Mt Ord Lookout

Location: Northeast of Sunflower, south of Payson.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.

Description: High scenic views as you climb 7128-ft. Mount Ord to a Forest Service lookout tower. A locked gate requires that you hike the last 0.6 miles to the tower. Views are impressive at ground level at the base of the tower. Look for a great camp spot along the first part of F.S. 626. Coming down, you’ll pass through Ord Mine as the trail winds along the mountainside. Route is open to unlicensed vehicles.

Time & Distance: About 12 mile trip, allow 3-4 hours to include the hike to the tower and taking in the views. Elevation change: 3256 to 6747 ft. Best time to go is May-September.

Trail Conditions: Tonto N.F., Mesa Ranger District. Call (480) 610-3300.


Punkin Center WEATHER


Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.


Directions to the Trail: Take Hwy 87 north and turn right on road marked Sycamore Creek/Mount Ord, located 0.6 miles past mile marker 222. The turn comes up fast and is easy to miss. Entrance is marked with a sign that says “Dead End”.


View Mt Ord Lookout in a larger map for even more DETAILS!


Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared for your next adventure.

Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of having your full-on bug-out-bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.

Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save the number to Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Their number is (602) 697-8306.


If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!




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One thought on “Mt Ord Lookout

  1. itsjtam says:

    Breathtaking and usually empty. I went during a weekday and only saw one other person. Hiking to the top is challenging and I guarantee that you’ll feel it in your legs. 90% of the way up is an incline (bring plenty of water). Driving to the top takes about 30 minutes and the road is currently in good shape. The change of scenery as you gain elevation is beautiful. The mountain also offers a few campsites along the trail.

    I would recommend this gem to anyone.

    A view from the top,

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