Elephant Head New Years Pilgrimage

Lets begin the new year on a great hike. Ganesha is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped deities in the Hindu religion. Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles.

Elephant Head - this is one of my favorite hikes in this area.

Here's the stats:
Distance: 8.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2800 ft
Hike Time: about 6 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Trail Condition: Poor trail
HikeType: Out and Back
We will be hiking the route up from Agua Caliente Canyon.
Bring plenty of water and snacks or a lunch.
Don't forget to bring your elephant trinkets or tributes for the memorial at the top.
We'll meet at Midvale Medical Center and carpool from there.

After hiking uphill for about 2 miles or so there is a deep ravine (5-800') that must be hiked down and then back up. The return is harder. This is a strenous hike and your skill level should be intermediate to advanced.

This hike will be at your own risk!

Join or login to comment.

  • Bob W.

    All,
    5 hours @ 145 F did the trick ;-) -- My Droid is 100 % operational ! Naysayers may want to reconsider their pessimistic predictions ( hehe ) . -- "Baker" Bob

    1 · January 6

  • JF

    A strange thing happened this morning! I was at the meeting place on Valencia and there were some people there going on a hike. They assumed I was with them and I assumed it was the group going to Elephant's Head. It turned out to be Belinda's group, but didn't know it until we started heading south from Tubac. Sorry for the confusion and next time I will ask which group is which and where they are going.

    January 3

    • Duane

      LOL. Glad they weren't going hiking in Mexico for a week.

      January 3

    • JF

      I think I would have figured that out. I was driving alone and had no way to communicate with the people in the vehicle in front of me. I didn't find out, until I had the two people that were in the vehicle behind me, get into my truck because the road was getting a little too rough for them. Everyone had a good laugh over it.

      January 4

  • Veronique

    Amazing hike! Duane- thanks for leading us all the way up to the shrine. Well worth the challenge.

    January 3

  • Dale A.

    Challenging, little scary with the snow and fun with fun hikers!

    January 3

  • Mike C.

    Lynne, hope you got all of those cactus spines out:)

    January 3

  • Mike C.

    Note: per my Garmin, Elevation Gain was 2,431, Elevation Loss was 2,448. Call it 2,440 and be happy. Min/Max elevations were 4,520 and 5,595. Distance was 6.64 miles (start/stop at the parking lot).

    January 3

  • Mike C.

    This is an incredible hike, and today was a perfect example. Great crowd of folks, weather conditions par excellence, views to knock your socks off. No wonder this hike fills up so fast every year. Glad I made it. Bob, we're still going to need to see a serial number on that phone.

    January 3

    • Bob W.

      Mike, Let's just say I am holding off on buying a battery for the phone -- until I see if the baking is successful ;-) -- Bob

      January 3

  • Bob W.

    Duane,
    Thanks for "coaxing" me up to the Peak, Well worth the scramble !! BTW -- I am "Baking" my phone in the oven @ 145 F ( lowest temp it has ) with the door partially open and the phone near the door. I figure after 5 hours it will be "DONE" -- Bob

    1 · January 3

  • Lynne C.

    Strong hikers and beautiful cool (cold) conditions. Trails were in good shape, scrambling through some icy snow patches. I didn't ascend the Elephant Head, but the pictures will show the sights. Thanks to the 6 that went and Mike, for his company as the back trail party!

    January 3

  • AnnRan

    Duane... Just checked email and saw I was confirmed for the hike a few minutes ago. Please go to the next person as I can't attend due to the short notice...darn!

    January 2

  • Dale A.

    Duane, just looked at this and noticed that you did not get my confirmation that I am going. The meet up thing must not work on Mac. So I hope you get this message. I have a 4WD truck that seats 5 that I am bringing.

    January 2

  • Veronique

    Excited to join and finally do this hike. I don't have a high clearance vehicle though... I'm hoping i can ride with someone from the meeting point to the trail head.

    December 31

  • Lynne C.

    Looking forward to joining the group on Saturday!

    December 30

  • Duane

    Everyone on the "going" and "waiting" list should have received an email asking you to confirm your RSVP. Many were made months ago and with such a large waitlist, we need to make sure everyone's commitment is current. Please reply to the email or post a message here if you RSVP'd prior to Dec 1st. If you can no longer make this hike, please update your RSVP accordingly. Thanks.

    December 18

    • Duane

      Thanks, Mike. See ya Sat.

      December 30

    • Duane

      Still hoping to hear confirmation from early signups: Dale, Marissa, Rich, Laura and Nicole

      December 30

  • Sheryl

    Sorry, caught the nastiness that has been going around. Not sure I will be up to the challenge by Saturday so I will bow out now. Happy New Year!

    December 30

  • JF

    I plan on being there. Due to a recent fall that I took while hiking last weekend, my right knee might not like it.

    December 30

  • Bill B.

    I just hiked Elephant Head yesterday and it seems like the Forest Service Road to the trail head gets worse after each monsoon season. I would suggest driving high clearance vehicles; nothing lower than a Subaru,
    RAV4, CRV, etc.

    1 · November 26

    • Vagabond J.

      Yeah, I've noticed the last couple of years that it has been getting worse. Thanks for the heads up Bill.

      November 27

    • groundsleeper

      I went out there in April 2014 with a Honda Civic and didn't ever bottom out. Admittedly I was slow and may have gotten out of the car once to scope out the route. And there were only 2 of us in the car.

      December 26

  • Krista S.

    wish I could go but I'm now working weekends for the foreseeable future

    December 16

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can you put me on this for January 2016??? I'll be ready by then

    November 29

    • Vagabond J.

      You'll have to sign up Rosie. You can do that once this years hike is in progress. Donna and I are not doing this years either. We've decided to take a break from it. Please remove yourself from this years wait list if you can't make it. Hope to see you this winter.

      December 3

  • A former member
    A former member

    It does appear i will be slow but there

    November 26

  • Nicole

    I want to go this year but all the spots are taken. How do I RSVP for next year's hike?

    December 22, 2013

    • Vagabond J.

      Hi Nicole, you can sign up as soon as this years is completed or underway. So later on the Jan 4th, 2014 should be good. I know some who sign up as soon as this one if over. I would say you could join us for this years, but it is really overfull. Thanks for your interest and hope to see you on the trail.

      December 22, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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