Departure Time: 11am Return Time: 3pm Trail Rating: 1-2 Water Crossing: No Months Offered: Year Round | Winter Closure Park Pass Required: No Meal: Pack Lunch & Drinks Bathroom: None Hiking: Optional
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The top of Mt. Ord is a great spot for sunset watching and offers excellent stargazing and astronomy photography. There are breathtaking panoramic views of the Mogollon Rim, Roosevelt Lake, and Bartlett Lake. This drive is ideal for out-of-town visitors on the go or in-laws in need of entertainment. As we head up the mountain, it isn’t long before you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the Mazatzal Mountains. Tight switchbacks and no guardrail give thrill-seekers a temporary rush as the road climbs steadily and steeply in some parts.

It's incredibly peaceful on this gorgeous trail. All that can be heard is Mother Nature's murmur. Scrub oaks, pion pines, and agaves are scattered over the landscape. You suddenly find yourself lost in a wilderness of pine trees as this abruptly changes. As we proceed up the mountain, a truly impressive panorama of the Mogollon Rim appears. From this vantage point, you can plainly see the sheer cliff face that forms the southernmost edge of the Colorado Plateau. Even the most impatient passenger will be struck by how amazing this sight is. As you travel further, the road ultimately hugs the back of the mountainside, giving you another breathtaking picture of Roosevelt Lake, which resembles a shimmering shard. The end of the trail comes with a metal gate that blocks the road to the very top of Mount Ord. Time to get out and hike up the last 0.6 miles to the tower. The summit has several communication towers.

History: Mt. Ord is named after Major General Edward Ord (October 18, 1818 - July 22, 1883). He was an American engineer and United States Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the American Civil War. He commanded an army during the final days of the Civil War, and was instrumental in forcing the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Time & Distance: 12.4 mile round trip off-road, allow 4 hours to include the 0.6 mile hike to the tower and taking in the views. Elevation change: 3256 to 6747 ft. The fire watchtower is likely to be opened between May-September.

Trail Conditions: Tonto National Forest (Mesa Ranger District). Call: (480) 610-3300

Mt. Ord Weather

Mt. Ord Scenic Drive




Time to Hit the Road!

11:00am Depart Fountain Hills or from your Hotel. Pack a food for your lunch, snacks, drinks (must have a cover).


Head to Mt Ord

Travel on-road for 38 minutes (37.5 miles) to the entrance of the Mt. Ord trail.


Travel Up Mt. Ord

Travel off-road 6.2 miles for about 45 minutes to reach the top vista point of Mt. Ord.

Meal Time

Lunch at the Top of Mt. Ord

You can choose to eat your packed lunch at the top parking area on Mt. Ord or hike up to the watch tower and eat there instead.

Hike To Watch Tower

(Optional Hike)

You can choose to hike (0.6 mile) up to the fire watch tower and communication array taking in the views.


Return to Fountain Hills or Your Hotel

After visiting Mt. Ord, we will begin our journey back home to Fountain Hills or your hotel. The drive back will take about 1 hour (37.5 miles). There is a chance to make a short visit to the old original Beeline Hwy to view a private area of Sycamore Creek.

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Travel Policy

  1. Those who have current back or neck injuries will not be permitted to travel.
  2. If you are pregnant you are not permitted to travel.
  3. All younger passengers must be of age to fit in a regular seat. No car seats are allowed.
  4. Pets are not allowed.
  5. Prohibited Items: firearms, weapons of any kind, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or any drugs.

What to Bring

  1. Food: You may bring a cooler for food, snacks, and drinks to enjoy during your trip.
  2. Drinks: All drinks must have a top that you can close to avoid spilling while on bumpy off-road trails.
  3. What to Wear: You should bring a jacket, sweater, or rain jacket as higher elevations will be colder and windy or in case of rain and you decide to hike.
  4. Hiking: If your tour includes a formal hike, please read my Hiking Essentials guide to learn how to pack for hiking.
  5. Swimming: If your tour requires swimming or a water hike, you will need to bring a bathing suit, water shoes, towel, and change of clothes and footwear.
  6. Medications: If you are taking any medications, be sure to bring them with you that you may require within a half-day’s time.

Cancellation Policy

  • Private Jeep Excursions has a 48-hour cancellation policy in order to receive a refund. Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will not be refunded.

Rescheduling and Weather Policy

  1. You may reschedule your trip up to 48 hours in advance to book a new date with no additional charge. You can not reschedule on the same date of your trip. You will need to pay a rescheduling late fee in this case.
  2. PJE will not travel during dangerous storms and severe bad weather. Your tour may need to be rescheduled if mother nature is angry on your trip date.
  3. Rainfall is often very short and may offer the chance for you to see trail-side waterfalls. Your trip will continue as planned.
  4. PJE reserves the right to modify, shorten, or cancel any tour to prevent damage to trails or avoid unsafe conditions.
  5. Severe Weather: If severe weather makes it so you have to cancel your trip prior to your departure, PJE will issue you a full refund.