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Vulture Peak Trail is a 3.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Wickenburg, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,302 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

wildlife

rocky

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

This hike was so gorgeous! Only made it to the saddle because of time constraints and can’t wait to come back to finish. We saw a rattlesnake!! And a tarantula! Lots of cholla.. was wishing I had my boots and pants on haha! The end was a workout and felt amazing to complete . Unbelievable views.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun hike away from Phoenix. Active beehive near the top. Cool geological markers near the top.

hiking
4 months ago

Very rocky, slick in a few spots because of rocky portions of the trail. Quite narrow trail with an abundance of jumping chola cactus. Very picturesque area. Portions of the trail are not well defined except for Carin trail markers it can be difficult to decifer which way the trail turns... could be from someone not staying on the designated trail and bushwaking.

ohv/off road driving
4 months ago

Cool waterfall

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

This is a gorgeous desert hike. It is a fairly steep hike to the saddle and then a scramble from the saddle to the peak. There are great views from the saddle if you decide not to make it up to the peak.

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

The path from the parking lot to the trailhead is a little confusing. Pay close attention and follow the cairns. When I reached the saddle and hiked up to the peak, I found a beehive, so be careful.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

I did this trail 4 months ago and back again for more. It's really a beautiful trail. The wild flowers are just beginning now. I tried to find a trail to the south peak, I could not find it. It would require bushwhacking. I was wearing shorts, so quit. Wear pants if going off trail. Next Time! Some people lost the trail here yesterday so bring your downloaded All Trails Map. The washes tend to mess up finding the trail. Don't pass this one up!

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Very interesting and scenic trail, with the last section going almost straight up to the saddle for great desert views to the east and west, and then another 250 feet or so up to the summit for 360-degree wrap-around views. Some scrambling up steep little (natural) stone steps and a few hand-holds are needed to get past a few boulders en route up to the saddle, but this is easier than, say, the ascent of Phoenix's Camelback Mtn, which involves more boulder- and rock-scrambling to the top. If you go all the way to the summit of Vulture Peak, you'll get your extra big portion of scrambling. I strongly recommending one or two hiking poles and good hiking boots for the ascent up to the saddle and/or summit and then that "straight down" descent. It also helps to have long legs for some of the big step-ups and step-downs. Because this trail approach to Vulture Peak proceeds from west to east, if you do this hike in the morning, you'll have cool shade that entire last trek up to the sunny saddle. But NOTE for PHOTOGRAPHY: the best lighting for "capturing" Vulture Peak visually is mid-day through afternoon-- you'll then have the sun behind you lighting up the peak and adjacent rocky formations in front of you. Whereas if you do this hike in the morning, you'll have to use some "HDR" bracketed settings to smooth out the sharp contrasts between the sun's bright backlighting and darker / shadowed subjects (Vulture Peak and the other rock formations and flora you'll be viewing). As for helpful statistics, at the 1.0 mile point into the hike (after an easy, mild ascent onto a knoll and then a descent into one of the washes), you are at 2,570 ft elev. From there to the 1.9 mile mark at the summit's 3,670 ft elev., involving a gradual and then steep ascent, a 1,100 foot gain is covered in just 0.9 mile! By comparison, from that 1.0 mile point, it's only an 870 ft elev gain over 0.8 mile to the saddle (3,440 ft elev.) situated just below the peak's south slope. Add another cumulative 220 ft of elev. gain earlier in first 0.6 mile of the hike, and another 170 ft gain on the way back over the last mile to the trailhead, for a cumulative elev. gain of 1,260 feet just to the saddle and back (1,500 ft cumulative gain to the summit and back).

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Really enjoyable trail, moderate to hard rating. Found a connector off the main path that we liked better than taking the main trail the whole way. We’ve made this climb a few times. Connector is a well defined single track that connects below the trailhead to the peak and is well marked by cairns. Great views from the saddle, awesome desert vegetation the whole way up. Climb to the saddle is 2.1 miles from parking trailhead. Climb to very top of peak from the saddle is moderate-hard to very tough. Enjoy the climb :-)

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

This trail was everything I hoped it would be. Easy drive out to the trailhead. Bathroom and plenty of parking. The trail is easy to follow. It’s a nice walk until you’re closer to the peak and it starts to go up. Climbing to the saddle isn’t too bad. I’d say moderate. Once you reach the saddle and the bench, continue to the left and go up to the peak! It’s a bit of a scramble but it’s very easy and worth the climb. It’s no harder going back down then going up, so don’t let that deter you. The views are 360° and beautiful! There’s a geocache at the top to leave a note in. I really enjoyed this hike and would gladly do it again. Note: there’s an actual trail and an access road. Both work. The road is boring. The trail is great. Choose correctly.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

This was a super fun hike! The hike to the saddle was a great workout and the views were amazing once we made it there. If you are a rock collector you will find lots of treasures along the way. More than worth the drive out to Wickenburg. I will definitely hike this again!

hiking
6 months ago

One of my second desert hikes while visiting family. Way different from Hiking in the Northern Sierra Nevada mountain range. As mentioned before this is three part hike. The lower trail has easy rolling hills. Second part is moderate trail and OHV trail to the base of Vulture Peak . Third part is challenging scramble up an extremely steep and narrow chute to the summit. Working on a little summary video https://youtu.be/sediTonUyDU Hopefully find this helpful. Good hiking!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Trail is 3 parts 1st part is easy gentle drop to valley and rise up 2nd part moderate Last part is challenging with a difficult climb to the peak but well worth the effort No water best to hike in the morning for the shade

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike, but not moderate if you plan to go to the peak. Moderate until the final steep stretch to the saddle at which point it moves to the next level. From the saddle to the peak it is climbing with good hand and footholds but it is climbing not hiking.

hiking
7 months ago

5.0 total left tracker at saddle for peak climb

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Great trail! Beautiful views, a variety of fauna. A few places weren’t marked near the beginning but it wasn’t too hard to get to another part of the loop or the atv road. Trail is pretty rocky so suggest sturdy closed-toe shoes. Have to climb a few place ls towards peak but nothing too bad!

hiking
8 months ago

Loved this so much. I got to the end of the trail and just kept climbing. Definitely some scrambling and climbing up rocks if you choose to take it al the way up. Loved it

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, beautiful views when you hike toward the saddle or venture to the peak. Trail is hard in places as you approach saddle. We have done this trail several times and never disappoints. For those who want an easy hike, the wash in ether directions provides nice views, plenty of birding, and rock collecting.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Loved it!

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