Tuesday – February 17, 2015
We awoke to a bright sunny day, slightly windy, with the temperature in the low 70s. We decided this would be the perfect day to hike the trail up to Telegraph Pass. Telegraph Pass is a long, challenging, uphill hike (1,200 feet) to the top of a mountain where numerous communication antennas are located.
Telegraph Pass is located in the foothills of the Gila Mountains, a few miles east of Yuma. Exit I-8 at Fortuna Boulevard and follow the North Frontage Road east until the road ends at a large gravel parking area.
Telegraph Pass is a scenic hike through a desert landscape.There are several narrow, rock-strewn, foot trails that lead to the main access road to the top of the mountain. Nothing is marked but ultimately they are pretty easy to follow. There is also an Off-Highway-Vehicle road that runs parallel to I-8 and leads to the main access road, which can also be a hiking option. On this portion of the hike you will get your heart rate up that will condition you for the strenuous hike up the steep mountain trail that lies ahead.
When you reach the trailhead to the top of the mountain, there is a BLM Information Board here along with a Port-A-Potty. The trail to the top of the mountain is a steep, crudely paved, concrete, one-lane road. This road is used by maintenance vehicles (driving a vehicle on this road is not for the faint-of-heart!). There is a locked gate at the entrance to this road. Hikers just walk around the gate.
Telegraph Pass is a popular hiking trail and you will find people of all ages, hiking up the trail, on a daily basis. Make sure that you are prepared for a long, strenuous hike. Put on plenty of sunscreen, take water and snacks because you’re going to sweat and get an extensive cardio workout. We each had our own hiking backpacks, with two bottles of water each, protein bars, apples, nuts, cheese and pepperoni slices. Attached to our backpacks we had our ALPS Mountaineering Tri-Leg Stools. These lightweight hiking stools (2 lbs.) are great for taking a break on long hikes.
The hike, round-trip from the trail that we took, was 6.9 miles. We took a lunch break about halfway up the concrete road to the top.
The view at the top is simply breathtaking and gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the Arizona desert. You can see the sand dunes, the city of Yuma, Castle Dome, surrounding mountains and spectacular green farmlands.
Tomorrow another adventure begins.