Peak 3004 is shaped like Mercedes-Benz®, a 3-pointed
star, with points going north, east, and west.
The east and west points are connected to nearby mountains, whereas
the north point dips steeply down into the Salt River valley.
Four revved-up hikers set out from Meridian Trailhead to walk the
talk around Peak 3004: Grace and Mike Haverty, Dennis Ryan, and hike
leader Ted Tenny.
The loop consists of a popular trail, a seldom-used trail, and a
cross-country route to complete our scenic journey.
Peak 3004 from the Pass Mountain Trail.
The day started cool and cloudy.
We crossed Sand Canyon upstream of the usual crossing, on a trail
that connects with the Pass Mountain Trail.
Then we headed north along the east side of Pass Mountain, enjoying
fine views of Peak 3004, Peaks 3127, 3205, and 3312 on Pass
Mountain, and 3195' Temptation Peak on Bulldog Ridge.
“It’s tempting to climb, but gets vertical just below
the top,” Ted explained.
Soon we reach the pass.
Everyone stops here for a water and snack break (sorry, no fast food
There are fine views of Stewart Mountain and the Salt River valley
to the north, and the rocky peaks of Pass Mountain to the west.
Then Ted took us off trail and down into the valley between Pass
Mountain and Peak 3004.
The ancestral Pass Mountain Trail went through this valley before
they re-routed it to hug the mountain.
But it’s an easy off-trail walk from the pass down to hill
Hill 2290 is in the valley between Peak 3004 and Pass Mountain.
2290 is the only hill worth noting between Pass Mountain and Peak 3004.
Although the hill is in a valley, the view from the top is fascinating.
You can see Dome Mountain with its spike on the left, and pointed
They are the highest and second highest peaks in the Goldfields,
There is also a fine view of Lone Mountain to the northwest.
Our climb down the east side of hill 2290 was gravely and slightly
Soon we crossed a wash and walked across the northern slope of peak
The gently sloping ground is a desert botanical garden, all natural,
with brightly colored lichens on the rocks and many kinds of
colorful Sonoran Desert vegetation.
Our route across the garden was east, looking for the trail.
Ted had been here before but he was going the other way.
The seldom-used trail north of Bulldog Saddle goes through a series
of washes that flow northeast from Peak 3004.
The trail is indistinct until you get near the top.
Near the bottom it’s marked with little cairns that are easily
overlooked, and somewhat overgrown with vegetation.
But our direction is south by southeast, and the trail usually is
where it ought to be.
Pass Mountain and Peak 3004 from Bulldog Ridge.
Dennis was the first to get to Bulldog Saddle.
Here we could see the trailhead far below, with Apache Junction to
the south and Stewart Mountain and the Salt River to the north.
The Bulldog Saddle Trail is quite rocky as it goes down a boulder-strewn
valley to join an old road on the east side of Sand Canyon.
By the time we reached the road the sun was shining, the birds were
singing, and it’s an easy walk back to Meridian Trailhead.