By: Richard Carey
Reserva de la Biosfera El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar
Named for gentleman-explorer William T. Hornaday who was one of the early travelers to write about the Pinacate region in his book "Camp-Fires on Desert and Lava", published in 1908. The first ascent may have been by Father Eusebio Kino (1645-1711) on March 31, 1701 on his second Pinacate trip. Father Kino described the view of MacDougal Crater from the summit as "a great hole which caused terror and fear." (Ives, p. 38-39) His reaction could be from viewing the crater late in the day when it appears as a bottomless pit.
The Sierra Hornaday is part of the Pinacate Park and in January, 1998 a park employee was stationed at Rancho Guadalupe Victoria on the north side. Visitors are required to fill out a park form and abide by the regulations. There was no fee required at this time.
This range can be easily seen from Mexican Highway #2 at a point about 75 miles east of the border town of San Luis. The drive to the trailhead is a fair dirt road suitable for most high-clearance vehicles. To reach the range from Highway #2 turn south 0.4 miles east of km 73 on a good dirt road marked by a sign that leads to a dearly visible Microndas (microwave station). After 1.1 miles turn left where a sign says "Rancho Guadalupe Victoria". At 3.2 miles you will pass close by the Rancho and a park employee at the Rancho may ask you to sign a form before entering the area. A short distance south of the Rancho at 3.6 miles, turn right at a signed junction and proceed toward the range which is now fairly close. A sign identifying the range is placed along the east end of the range and a good parking, spot is at about 5.7 miles at the SE end of the range. UTM here is: 254430E, 3541 800N. The high point is not visible from here, but it will come into view after an easy walk along the north side of the range after about a mile and a half, it is a short, steep climb south to the summit block and the ascent time from the car will take about 1 1/2 hours. There is a very impressive view to the south of MacDougal Crater.
Notes: High Point of the Sierra Hornaday, located about 75 miles ESE of San Luis and 40 miles west of Sonoyta. The summit is at: 251750E, 3543120N, Zone 1 2R. Elevation: 1476 ft. 450 meters. Map: Volcan el Elegante, 1:50,000, 1992. ID: H12A12
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