. Fortunately, this was only for a mile and no trucks came up. I was at the Gonzales Pass within ten minutes for my last peak of the afternoon.

The printed maps do not show a summit elevation for this peak and just show a 3,640-foot contour. The 1-meter Lidar dataset gives an elevation of 3,660 feet for this peak and a prominence of 470 feet.

(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. .