Taking its name from one of the longest living trees in the Arizona desert, the 129,000-acre Ironwood Forest National Monument is a true Sonoran Desert showcase. Keeping company with the ironwood trees are mesquite, palo verde, creosote, and saguaro, blanketing the monument floor beneath rugged mountain ranges named Silver Bell, Waterman and Sawtooth. In between, desert valleys lay quietly to complete the setting. Elevations here range from 1,800 to more than 4,200 feet. Three areas within the monument, the Los Robles Archeological District, the Mission of Santa Ana del Chiquiburitac and the Cocoraque Butte Archeological District, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I hiked it on Dec. 30, 2916. Challenging hike/climb. Yes bring your gloves, you need them for the rocks to pull you up. Wear long pants and long sleeves lots of thorn bushes to crawl through. I drove the 4x4 trail to the east to start my hike. I hiked around and up the north canyon. The same north canyon shown on the map. Lots of thorn covered brush on the north side. I came down on the south west side with less brush but more cholla. I hiked over the low saddle on the east, back to my truck. 1700 feet elevation change, 2.5 miles, 5 hours total with lots a breaks and lunch at the top.
Paul from Page AZ
Best access is on a jeep road east of the trailhead indicated on this site. You drive south and knock off a mile of hiking--and your vehicle is easier to find! This is a tough trail--if you can call it that. It is bushwacking and route finding. It is only a mile to the top from the end of the jeep road, but it took us 2 hours to get to the top and 2 hours back down because it is steep, rocky, loose gravel and brushy. We found other people's clothes and hiking poles along the way--attesting to the difficulty of the trail,
Both gulleys on the north get to the top and seem about the same. We went up the center one and came down the northwest gulley. Pretty much the same.
This is a really strenuous hike that requires lots of route finding and stamina. Wear leather gloves, long pants, a long sleeved shirt and a hat. Take lots of water and sunscreen. Take food to recharge. And take a camera because you won't come back here again.