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Castle Dome Peak - Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Summary: A steep climb to the summit of Castle Dome Peak in the southern portion of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge..
Directions: From Quartzite, head south on US 95 for about 48 miles, or from Yuma head north on US 95 for about 35 miles to mile marker 55. Turn east onto Castle Dome Mine road (heading towards the Castle Dome Mine Museum). After 2 miles the pavement ends and the road becomes well graded dirt for the next 8 miles to the Castle Dome Mine Museum. Stay straight at the museum on the road which becomes rather rougher. Drive 4.6 miles past the museum to a prominent pull off on the right (east) which has a "No Vehicles Beyond This Point" sign posted.
Update: Castle Dome Mine Road is closed at the museum. Supposedly a rough bypass exists that heads north from Castle Dome Mine Road at 761293 mE, 3658073 mN (though I haven't driven this route).
Road Conditions: High Clearance Vehicle
Navigation: Moderate
Length: 5 miles
Date Hiked: February 2008
Weather Conditions: Sunny and Nice
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the parking area hike east and slightly north until you reach a wide sandy wash. Follow the wash east to a series of cairns at the GPS coordinate below. Leave the wash to the right and head up the slope to the southeast. Looking up,  Castle Dome Peak looms above. Just to the left of the peak is an obvious rock spire. Follow a faint trail which is marked with cairns at fairly frequent intervals up to the base of the peak. The route becomes progressively more steep and the scree underfoot increasingly loose as you climb. At the base of the mountain the path contours left to a small saddle between the spire and the peak. From this point there are two ways up. The most obvious is a rather verticle crack climb which goes up and over a small chockstone. The pitch is about 20 feet high and has easy hand and footholds. Those unnerved by heights should backtrack down the slope 10 yards and identify a steep ramp you had passed earlier which is now on your left (not obvious). Both routes lead to the same place, though the second is considerably less intimidating. Once above this crux, the remainder of the hike involves a steep scramble up the rock slope to soon gain the peak which features tremendous 360 degree views of the Castle Dome Range to the east, the Kofas to the north and a desert expanse to the south and west. There's a register in an ammo can for you to log in. When ready, return the way you came. Be sure to watch your footing, the way down is considerably more treacherous than the ascent.
Castle Dome Peak GPS Coordinates
        Park: 763698 mE, 3665755 mN
        Leave Wash: 766072 mE, 3665144 mN
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and a friend hiked to the top and back in 5.5 hours.
Maps: Click here for a map of the area.
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

Castle Dome as seen from the south.

Heading up the slope.

View to the north on the ascent. Looking back at the spire.
Almost up. Castle Dome Peak.