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Heliograph Peak Trail #328A is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Safford, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,128 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

Mountains views, cool summer hike, 99-ft fire lookout tower. A great hike to escape the summer heat. Along the trail you will see Douglas fir, quaking aspen, Ponderosa pine and Engelmann spruce. From the trailhead at Shannon Park campground follow the Arcadia trail #5318 for about 1 mile the to the junction with the Heliograph trail, the junction is marked with a sign. Follow the Heliograph trail right for another mile to the top. On top you will find a historic 99-ft lookout tower and cabin, the tower is still functional and is occupied during the fire season.

hiking
13 days ago

We started at Shannon campground. The views are stunning at the top. Well marked for the first mile. Someone was clearing the path ahead of us but we passed him. We were able to connect to the Arcadia trail and take the trail up to the top. At Arcadia junction, go over the large tree trunk and the trail is behind that trunk and around the large boulders. We used AllTrails and GPS. On the way down, we decided to take the road back down to Shannon. Total 5.8 miles. The views up top were amazing. It was hazy due to the Mt Lemmon/ Bear Canyon fire but even then the views were like if you were on top of the world at 10000ft. I definitely recommend it!

hiking
blowdown
over grown
26 days ago

Clear for about a mile - easily followed. After that point trailed becomes overgrown and very difficult to follow even with GPS. Effectively a bushwhack - do not recommend. We turned around after about 1.5 miles.

Start with the fire road - it’s clear to the top. Spectacular views. If you are up for a challenge AND you have downloaded the map, bushwhack down the trail to the Arcadia trail. It takes a bit of gps skill to keep on the trail. Don’t do this without a gps. You will get lost.

hiking
over grown
rocky
snow
washed out
2 months ago

Trails was destroyed in the last fire. Its good untill the bend before Eagle's rock. after that you depend on GPS. If you see snow, DON'T GO. We almost had blue toes and Search and rescue had to come get us. From beginning to start took 12 hours. If you want to visit the fire tower hike the service road to the left.

Fun walk up a dirt road. Snow and ice most of the way. Great views a couple miles up from the gate near Shannon Campground.

hiking
blowdown
over grown
8 months ago

Take the logging/fire road instead of the actual trail unless you are looking for a day of bushwhacking. Attempted the trail from Shannon campground, but only made it about 0.5 miles before turning back. Excellent view from the top though!

hiking
blowdown
over grown
11 months ago

A lot of fallen trees from the fire that block the trail. The trail is overgrown in parts, We lost the trail a couple of times and had to back track. Still has great views of the Gila valley. It’s really sad no trail maintenance has been done.

hiking
Sat Jun 01 2019

The trail has a lot of fallen trees/debri/leaves from past fires/storms that make it hard to follow. I lost the trail somewhere around the split at Eagle Rock and turned around. I spent a couple hours clearing debris from the trail, but it still needs a lot of work.

hiking
snow
Thu Apr 18 2019

Beautiful views definitely worth the short hike. We initially tried the marked trail but it became too narrow and there was still too much snow in mid April. We took the dirt road up which was easy and quick. Lots of the forest has been burnt but it provides more opportunities for viewing. Elevation is 10,028ft.

hiking
Tue Aug 21 2018

Hiked from Shannon Campground up to Heliograph peak after talking with a hiker who'd come back to the campground where we'd just finished lunch. The trail is a challenge to locate once you get to certain areas, and when we got to the top we went ahead and took the road back. It's well worth it, but if you're unsure, you can stop and look around and figure out where the trail continues. Definitely needs more markers until it's cut back in again.

mountain biking
Wed May 09 2018

Trail down from the fire watch tower is non-existent. Totally burned out and needs re-cut. Take the dirt road up instead.

hiking
Sat Mar 31 2018

My wife and I hiked the trail on April 1, 2018, and we found the trail to be moderate to hard. There were a lot of areas damaged by the fire, which made it very hard to follow the trail. We had to climb over fallen trees and washed out areas. In some places, the trail was impossible to locate, and we were only navigating by GPS, but the views ARE stunning.

hiking
Sun Aug 09 2015

Very enjoyable easy hike with 2 rewarding vistas, plump lizards and a plethora of fungi. Great for our three boys (11, 8 + 8).

hiking
Tue Aug 19 2014

This trail is beautiful! It is well marked and easy to navigate to your destination. Depending on when you go you can indulge in wild raspberries. The views are breathtaking.

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
11 months ago