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Vulture Peak Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Wickenburg, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses 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
no shade
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

Loved it!

3 months ago

great trail get out and go hike it

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Great desert hike. Easy for the first 1.5 miles, then a little more difficult to the bottom of the main ascent. The hike from the beginning of the ascent to the saddle is moderate, and from the saddle to the top is difficult. Took a little less than 2 hours from the 1st parking lot to the top, and about 1:15 down. Lots of small wildlife - rabbits, squirrels, lizards, doves, ravens, etc. Not a great summer hike, but the wind blew most of the time so it kept the temperature down. Although I noted "no shade," if you go in the morning, there's quite a bit of shade in the rocky overhangs before about 11am.

no shade
rocky
4 months ago

so far this is one of my favorite trails in the valley. it's long enough that it feels like a bit of an adventure but short enough to fit it in an afternoon. it's steep enough to get the heart racing but not so steep as to risk breaking something... especially important if you're old like me.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

A lot of bees near the mountain, on the saddle and up to the summit. nice gradual climb - going down a little slippery on the rocks.

hiking
6 months ago

Really a two part hike from trail head. The first part I would rate easy to moderate. Once you reach where path takes you up to the saddle you can stop and turn around or take the second part...the push up to the saddle. This trail becomes difficult and rocky so be prepared. If you stop or go to the saddle it is worth hiking this trail, it is pure Arizona. 2.5 hours is a fair amount of time round trip.

6 months ago

Lovely up the first few miles. Challenging for the height factor the last bit up to the saddle. But if I can do it, anyone can! May even do it again today since we're going to be in the area.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

It was a great trail took us about 2 1/2 hours said and done! The trail is clearly marked you just need to keep your eyes up. 70% was moderate but the last 30% to the saddle was pretty intense and rocky. The view at the top was 100% worth it! Make sure to bring water.

hiking
washed out
7 months ago

I went with my parents and we were lost because their were no signs. The actual hiking trail seemed to disappear onto the off road trail for vehicles. We think it got washed out, we stopped hiking after the footprints disappeard. I would like to go back and try and figure it, but I'm not sure what happened to the trail. We even went back to check the map, but the trail didn't seem to be there anymore. A little dissapointing, also my mom got hurt by stepping on cacti, because it is everywhere!

hiking
7 months ago

If you’re looking for a hike with few other people, this is the one. The first mile is easy-moderate, but the second mile you have a steady incline and then pretty steep climbing. I finished the hike to the saddle with a 33 ob toddler on my back, so it’s doable. I didn’t go all the way to the peak because I had him though and wanted to be more cautious. I would totally go back and do this trail again! We saw the vultures up above us and the views were incredible. If you have 4x4, you can actually drive the first mile and there’s a small (3-4 spot) parking lot for people who can make it there but you have to drive through a sandy wash.

hiking
9 months ago

Started from the upper trailhead and got to the saddle in 36 minutes. Didn't start until 15:25 and didn't go to the summit because of the time. There was a beautiful sunset when we were back at the lower trailhead. This is a hike to do more then once per year. It was 72 degrees out.

9 months ago

Great hike with tremendous views and AZ desert vegetation. Moderate+ trail: mix of some flat, but mostly loose gravel and solid rock surface climbing. It’s a hard climb if you choose to go past the saddleback, up to Peak. Trail is well marked and managed. Not recommended for anyone wanting to hike with their dog unless on a very short tight leash... the early part of the trail is LOADED with the Devil’s cactus... jumping cholla. This is a great trail close to town but makes you feel like you forget away. Enjoy!

hiking
10 months ago

Trail is 2 miles one way to the saddle (not the summit). Then maybe a another hard 1/4 mile loose ascent to the summit. If you want to shorten this hike and have a 4x4 you can take the off road trail about a 1.5 miles to an alternative parking area which will get you a lot closer to the start of the mountain. Good solid hike and it’s quiet. Only saw one other hiker the whole time I was out there. I added a pic of the maps that are at the trailhead which shows the 4x4 and walking routes.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike near Wickenburg. Very beautiful with lots of beautiful greenery and cactus. Watch out for the cactus! They're everywhere! Moderate hike till you get to the saddle and then you scramble up some rock to the top. Not too difficult and not too exposed. Just watch where you're going and you'll be ok. Sign the register at the summit!

hiking
10 months ago

Ascended Vulture Peak today and it was not too hot and only seen one person coming down above the upper trailhead. Excellent views from the saddle looking West and East , you get unrestricted views. There is a large bee hive near the summit and the route to the summit from the saddle is about 240 vertical feet, and is class 3 with a few short areas of class 5.4. I have climbed several mountains using rock routes and i know how to rate a climb. It's a miracle no one has slipped and fallen. I believe the route is harder today then several years ago, from the constant travel over the rock which is resulting in wearing down the holds leaving basically almost.blanks sections of slabs. This is a mountain i will do at least once per year.

hiking
10 months ago

I am so thankful for this resource! We are new to hiking, and I also never post reviews. But I have to post this. It took us 3 tries to get this trail right. BEAUTIFUL. But we kept getting lost, granted it was dark and before sunrise, but still. So after driving about 1/4 mile from the road, you will come to the trailhead and a bathroom. Head down the trail, then go 50 yards, and you will see the gate on the left to enter. Head that way, and you will eventually find the next entrance, where you can sign in a second time. From there, it is about 45 minutes to the saddle. We tried to climb to the peak on the fourth and last attempt, but discovered a very large beehive in the rocks almost to the top. We did not want to risk this, as we were not prepared. We went when it was not hot, so heat was not an issue and had plenty of water. This is a fairly difficult hike because the hike to the top is rock climbing. I have found I am pretty good at climbing up, but feel nervous climbing down. Thank you to the previous reviewer that mentioned that someone had taken down a sign, because walking on the ATV trail is not fun, and you start to feel lost because there are several parallel "washes." Thankful for this trail. Absolutely beautiful! Oh, and I agree. Do not take your dogs or plan on not hiking too high. The jumping cactuses sometimes have a few spots where it could get stuck in their paws.

11 months ago

Excellent hike with amazing views. Was very happy we didn’t take the pups, a lot of cactus and very rocky.

11 months ago

This was the first trail I ever hiked. I did it as a teenager on a field trip with my church. Beautiful views of the Vulture Mountains! Don't forget to sign the guest book at the summit. There is a camp ground with facilities at the base of the mountain. Fun place to spend the weekend with friends and family. An Arizona State trust land permit is required to camp at the facilities.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Very pretty trail. I recommend NOT bringing your dog though. Tons of cholla/jumping cactus on part of it, two of my dogs got severely pricked and we had to turn back. Went back with my friend and did the whole trail later...minus the pups! FYI: they were on leashes, the cacti were even on the trail.

rock climbing
Tuesday, September 04, 2018

I did this March 7th 2017. This is a awesome trip with 2 miles of easy trail followed by a very steep path to the saddle, about 800’ of gain in 0.6 miles. At the saddle their are great views. I started mountaineering at age 20 and the gulley up to the summit has some risks. There are a few very steep short steps up slabs with very little holds. It’s friction climbing and there is exposure that there is enough air below you, that a fall could be fatal. I would rate the 240’ gulley as class 2 with a few short exposed sections that are class 5.2. There is a great view from the summit and this is a peak i will be doing every year. If your not comfortable on steep terrain please stop at the saddle. Another issue to be aware of is the gully is perfect for rattlesnakes, where there are crevices and brush. Also i expect in a matter of time a fall down the slabs. Because of this risk it’s best not to be directly below strangers in the gully. Also they can dislodge rocks that can cause you significant injuries, because of the speed along with their weight. Wait until the gully is clear before ascending it. I may sound like a overly cautious person, however this is because of four decades of climbing, i have responded to lots of accidents, when i was in mountain rescue. To summarize, Vulture Peak offers a lot, and will be a yearly trip for me. Ron

hiking
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Beautiful hike. I didn’t see another hiker but I did it in Aug and it was 105 degrees. Pretty easy until you get to the end of the 4 wheeler trail and then it is a moderate climb until the last 1/4 mike to the saddle which is steep. Fun hike.

hiking
Saturday, April 21, 2018

one of my favorite trails. the first mile and a quarter or so is in a wash then up a jeep trail. if you have a good 4x4 you could bypass this part. the actual climb starts easier and then gets continually steeper all the way to the saddle. from the saddle on up it gets delightfully rough, many parts are hand and feet climbing. be careful near the top there are two routes. today I tried the less exposed one and it was a class 5 climb for a short section, view from the top is worth it though.

hiking
Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Great desert hike with elevation. Cactus flowers are in bloom. Beautiful view at the top!

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