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4x4tographer

8/12/22: Perseid Meteor Shower Night Run | Near Tonopah | 4x4 MODERATE

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Join me on a night run and experience the famous Perseid Meteor Shower from 6,000 ft atop the Harquahala Mountains, a noted dark sky site, on this fun Saturday night run!

 

If you're not familiar with Harquahala, it is a stunning and isolated mountain just north-west of Tonopah, AZ and is the tallest peak in southwestern Arizona. One of the major appeals of this mountain is the fact that you can drive all the way to it's summit to enjoy the views - no hiking needed! The trail is about 11 miles up and 11 miles back.

 

Our trip will include a daylight drive to the top where we will be able to enjoy sunset in one of the most beautiful areas in the state. Once the sun has gone down and the stars have revealed themselves, we will be treated by the Perseid Meteor Shower, which happens to peak that night. Once we've taken in the views, we'll do a fun night run back to the staging area.

 

 

 

THE PLAN

  • 4:00pm - Meet at Staging Area
  • NLT 4:30pm - Depart - En route we’ll stop a few times for photos/pit stops
  • 6:15pm - Arrive at Summit - This should be Golden Hour with some gorgeous directional light from the sun for photos
  • 7:24pm - Sunset
  • ~8:30pm - nightfall - begin to see glorious, naked-eye views of the Milky Way by about 8:55pm
  • ~10:30pm - Begin to make our way back down the mountain
  • Midnight - Approx staging area return time

 

MEET-UP

 

There is a vault toilet located at the staging area, but no other services.

 

 

 

 

TRAIL DIFFICULTY:  MODERATE 

  • Overall, this a very simple trail and most stock high clearance 4x4s with low range won't have any issues with it.
  • While this is an overall easy trail, note that it is very remote and can be very bumpy, depending on how the trail has weathered. 
  • Be advised there are a few steep climbs with loose rock and some mild off-camber areas. Our descent will be back long the same trail where engine compression and well-maintained brakes will come in handy.
  • If you are driving a manual - please be certain you are comfortable with starts/stops on steep inclines without stalling out.

 

 

COMMS

  • GMRS Channel 20 (462.675 Mhz)

 

 

DRIVER REQUIREMENT

  • This trail is suitable for most drivers that are comfortable with bumpy shelf roads, and steep inclines/declines.

 

 

VEHICLE MINIMUMS

  • All vehicles are required to meet state legal requirements, (i.e.: current registration and insurance)
  • High-clearance 4x4's with low-range
  • 30"+ aggressive all-terrain or mud-terrain tires
  • Must have suitable recovery points front and rear
  • Have functional seat-belts for each occupant
  • Each vehicle should have a GMRS or ham radio in good working order

 

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Water & Food (pack a sunset picnic dinner!)
  • Dress in layers (its 20 degrees cooler at the summit and can be very very windy)
  • Folding chairs
  • Camera with a tripod (try your hand at some astrophotography)
  • Flashlights/Lanterns (we will have them off during star gazing to preserve our night vision)
  • Emergency supplies / Med Kit
  • Recovery gear, such as a winch, tow straps, traction boards
  • No facilities, plan accordingly

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFO | MONSOON & CAMPING

This trip is subject to cancellation or postponement due to rain or inclement weather (peak monsoon season). Please read this thread for some learning lessons from our last monsoonal night run to Harquahala. 

 

For those that like to camp, there are a handful of suitable dry camping RV sites at the base of the mountain. There are also sites along the trail in several places in addition to space at the summit of the mountain. NO water, no trash, no power. If you camp at the summit, expect windy conditions.

 

***Please note that we are in monsoon season - overnighting at the summit brings wind and lightning risk.***

 

 

SIGN UPs

Interested in going? Let us know and we'll get you on the list.

 

Rig Limit: There is quite a bit of space to move around on this trip, but from a management and logistics angle we will be capping this run at 12 vehicles.

 

1 - 4x4tographer (lead)

2 - @theksmith

3 - @alexshel44

4 - @johnpa

5 - @JDT

6 - @snoopy61

7 - @ob1jeeper & @Ladybug

8 - @Bjparsons

9 - @kf7drq

10 - @gman

11 - @OnPointOffroad

12 - FionaJP

 

Standby Squad:

1 - 

Edited by 4x4tographer
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I’ll join! Hoping we can see some meteors this year!

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Johnpa is in

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I’m in! 

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I’m in….plus one visiting sister!!

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Mark us in please...

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Sign me up please. 

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Hi I just got my membership 5 minuets ago, im trying to figure out how rsvp 

 

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29 minutes ago, kf7drq said:

Hi I just got my membership 5 minuets ago, im trying to figure out how rsvp 

 

Welcome! To RSVP you just comment here and the trip organizer will add you to the list when they have a chance. Look forward to meeting you here!

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3 hours ago, kf7drq said:

Hi I just got my membership 5 minuets ago, im trying to figure out how rsvp 

 


Hey David! Welcome to the forum. I’ve got you added to the list.

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