Harquahala Peak Observatory
Harquahala Peak Observatory was built in 1920 by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to measure and record solar activity. Although deserted now, from 1920-1925 a hardy group of scientists lived and worked atop the highest mountain in southwestern Arizona (5681 foot elevation). At the time, it was about an hour's drive from Wenden, Arizona, to the mountain, with a 3-hour hike to the top of the peak. Burros were used to pack building supplies, living supplies and equipment to the mountaintop. Most difficult of all to transport were the delicate recording machines and laboratory equipment. Even water had to be transported by burro until collection tanks could be built.
All year, but it is best in the fall, winter and spring. It is very hot in the summer. Do not drive if snow has fallen on the summit or if lightning threatens. It
From Phoenix, take I-10 west to the Salome Road Exit (50 miles). Turn right and follow for 9.6 miles to Eagle Eye Road. Turn right and go 8.5 miles to a dirt road which heads north towards the summit.
From Wickenberg, take Highway 60 west to Aguila, travel south on Eagle Eye Road 18.5 miles to the dirt road heading north. The road leading to the Observatory is 10.5 miles long in is very rugged and steep in places. Four-wheel-drive is required.