The Mountains of Arizona •

Richmond Mountain as viewed from where the forest road leaves US-60. The summit is above and behind the rock cliffs

Hiking up the ridge

Agave stalks all leaning


View south

View west at the Apache Peaks

A peak on the San Carlos

Back at the car

Quartzite Peak at left. I went up the slope toward the hill on the right then cut over

Halfway up

Almost to the saddle

The top

North, Apache Peaks and Richmond Mountain

South, East Peak and the Pinal Mountains

West: Crash-up, Nugget and Globe Hill

Hiking down, my car is down there

Hefty cairn on the lower slopes. Probably a corner marker for a mine claim

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North Globe Hills

Richmond Mountain • Quartzite Peak

I drove to Globe to hike a couple peaks and scout the roads for possible other hikes, either for today or for the future. I had maps for about a half-dozen peaks, all lying northeast of Globe along US-60 heading north, but did not expect to hike them all. Richmond Mountain lies about ten miles north of Globe, about a mile west of the highway. Directly east of the highway is Chrome Butte. I was interested in both, but Chrome Butte looked like it would require more homework on how best to handle it. Thus, Richmond Mountain was a safe second choice. It did not look difficult and would probably go fast.

I then scouted the hills south of Richmond Mountain and north of the city of Globe. I hiked just one, Quartzite Peak, but left with a headful of ideas for a later visit.

Richmond Mountain
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Date: March 21, 2021 • Elevation: 5,836 feet • Prominence: 393 feet • Distance: 1.2 miles • Time: 75 minutes • Gain: 675 feet • Conditions: Clear and mild


I left Payson a little after 6 a.m., and drove through Globe and northbound on US-60 to where the highway gains a grade to a pass connecting Richmond and Chrome, both being visible for miles beforehand. I found Tonto FR-584, which goes in toward the peak. More accurately, I whizzed right past it but then turned around to get back to it. It is gated but dummy-locked. The public is welcome, they just want the gate to remain shut at all times.

I drove FR-584 about a mile uphill. It aims toward a windmill, then cuts right (north) and runs below Richmond Mountain. From the road's vantage, the peak is grass-covered with a line of rocky cliffs at its very top, and thin forest of juniper along the top ridges. I drove to a road-cut, parking in a wide area before the road-cut itself. I was below the main southeast ridge, less than a mile from the top. This hike would go quickly, covering just over a mile round trip. (FR-584 is a good road, gaining about 260 feet in a mile. Most vehicles could handle it. There were two erosion-control berms in the road that would stop the lowest-clearance vehicles. Anything else would be fine.)

I killed the engine. The day was sunny and clear, with mild conditions, the temperature about 55 degrees. It had taken me a little over an hour and a half from home to get here, covering 90 miles. I suited up, locked the car and started walking at 7:50 a.m., elevation 5,160 feet. I found a path of some sort (possibly a short ATV path) that gains uphill nearby the road-cut berm, and followed it uphill until the tread completely petered out in the low grass. I then turned left and started up the ridge itself, this segment being quite steep but easy to manage. The grass was low and the brush light, and the trees spaced out. The rocks wanted to roll, which they always do. I grunted uphill, gaining about 400 feet to where the slope moderated significantly.

Now on the gentler slopes, I made better time. The ground was open but rocky, many rocks being big and flat, some flush to the ground to where it felt that I was walking on sidewalks at times. I had to cross a fence at some point, and quickly, I was on top of Richmond Mountain. It had taken a half-hour to hike here. I sat for about 15 minutes and snapped some images of the surrounding peaks, including the big Apache Peaks to the northwest. The register was buried in a cairn. It was placed there in the mid-2000s and had a few signatures up through 2014, then no one until I signed in today. The register wasn't that well hidden. I doubt I am the first person to hike this peak in seven years. The day was calm and lovely, and I felt no urge to be moving quickly.

I walked down the same way, going about the same rate as I had coming up, arriving back to my car a little after 9 a.m., a 75-minute hike. The mileage wasn't too muh, just 1.2 miles round trip. At spots along the high ridge, I studied the slopes and cliffs on Chrome Butte and decided to skip it today. A direct climb would seem difficult, more effort than I was willing to put in. However, approaching it from the north looks plausible and I left having some sense of a way up that peak, saving it for a later day.

I drove down the forest road to the highway, then back to Globe. Next on my agenda were a grouping of hills just north of Globe.

Quartzite Peak
• Globe Hills
• Tonto National Forest
• Gila County

Elevation: 5,121 feet • Prominence: 559 feet • Distance: 2.1 miles • Time: 1 hour 50 minutes • Gain: 940 feet • Conditions: Clear and mild


I was in the Globe area, now looking to situate myself in the hills that lie along Copper Hills Road. These hills lie outside the Globe City Limits and partly on Tonto National Forest land. They lie south of the Apache Peaks and have no official name, so I cleverly call them the Globe Hills. So do others, apparently, going by what I've seen in the registers. It seems Quartzite is within the Globe Hills, but Richmond Mountain is not.

Copper Hills Road was easy to find with a road map. I followed it northbound, paved for the first couple miles, then graded dirt for the remainder. I inspected a couple nearby peaks, Buckeye Mountain and Black Peak, but passed on both as they had too many homes on them and it was not clear whether they were open to the public. I continued northbound on Copper Hills Road to the Tonto National Forest boundary past the last of the homesteads. The road narrows a little but is still a decent road, but not as regularly maintained. I drove another mile past the boundary and parked in a clearing below Copper Hill Tank, southwest of Quartzite Hill. I did not track mileage, but I covered about 7 miles from US-60 in Globe.

I started hiking about 9:50 a.m.., aiming east and following a rougher track that headed toward the mountain. This track ended at a turn-around, so I dropped into a drainage for a little bit, then up onto a slope, this being the main slope emanating off of the southern sub-summit, this one with elevation 4,916 feet. Quartzite Peak itself was visible the whole way. I hiked uphill through rocks, low brush and grass, tacking leftwards as I hiked uphill, so as to situate myself in the saddle between Quartzite Peak and Peak 4916. This segment was steep but not difficult, and the brush was light. After about a half hour, I had gained about 700 feet to the saddle, where I stopped for a brief break.

From the saddle, I hiked up easy and open slopes, gaining about 250 feet, to the summit, arriving a little less than an hour after starting. The top is open and gently-humped, with rocks on the ground, a smattering of low trees, and a decent-sized cairn. I found the register stashed in the cairn, placed relatively recently as I was just the third person to sign in. The views up here were very good, with a high perch to view the hills surrounding the area (and planting ideas for future hikes here), plus the higher summits of Pinal Peak and subsidiaries, still with plenty of snow down to about the 7,000-foot level. Looking north, I could see Richmond Mountain, plus Apache Peaks, Chrome Butte, and farther behind, Carol Spring Mountain (with the towers), Timber Camp Mountain, and the rocky knob of Jackson Butte barely visible below Timber Camp's darker profile.

I spent about ten minutes up top, taking advantage of a good sitting rock. The weather was calm and pleasant, sunny with a slight breeze, and agreeable. Going down, I descended more to the southwest rather than retrace my route down to the saddle. The slope I was on was long, gentle and unbroken and appeared to lead straight down to my car. I descended quickly, being careful to not roll rocks out from under me. Halfway down, I came upon one large and artfully-built cairn about three feet tall. My guess is it markes a mine claim, as there are many in the area. I came upon one more large cairn lower down, too. I then passed Copper Hill Tank, then eased into the brushy drainage and back to my car, arriving a little before noon. The descent had taken about 45 minutes and was completely straightforward.

Back at the car, I changed out of my hiking clothes back into my driving clothes ... chagrined to learn I could not find my good shorts. I looked and looked but could not locate them. I figured I may had left them inadvertantly back at Richmond Mountain. So I drove back, up that road and they weren't there either. So I looked harder, turning over things in the back of my car, and there they were. That was a good way to waste twenty minutes and some gas. I changed and then retraced my driving back into Globe and then on highway AZ-188, passing along the shoreline of Lake Roosevelt and below the Mazatzal Mountains. Much of it was burned in the Bush Fire of 2020, some parts nearly incinerated to where it all looked sterilized.

The drive home took a couple hours, nothing interesting to report on except for a couple very slow drivers on the 188, people pulling big boats and trailers. I was back home to Payson a little after 2 p.m..

(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.