Every time I’ve ridden over Gates Pass I’ve looked at the mountain on the right, thinking I should climb it. Finally I did on 12/26/2017. It’s not a great hike and you’ll have two goals as you ascend: to reach the top, and to avoid being stabbed by cactus. There is a sort of trail which takes you a long way to the west. I took a more direct route on the way up, and attempted to follow the trail on the way down. There are many better hikes than Bushmaster Peak, and the only reason I can see to hike it is because it’s there 😀.
Drive west along Speedway and up to the top of Gates Pass. Just before the top there is a parking area on the right accessed by a one-way loop. Park here.
I hiked directly up towards the flat area on the left in the photo above. It involved picking my way through cactus and over rocks. Once you get to the ridge line, follow a trail on the north side, below the actual rocky ridge. This trail is fairly obvious and also marked with cairns. There are fewer cactii on the the cooler north side, and very few of the particularly nasty cholla cactii. The trail eventually leads up to the flattish area on top. From here the summit is a short way up another easy ridge.
Coming down you’ll see cairns leading westwards up the rocky ridge. You can follow this for quite a distance and and eventually you’ll descend to a trail that leads back down to the parking area. I found the trail difficult to follow in the lower section and ended up bushwhacking back to the parking area.
Links and Other Clicks
Here’s another page about hiking Bushmaster