The Mountains of Arizona

Peak 2934 is to the right, Table Mountain left

Low stone walls! Didn't expect ruins

Peak 2934 from another line of walls

The peak, as seen from the preceding hilltop

Summit, looking east

West, Table Mesa

The ridge of hills I climbed to get here

Pan to the right, there be Table Mountain again

Two weeks later, Table Mountain is still there. This is what it looks like from where I parked

Now closer. The lone saguaro on the skyline is where I breached the "cliffs" and got onto the plateau

Now I'm like real close, man

On top now, on the east tip looking west

Now on the south rim, looking west

Cool scenery

Another west view

Now looking east

The slope I ascended then would descend. There are Indian ruins atop the hill to the left.

Top row: a couple rocks I thought may be highest. The tower on top, and a zoom of the Indian ruins

Pyramid Peak from New River Road, from the north

Typical uphill view

Flag at summit, Table Mountain seen in back

Looking down, Circle Mountain Road. My car is down by the white sign. In back is big New River Mesa, in front and to the left is Cline Creek Ruins East Peak. To the right, the big hump is Elephant Mountain, and way in back-right is Black Mountain

View of Pyramid Peak from the southwest and its cool band of cliffs. The flag can barely be seen up on top

All images (Peak 2934)
All images (Table & Pyramid)

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New River Foothills Redux

Peak 2934 • Table Mountain • Pyramid Peak

These three peaks lie north of, or within, the community of New River, north of Phoenix. Table Mountain is a well-known landmark peak, since it sits astride Interstate-17 at the Table Mesa Exit ("table table"). Peak 2934 lies east, and some old Indian ruins lie on a small hill between the two. Pyramid Peak lies about six miles south, more within the homes than on the fringe.

I was here on January 2, intending to hike Table Mountain and Peak 2934 with Dan Fleischmann but the weather was terrible, so I bailed. I came back for other peaks in the area, then returned here again a couple weeks ago to try again at Table Mountain and Peak 2934.

Peak 2934
• Arizona State Trust Land
• New River Mountains
• Maricopa County

Date: February 9, 2023 • Elevation: 2,934 feet • Prominence: 434 feet • Distance: 5 miles • Time: 4 hours • Gain: 1,050 feet gross to Peak 2934, another 600 feet up and down Table Mountain • Conditions: Clear, sunny and very windy


I had a morning open, a last-minute change in zoom meetings to where I didn't have to be back until noon. So I piled into my vehicle and headed north, planning to hike both Table Mesa and nearby Peak 2934. I was here early in January with Dan Fleischmann but I bailed due to the weather. Today was sunny and cool, and extremely windy.

I parked and started walking along a rough track. It descends toward New River, which was flowing, but narrow and rocky enough to find a way across it. I was essentially at the foot of the long western ridge leading up to Table Mesa. It looked promising, except for a cliff band at its very top. But I hoped when I got there, I'd find a ramp or weakness through it. It was a small gamble.

Getting onto the ridge was easy. Then, still down low, I came upon a lower cliff band, walls about 15-20 feet high. After some inspection, I found an ugly, brushy ledge that fed me onto the ground above it. Above that, I walked up the steepening slope. Toward the top, it got real steep, and it was becoming clear there was no way up the highest cliffs, just a solid wall. Oh well. I turned around and scooted back down the slope, then eased down that ledge.

Now I turned my attention to Peak 2934, so I descended on a different tack to catch a power-line road (the same road I was earlier on). I followed this road about a half mile, then angled onto another track heading northeast, aiming for the saddle between Table Mesa and Peak 2934.

The hiking went well and was easy. The road gains steeply toward the end, and I followed a small spur up to a small turn-around, whereas the main track dropped into a small basin where there was once a mine. I was on a small perch and to my surprise, found some low walls about 3 feet high and a couple circular walls. The walls ran about twenty feet and were fitted together well, with smaller rocks chocked in between to add strength to the structure. I was not expecting Indian ruins right here, although they are common to the hills in the area. Later, I looked online but saw no references to these particular walls.

Past the walls, I followed a weak path that followed the ridge, going up and down a couple low rises, then side-hilling to the right of a bigger hill. This put me on a higher ridge coming in from another direction, but this was good because the slope up and over this bigger hill was much better looking from this ridge.

I hiked up onto this hill, then dropped about 80 feet to a saddle, then up and down another hill, another 80-foot gain and drop. Peak 2934 was visible, a rounded hump with some rock outcrops on its south and west slopes, the very ones I would be at momentarily.

These outcrops were easy to scale and bypass, full of openings and solid. Once past them, I had another 60 feet or so to the top. I found a cairn at the far end, but the top was flat enough that any of about three or four rocks could have been the highpoint. I shot a few images and enjoyed the sunny day, blue skies and no clouds. But the wind was fierce, a constant breeze about 20-30 m.p.h.. It wasn't too warm to begin with (low 60s) so this heavy wind cooled me very quickly if I didn't keep moving.

I descended the same way. I took time to study the slopes up to Table Mesa, and from this aspect, the cliffs seem to be very small or not there, so that getting up the peak is just a steep hike. I didn't have time to try again today. I went home and got busy being productive. However, I plan to return soon, now that I know what to do, and that it's too close to ignore.

Table Mountain

Date: February 24, 2023 • Elevation: 2,895+ feet (2,909 feet sez Lidar) • Prominence: 340+ feet (per Lidar) • Distance: 5 miles • Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes • Gain: 725 feet • Conditions: Clouds at first, then lovely sun

PBLoJUSGS BM Datasheet

I returned today to revisit Table Mountain after being turned back 15 days ago. I knew now where to go and felt this should not be a problem. I was on the freeways while still dark, traffic not yet too bad. I stopped for gas on the Carefree Highway, then took the New River exit. I'd be approaching Table Mountain from the south, from Photo View Road, the same roads I took last month when I hiked Peak 3336.

By now, the sun was up, and the day slightly cloudy, with no breeze, temperatures chilly but not cold. From Photo View Road, I turned onto an unnamed track that parallels power lines, now placing me on State Trust Land. I drove in as far as was prudent, about a half mile, before a rough wash crossing stopped me. I parked in a clearing off to the side.

I was moving at 7:15 a.m., north along this power line track. I hiked to the second stanchion, where I branched northeast onto a lesser track, but still a good and wide track. A Jeep could handle it. I followed this track to where it gains up to a saddle between Table Mountain and Peak 2934, where I was a couple weeks ago. The clouds were lingering but the sun was getting through. So far, so good. Nothing surprising.

Based on my recon from two weeks ago, I could see a promising way up Table Mountain. At the top rim, the caprock cliffs seem to lose distinction for a segment, suggesting that there may be a rocky and scrambly way up and through to the top.

I left the track and started hiking upward, the slope covered in low grass, cholla, creosote and saguaro and eighteen other common plants to the region. The uphill was steep but solid and went fast. The "cliff" here was a broken mass of rocks, some having fallen onto the slope below, so that the top 40 vertical feet was a mash-up of rocks, vegetation and slope. The rocks were solid, and the scrambling very easy. I needed hands in one spot only, to get around one particularly large rock. I was quickly on top. By now, the clouds were mostly cleared, now bunched up north against the Bradshaws. With the sun still low, I had great lighting for photos.

The "top" is flat, as expected. It slopes down to the north, and on its northeast tip is a communications tower surrounded by a fence. Where the highest point is, that's not immediately obvious. I planned to give the whole area good coverage anyway.

I first walked to the east tip for some photographs of the New River peaks and mesas, but the lighting wasn't good, and my images did not come out well. Then I started walking west, intending to get to the southwest tip of the mesa. The map shows a benchmark and a spot elevation of 2,895 feet here. Looking that way, an intervening point seemed higher by a couple feet. I walked all the way west to what I felt were the highest rocks herein. I did not look for the benchmark nor did I find a register. Looking east now at the south edge of cliffs, that middle region looked higher from this point as well.

I hiked to this middle bit, more vegetated with palo verde and a tangle of dead branches. I stepped on a few good-looking rock boulders. I looked around again for a cairn or register, with no luck. I then hiked back to where I had first come up onto the top. Looking west again, the middle part seemed higher but I just couldn't be sure. It was a case of where the other points looked higher from wherever it was I stood. However, I had covered all bets and had given the whole place a good once-over. If I missed some highpoint rock hidden in some brush, then oh well. I enjoyed this "summit". It was very pretty up here, a place I'm sure almost no one visits.

I hiked down the same slope, this time looking over at the Indian ruins I had come upon two weeks ago. From this vantage, I could see the walls and layout better (see my photo). No doubt, this had to be some old Indian ruin, not something more recent. And yet, I can find nothing online about this specific ruin.

I took the downhill carefully, got back onto the road, and walked it out to my car. I was back to it a shade over 2 hours since starting, covering about 5 miles if my mesa-top wanderings are included. There were a couple pickup trucks parked here now and I could hear dirtbikes. Me, I piled into my car and got moving. I had an agenda to keep!

The topographic maps suggest a prominence between 295 feet and 315 feet, likely closer to the higher figure. When I went onto the Lidar site, it indicated the highpoint of the mesa was on its east rim near the tower, not on its west edge near the benchmark. It gave a spot elevation of 2,897 feet. It did not seem highest to me, but it could have been. The relief up top was slight at best so it wouldn't surprise me if my senses were fooled. The prominence suggested by Lidar, on the other hand, was closer to 340 feet, which was surprising. I have no real idea where the highest point is. This is a quantum highpoint: I walked over it (or close to it) but know not when, and at some point in time, walked over it but know not where.

Pyramid Peak

Elevation: 2,614 feet • Prominence: 416 feet • Distance: 0.8 mile • Time: 40 minutes • Gain: 514 feet • Conditions: Sunny and beautiful


I exited back onto New River Road and drove it east a couple miles. Next, I wanted to explore a small hill with Indian ruins atop it. It's just a small bump with a rocky caprock that lies on State land surrounded by New River homes and properties. A community park, rodeo grounds and senior center are nearby, but when I got there, there was a fence with "no trespassing" signs. I drove into the senior center's parking lot, and again, lots of "no trespassing" signs. So I no trespass and just turned around and got back onto New River Road, heading south.

Since I was in the area, I took another look at Pyramid Peak, which lies at the corner of New River Road and Circle Mountain Road, and is not to be confused with another Pyramid Peak not far from here. This Pyramid Peak looks like a pyramid if viewing from the north, with a slope up one side and cliffs on the other.

I was here one other time taking a look at the peak but did not feel comfortable leaving my car parked alongside Circle Mountain Road. I never like to leave my car along a main road anyway. In this case, even though most of the peak is on State Trust land, the part right along the road is private, but who owns it, I have no idea.

Anyway, I was here and just went for it. I parked near a land-sale sign put up by a real estate agent. There is a bull-dozed track that goes up about 50 feet to a flat platform, which may be a private lot that someone will build a home on in the future.

Then I got onto the rocky and brushy slope and marched upward. It was steep but lay back well too. It got rockier the higher up, but mostly just heaps, and any cliffs I could walk around. I spooked a deer up high, then quickly, was at the top, on which is an American flag. The views were good. I did my usual 360, snapped an image or two, then started down. I was back to my car in 45 minutes after starting, the round-trip distance not even a mile. This went fast and I enjoyed it.

It was not even noon yet. But I was pleased. I was able to check off Table Mountain, and also this peak, more bang for the buck. I drove back to my place in Tempe and did a few productive things, among which was to catch up on a nap.

(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. .