He is in incredible shape and it is often hard to keep up with him! Along the way, I saw Turkey, Mule Deer, various lizards and a Tarantula. In a little over five hours, you can have it all and get a challenging hike too. Turn right and follow the sign for the Crest Trail and Mt. Distance: 11.3 miles The Arizona Trail is routed through Kentucky Camp. You can always turn back and there are plenty of places to rest given time. But halfway to the summit I started realizing my mistake. William Wrightson is also credited with bringing the first printing press to the Arizona Territory and published the first weekly newspaper in Tubac called "The Arizonian" in 1859. A scenic loop up to Mt Wrightson. Awaiting us was a steep 2000 foot climb toward the base of Mount Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains. I also highly recommend a pair of hiking poles which are mandatory with snow and ice. Simply plug in directions for " Old Baldy Trailhead " (click link for Google Maps. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. I’m one of those people who once climbed a mountain (a volcano in my case) wearing only sneakers. Wrightson. The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. Near the city of Green Valley (south of Tucson), there is a mountain well known to local hikers as a challenging beast: Mount Wrightson. Learn how your comment data is processed. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m) over 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to the exposed summit. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. From downtown Tucson, follow 1-19 South towards Nogales. Mt. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (photography and writing) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Eventually you will cross an area that shows evidence of … Mount Wrightson and Mount Hopkins were named in their honor. The Nature trail starts at the Santa Rita Lodge and makes its way on the west side of Madera Creek and continues for 2.7 miles to the Mount Wrightson picnic area. Other southwestern wilderness such as Chiricahua, Mount Wrightson, Miller Peak, Mazatzal and Sierra Ancha exhibit similar problems. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. Wrightson Wilderness range from well-used pathways to primitive routes. This gps track follows the shortest route to the summit, which is along the Old Baldy Trail. 10 other mountain peaks closest to Mount Wrightson: 1. The summit is a small flat platform atop the rugged mountain. I don't get far before I see a brilliant meteor over by Sonoita. A few of the most popular access points are located within the Madera Canyon Recreation Area, where roads and parking areas are paved. Our friends decided they wanted somewhere warmer so we are still debating. This time I hope it doesn’t take another 15 years for the attempt. Mt. The Nature trail starts at the Santa Rita Lodge and makes its way on the west side of Madera Creek and … To always pack and wear my boots on these hikes! View of Mount Hopkins and the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at the top. Being on top of Mount Wrightson felt like being on top of the world. A few of the most popular access points are located within the Madera Canyon Recreation Area, where roads and parking areas are paved. There actually really isn’t a defined trail to the top and it mostly involves hiking through the shrubs and bush but the view is equally as impressive. You can start this trail at Bog Springs Campground, Madera Picnic Area, or the Madera Ampitheatre. For shorter hikes in Tucson: Check out my Guide to the Best Hikes in Sabino Canyon. I’d done a lot of hiking growing up in Minnesota and had even hiked in the Alps but I had never hiked over 9,000 feet before. And someone recently posted a photo of a mama cougar and two of her nearly full-grown cubs in a backyard not far distant from ours. We expected snow yet were honestly unprepared for the ice as it was very slippery on the ascent up to Baldy Saddle. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. Mount Wrightson is most often hiked from Madera Canyon, North of the summit. Thanks for stopping by! Wrightson Wilderness, AZ. For more information. 1 • PLACE. It is healing now but I learned a good lesson. s, Thank you and yes, that is where I’m headed. Thank you! This post reminds me of those volcano climbs I did, and makes me wonder why I haven’t done that since 2015. I’d encourage anybody try it. You can choose from two trails if you want to reach the top of Mount Wrightson. It had been on my to do list for some time, and now that temperatures in Arizona were rising, it was time to start looking to the higher elevations to escape the heat. Trail on Cave Creek in Coronado NF, Mt. (2012). Unlike its massive northern neighbor Mount Lemmon, Wrightson has a distinct rocky peak (as a matter of fact, it was named Mount Baldy at one time for this very reason) that offers arguably the best panorama in the region. Continue on the Crest Trail climbing moderately as the trail eventually swings around to ascend on the south side of the mountain. It is located in Madera Canyon, part of the Santa Rita mountains and the Coronado National Forest, and it's a popular excursion approximately 30-minutes south of Tucson. Wrightson Wilderness Area over the past week was killed over the weekend by an officer from the U.S. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I need the protection! It was exhilarating and set in motion a strong desire to keep climbing. The Mount Wrightson hike is intermediate but forgiving. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Five years later, I made another attempt to summit Mount Wrightson but physically it was not meant to be. Coronado National Forest map. Some fire ecologists think that stand replacing fire every few centuries may be the natural regime for mixed conifer. The path is rocky, uneven in places and also in winter months can be filled with snow and ice. Around 1 mile in, the trail splits in two directions; one takes you past Bog Springs, the other past Sylvester Spring. If you love flowers and birdwatching, then go in the Spring where you will see plenty of beautiful wildflowers in bloom and lots of birds. Madera Canyon boasts campgrounds, picnic areas and many hiking … It was a good thing we turned around because it was exceptionally icy and slippery at this point. Mount Hopkins is situated 2 miles south of Mount Wrightson Picnic Areas and Trailheads. I was three months pregnant with my son and the morning sickness made the hike impossible. A steady climb, that levels off a bit half way up to the first saddle. The Crest Trail’s platform is blown out of bedrock on the north side of the volcanic summit block. I looked up and saw a half dozen vultures circling above me. Wrightson. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is Tucson’s tallest peak (Mount Ian is slightly smaller at 9,146 feet) and the views along the way and at the top are quite impressive. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. If you are lucky you may also even see wildlife that only lives in higher elevations like the Whitetail and Mule Deer, Wild Turkey, Black Bear, Coati or even a fox. Along the way, I saw Turkey, Mule Deer, various lizards and a Tarantula. Where else in Tucson can you pass through four different ecological zones ranging from the last remains of the Sonoran desert to the Ponderosa pines and finally the majestic Douglas Firs. 1 • PLACE. Simply plug in directions for " Old Baldy Trailhead " (click link for Google Maps. Wrightson Wilderness, AZ. The trail travels right through town between Harshaw Road Trailhead and Temporal Gulch Trailhead. It was a perfect winter-in-the-desert day for a hike – clear, cool, bug-free, and sunny. Relaxing close to the top on the trail to Mount Ian. This steep and strenuous trail isn’t for the faint of heart, as it will take you a good ten hours to climb the nine tough miles up to … Wrightson Wilderness. (I just turned 81). My parents still live in Tucson so I visit often. The trail starts out as jeep trail, but gradually narrows. Madera Canyon--Mt. The start of both trailheads is at 5,450 feet and by this time you have already left behind the desert landscape that surrounds Tucson and have entered the Coronado National Forest lush with a wide variety of trees. 0 • Show More. Wrightson Hiking trail in Madera Canyon, Arizona (United States). Turn right … After approximately 20 miles, take the Continental Road Exit towards Madera Canyon Recreation Area. The Mount Wrightson hike is intermediate but forgiving. When combined with Old Baldy Trail, it forms a figure eight, making it possible to put together several different loops, using other portions for ascent or descent. A male alpine goat that had been terrorizing hikers in the Mt. Wrightson hike and the photos. This famous and very popular canyon is located on the northern slope of the Santa Rita Mountains and is maintained by National Forest Services (NFS). These are difficult "A" hikes due to elevation change (over 4000 feet), and length. Continental, Arizona - A boundary marker for the Mt. Thankfully we both had a pair of hiking poles however it would have been much easier and safer with a pair of ice cleats or crampons. If you want to make it a trip, there are lots of lovely Bed and Breakfasts and cabins to stay at. Mount Hopkins (Arizona) (2617 m) 3.6 km: 2. These two trails intersect at Josephine Saddle (7,080 feet, 2,160 m) halfway to the peak, so hikers can choose one route for the lower path and one route for the upper. It was in my early hiking years and at the time I found the hike pretty darn challenging. 0 • PLACE. My Dad and I hiked Mt. For experienced hikers only! The trail climbs a bit less steeply for 0.3 miles to the signed junction for Armour Spring (0.4 miles down the spur trail), there is also a good campsite here. From Cave Creek we took the Arizona Trail (AZT) south, swung up Temporal Gulch to a saddle west of Wrightson, dropped into Madera Canyon and back up around the north side of the peak, along ridges and out Sawmill Canyon trail/road for a four … The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. Madera Canyon – Mt. Hope you are doing well! The two trails cross forming a figure-8, and I was hoping to do at least part of both trails for some variety, which would make about a 13 mile day. From the start of the trailhead, it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes (2.2 miles) moving at a good pace to reach the first saddle, Josephine Saddle at 7,100 feet. Technically the shortest ascent to the summit is via the Garden Canyon Trail #143. Campsites: Kentucky Camp Dispersed Camping Area is located before the Kentucky Camp Cabin which can be rented out for the night. Trail in Coronado NF, Mt. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. I’m sure he and his pals were disappointed that their anticipated hearty breakfast was not to be. Select a Mountain Summit Use this relief map to navigate to mountain peaks in the area of Mount Wrightson. Large fires from 2000-2013 demolished most high-country forest, contour and streamside trails. This trail leads to the 9,453-foot summit of Mt. Same area and date Another location near Madera Canyon--Mt. Turn right … Wrightson and other nearby peaks. The 11-mile drive into Madera Canyon is quite spectacular in itself as you leave behind the dusty desert landscape of cactus and mesquite trees and enter the lush Coronado National Forest composed of Evergreen Oaks, Arizona Sycamores, Fremont Cottonwoods and Alligator Junipers. Josephine Saddle via Super Trail and Old Baldy, Old Baldy and Mount Wrightson Summit Trail. You’re a good writer and they’re an interesting read. Although it is much cooler than in Tucson, summer months can still be hot so be prepared with ample water and sunscreen. I have to get back! It must have been going away from me because it see Trail in Coronado NF, Mt. Awaiting us was a steep 2000 foot climb toward the base of Mount Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains. There are 19 hard trails in Mount Wrightson Wilderness ranging from 4 to 89.5 km and from 1,054 to 2,884 meters above sea level. While Mount Lemmon seems to get all of Tucson's fame and glory, lesser known Mount Wrightson is perhaps a more fun and scenic climb thanks to the lack of development on its summit and heavily shaded trail to shield you you from the Arizona heat. Turn right and follow the sign for the Crest Trail and Mt. Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. The first thing I notice is the water is still running, so it didn't freeze here. I enjoyed reading your account of the Mt. You and your dad must be very fit. Thanks for this review. . Gearing up for a challenge? Thank you so much! As you walk, you hear nothing but the birds and the air is crisp and fragrant. Water is a must, I took 1.5 gallons in my pack. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. Of course there are plenty of stunning hikes to do in the desert surrounding Tucson yet a climb to the top of Mount Wrightson is truly special and unique. Located in the Santa Rita Mountains in Southern Arizona, Mt. At the Josephine Saddle, follow the signs, (Old) … My Dad and I hiked Mt. Same area Another location near Madera Canyon--Mt. Mount Wrightson seen from the Arizona Trail, Gardner Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, Coronado National Forest, Arizona, USA. This is a 10.2 mile out-and-back hike with 4200 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 5-7 hours to complete. Yes, my dad never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Thanks for the wonderful note! Madera Canyon, Mt. You can’t climb to the top of the rock without mountaineering gear but the view of Tucson from its base is quite spectacular. The summit offers outstanding views of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. It is hard to believe that not far away are the giant saguaros and cactus that make up so much of Tucson’s landscape. The Super Trail is long but has a moderate gradient. Exceptional Post Nicole,,, very impressive,,, perhaps you should do this for a living! I only got to the first saddle at 7,100 feet. I’m sure that was a workout. As you climb up to the saddle, you can catch a glimpse of where you are headed as well as see the mosaic patterned desert landscape far below to north. Even though I look at a lot of professional hiking sites before attempting a “real” hike, I mostly love to read reviews from real people that involve tips on parking, trailheads, weather tips, etc.. If you hiking in the winter, be sure to pack crampons or some kind of ice cleats for your boots. Yes I have done the hike to Finger Rock. We’re looking forward with enthusiasm to living in Marana. Resources. Start hiking up the Old Baldy Trail. If you want an easier, less trafficked yet longer hike you can follow the 13.1 mile Super Trail (Also known as the Loop Trail). Views through the trees … At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the vicinity of Tucson Arizona. Happy hiking! I have done some hiking in the Himalayas & can well relate to the exhilaration – toughness of the climb.That is sound advice that you have given. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains and Tucson, Arizona region. … If you go during the Winter months be prepared for snow, ice or rain. Saturday - The Florida Canyon Trail which goes into the Crest trail. The trail ascends form the lush Madera Canyon. ParkFlo's rating The Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail is a hard out and back hike approximately 11.3 miles and with an elevation gain of 4,012 feet. In January 2018, we visited Mount Wrightson Wilderness—designated in 1985 with 25,260-acres of soaring peaks, deep canyons, grasslands and dozens of trails. We got up to the crest and took a few photos before deciding to turn around. To reach the trailhead, take exit 63 off of I-19 south of Tucson, and turn east toward Continental. Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails are popular in the area and vary from paved and gentle walking paths, to steep, strenuous trails leading to the top of 9,453-foot Mt. The trail climbs a bit less steeply for 0.3 miles to the signed junction for Armour Spring (0.4 miles down the spur trail), there is … You can easily make the hike in a day trip from Tucson but be prepared for a full day (5-6 hours hike plus 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive roundtrip). 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