From I-19, take exit 63 and follow signs for Madera Canyon. The sight on the top is excellent! It was a beautiful hike down, though, and I'll definitely come back again in a few months when it gets colder. Madera Canyon Wildflowers in the Santa Rita Mountains of Southeastern Arizona, Santa Rita Mountains (Hiking / Mountain Biking / Equestrian Trails, 2962S), Hiking Guide: Upper and Lower Lola Montez Lakes, The Ultimate Guide to White Sands National Monument. I need to get caught up on the posts and do better about writing them. Directions to Mount Wrightson and Hiking Basics. Wrightson in the Santa Rita Mountains. I had to break trail for 100 yards or so on the north facing section of Super Trail just after turning off from the summit trail. Mt. These are two totally different hikes and should be under separate titles. The Arizona Trail is routed through Kentucky Camp. Its a popular place for hiking, camping and … Thanks to his dad and the Boy Scouts, he was able to spend a lot of time hiking at an early age. Now, three years later, here I am in ARIDzona in June, when daytime relative humidity runs in the single digits and every day is 100 degrees or hotter. Wrightson (9,453ft/2,881m) in the Santa Rita range. Mount Wrightson Climbing Notes. If you are not familiar with this wonder, Mount Wrightson is a 9,456-foot or 2,882-meter peak located in the Santa Rita Mountains within the Coronado National Forest, in southern Arizona, United States. I did, however, turn around before reaching the summit due to the snow getting hard to walk in without snowshoes. With a small creek, hiking trails, and seclusion from other campers this location seems more like back country then car camping...PHOTOS/ MATT NAGER Hiking in Tucson – 5 Awesome Adventures Part 1 – Mt. Tucson is surrounded by mountains. Note: Hike statistics were recorded with Gaia GPS app. I told her you are a true Renaissance Man! Take a faint trail uphill to the left and you come to a summit with lovely views. An in-depth view of what it's like to arrive and hike Mt. Hike Summary. Start the long trek very early in the day. Mount Wrightson is most often hiked from Madera Canyon, North of the summit. Beautiful view from the top. You will soon enter one of the loveliest sections in the Santa Ritas near Sylvester Spring. Wrightson, but the description is of the Four Springs Trail hike to the junction of the Crest Trail. Lemmon we headed back down to Tucson and then south to Madera Canyon and the trailhead for Mt. There are several primitive campsites along the way. The hike I’ve done at Madera is just the main Madera Nature Trail that starts from the Proctor parking lot. Wrightson and along the Santa Rita Crest to Florida Saddle where you can turn east again on Cave Canyon Trail #149 to Cave Canyon Road and back to Gardner Canyon Road via the short and appropriately named Cave Gardner Cutoff Trail #10. Mount Wrightson has a very pleasing and classic profile in this view from nearby Mount Ian (2013-12-06). 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. From Mt. Hiking to the peak of Mt Wrightson from the nearest lot takes 3-4 hours each way. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. Drive southeast on this paved road following the signs to the Santa Rita Lodge and Madera Canyon. I'm glad now I never led this hike with the hiking club as no one would have joined me. Summary: A steep out and back climb to the highest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains. A male alpine goat that had been terrorizing hikers in the Mt. Took me about 10 hours. The prominence of Wrightson provides wonderful views with a great summit. The Mount Wrightson hike is intermediate but forgiving. Tucson is surrounded by mountains. I showed my wife your videos this morning and will now share your blog. This junction marks the end of Four Springs Trail. Wrightson on March 16th, 2017 and enjoyed some great scenery and views. The views were magnificent. Dean was feeling puny at this point and didn’t feel up to the hike. Wrightson is the tallest peak as seen from Tucson. My goal was to reach the summit of Mt. The hike up Mount Wrightson is forested and full of ecological diversity, in contrast to the parched Sonoran Desert valleys that surround it. This would be a great training hike for the Grand Canyon, though. Cross three one-lane bridges. Living in Arizona has been a real blessing. Great trail! In 1.2 miles, turn south on White House Canyon Road which transitions to Madera Canyon Road. Wrightson Wilderness Area over the past week was killed over the weekend by an officer from … The ride is about 84 miles with 5,600 feet of climbing.… Beautiful worth the time. Humphries and Harquahala Peak as my favorite hike in Arizona. Watch for a brown sign for Madera Canyon Recreation Area and exit on Continental Road. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. There's free camping outside of the National Forest as … Get as early of a start as possible to make sure you are hiking up in the shade. Madera Canyon and the Santa Rita Mountains are situated on a sky island, a designation given to isolated mountain ranges that are separated from each other by desert lowlands. The overall location is very isolated and made for a peaceful hike without huge crowds. Along the way, I saw Turkey, Mule Deer, various lizards and a Tarantula. Trails within the Mt. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. The road into Madera canyon is paved and open all year. Directions: From Tucson drive south on I-10 until you reach the I-19 exit. On November 15, 1958, three boys ages 12 to 16, were caught in a ferocious blizzard and died there. 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. Just a few feet past Kent Spring the trail splits. Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. A male alpine goat that had been harassing hikers in the Mt. The road into Madera canyon is paved and open all year. Wrightson & Redfield Canyon (Links to Part 2 and Part 3). Definitely a hard one to fit in one day. Here is a post from the Arizona Sierra Club about Mount Wrightson. After crossing the creek, the trail turns left. Didn't trust or footing. Technically the shortest ascent to the summit is via the Garden Canyon Trail #143. Un trail con excelentes vistas, gran altura. 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. The trail begins at the end of Madera Canyon. Review of Madera Canyon. The only thing not good was 3 piles of dog poop left on the trail near the parking area and at least 2 people with dogs not on leashes. Mount Wrightson. The title of this trail and the map are the Baldy/Super Trail loop to the summit of Mt. Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. Wrightson (9,453ft/2,881m) in the Santa Rita range. Looser near the peak. I need to get caught up on the posts and do better about writing them. Mt Wrightson being the highest summit in close to Tucson, I opted for it. Hiking up Mt Wrightson via Madera Canyon is still the more scenic and cooler option. Hiking in Tucson – 5 Awesome Adventures Part 1 – Mt. Wrightson Wilderness Area was killed last weekend by an officer from the U.S. Forest Service. Take this trail until it intersects with the Kent Spring jeep trail and then continue up the jeep trail to Kent Spring. December 21, 2017Updated: August 19, 2020, Your email address will not be published. Wrightson & Redfield Canyon (Links to Part 2 and Part 3). Super Trail was less traveled based on the vegetation overgrowth through some sections but has great views the whole way down. Mount Wrightson - Santa Rita Mountains. It had been a long drive from Washington, a tough hike for Pinal County, and then a windy noisy night on top of Mt. Another two miles of steady, sometimes steep uphill and you arrive at Shovel Saddle, so named for a shovel that used to be stuck in the ground there but has since disappeared. Given this fact, you are sure to encounter a beautiful array of wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and reptiles on your hike. Monsoon has been kind here, so a lot of the plants that tend to narrow Super trail a bit were weighed down by ice and snow and hung over the trail even more. Wrightson goes past Josephine Peak, a 10-pointer that is almost 1,000 feet lower than the summit of Wrightson, but is actually considerably harder to reach. This is a glorious hike stating from Madera Canyon which is filled with Arizona Live Oaks, Junipers, and in this monsoon season yellow columbines that nod in the breeze. Both sections of dirt climb through beautiful country - remote in the case of FR 143 and popular in the case of Box Canyon. I think he had “Jet Lag” or some bad junk food on the way down. Lemmon. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. Watch for a brown sign for Madera Canyon Recreation Area and exit on Continental Road. Wrightson. Travel: There are three Green Valley exits from I-19. Both sections of dirt climb through beautiful country - remote in the case of FR 143 and popular in the case of Box Canyon. Mount Wrightson is most often hiked from Madera Canyon, North of the summit. Mount Wrightson (2.881 m). The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. Cross three one-lane bridges. All the pictures I took on the hike. Mt Wrightson Hike and SOTA Activation My interest in the Summits On The Air program continues to grow, and as a result I've become fascinated with the idea of hiking some of the local area peaks in Southern Arizona. Take plenty of water and food. 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. Mt Wrightson Hike and SOTA Activation My interest in the Summits On The Air program continues to grow, and as a result I've become fascinated with the idea of hiking some of the local area peaks in Southern Arizona. Start the long trek very early in the day. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. Because of its cooler and wetter climate, Madera Canyon supports a rich and diverse selection of plants and wildlife. The ride is about 84 miles with 5,600 feet of climbing.… Mt Wrightson hike When we bought our house in Tucson while we were still full-timing in the Airstream, I explained to everyone that we never intended to spend summers here. This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Wrightson in Coronado National Forest. Mount Wrightson is One of Tucson’s Highest Peaks. Adam from UNITED STATES writes: Started at 7a, summitted at 11a with … Hike to the top and you'll be rewarded with a 360-degree view from the highest point between Tucson and Mexico. When I hiked Mount Wrightson in October 2017, I did not encounter any large boulders, though there were a few fallen trees. Very tired but worth it. Sign up below for new hiking guides, trip reports, gear reviews, and more. Wrightson, you would start at this point. What a great hike! This website participates in affiliate marketing. I’m Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide for Southwest Discoveries, a hiking and adventure company based in Tucson.Born and raised in New York City, I came to discover the great outdoors and fell in love with Arizona’s special places. An in-depth view of what it's like to arrive and hike Mt. Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. It has been a couple weeks ago. Guest post by Mitch Stevens. The summit offers outstanding views of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Max's early childhood was spent in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah and his teenage years in the red rock desert of Southern Utah. So, as you can see, IMHO, Mt Wrightson IS THE BEST HIKE IN ARIZONA. If you're not pressed for time, I highly recomend going up via Super; the views were phenomenal, and at a couple spots we saw some hummingbirds flying around. Wrightson in southeastern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains. Wrightson. In … Simply plug in directions for "Old Baldy Trailhead" (click link for Google Maps. Dean was feeling puny at this point and didn’t feel up to the hike. On Nov. 15, 1958, six Boy Scouts from Tucson started out on a day hike from Madera Canyon to Mount Baldy, now known as Mount Wrightson, in the Santa Rita Mountains. Fantastic Hike to the Peak of Mt. I decided to see how close to the summit I could get in the snow on 12/26. If you go during the Winter months be prepared for snow, ice or rain. 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. On the way up I paused and read of the three boy scouts that died in an unexpected blizzard. You can hike to the top of Mount Wrightson year round however the best times to hike is in the Spring and Fall. Total distance, around 8 miles. I started out taking Old Baldy trail up to the saddle, and then took Super. This is a glorious hike stating from Madera Canyon which is filled with Arizona Live Oaks, Junipers, and in this monsoon season yellow columbines that nod in the breeze. Needless to say, if you were hiking Mt. Mount Wrightson can be hiked via the shorter, steeper Old Baldy Trail or longer Super Trail. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. It had been a long drive from Washington, a tough hike for Pinal County, and then a windy noisy night on top of Mt. The start point listed in the description is good for the Bog Spring/Kent Spring Loop but a better starting point for the Four Springs Trail is the Super Trail from the parking lot at the top of the road. To my surprise there was snow near the top. Drive about 25 miles on I-19 and take the exit for Continental. It's only 5.4 miles away on foot, but it's way up there. On the way up I paused and read of the three boy scouts that died in an unexpected blizzard. That was sad. From the Super Trail go about 1/4 mile. Am dritten Tag unseres Februar-Aufenthalts in den USA steht die erste größere Tour an: der Mount Wrightson. On Nov. 15, 1958, six Boy Scouts from Tucson started out on a day hike from Madera Canyon to Mount Baldy, now known as Mount Wrightson, in the Santa Rita Mountains. Turn east under the interstate and cross the Santa Cruz River. I’d encourage anybody try it. Web Map Links Even if you're not a bird-watcher, you have to appreciate the unique nature of this place. There's free camping outside of the National Forest as … At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the vicinity of Tucson Arizona. Rocky Mount Wrightson looms above the treeline Pretty much the entire 2.5 miles from the parking lot to Josephine Saddle is shaded by pine and oak forest, making the many switchbacks to the first notable destination on the hike much easier. Needed microspikes coming up Baldy Trail after the first 3 miles and didn't remove them till sometime around the Gardner Canyon cutoff from the Super Trail. Want to hike Tucson’s best trails? Mount Wrightson Loop Trail is a 13.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Green Valley, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. After a total of 107 switch backs, several water breaks, I still managed to reach the top of the summit which I really enjoyed. Hiking to the peak of Mt Wrightson from the nearest lot takes 3-4 hours each way. Wrightson and other nearby peaks. His docile female The spirit of the Boy Scouts lives on at Mt. A male alpine goat that had been terrorizing hikers in the Mt. Read my Best Hikes in Tucson article or check out our individual Tucson Hiking Guides. Wrightson … The Crest Trail leads both to the summit of Mt. Wrightson from Madera Canyon Santa Rita Mountains. Lemmon we headed back down to Tucson and then south to Madera Canyon and the trailhead for Mt. With a small creek, hiking trails, and seclusion from other campers this location seems more like back country then car camping...PHOTOS/ MATT NAGER I think he had “Jet Lag” or some bad junk food on the way down. Trail Map This trail can end in a few places, though my preference is to stop at either the Amphitheater Parking Area or Mt. Mount Wrightson is One of Tucson’s Highest Peaks. Just enough other hikers to enjoy a conversation at the summit. My hiking companion and I found this to be pretty easy, and there were lovely views of Madera Canyon below us and the Santa Rita's to our East. However, with its four-wheel-drive access, the Madera Canyon options are more appealing coming from Tucson. This is an almost 15 mile round trip hike. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Hiking up Mt Wrightson via Madera Canyon is still the more scenic and cooler option. Wrightson Wilderness Area was killed last weekend by an officer from the U.S. Forest Service. This gps track follows the shortest route to the summit, which is along the Old Baldy Trail. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The summit itself offered some amazing 360 views of southern Arizona and parts of Mexico, but unfortunately when we went it was literally swarming with ladybugs and flies, with quite a few bees present as well. You can always turn back and there are plenty of places to rest given time. A male alpine goat that had been harassing hikers in the Mt. Views where amazing. Until you reach Josephine Saddle, you are hiking on west facing slopes and Mount Wrightson is big enough to block the sun for most of the morning. Along the way, I saw Turkey, Mule Deer, various lizards and a Tarantula. Both hikes are within the Mount Wrightson Wilderness. We value your privacy and do not share your personal information. Mount Wrightson is a 9,456-foot (2,882 m) peak in the Santa Rita Mountains within the Coronado National Forest, in southern Arizona, United States. You'll know you're on the pipeline trail because there is 2" galvanized pipe on the side of the trail. Hiking. A few of the most popular access points are located within the Madera Canyon Recreation Area, where roads and parking areas are paved. Date of experience: October 2017. Watch for the Pipeline Trail coming off the left at a steep uphill angle. We did the Old Baldy trail both ways. Its a popular place for hiking, camping and bird watching so its best to get there early, any time of year. Mount Wrightson Loop Trail is a 21.1 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Green Valley, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Here is a post from the Arizona Sierra Club about Mount Wrightson. Mt. Photo credit: Elevation: 2881 m; Difficulty: Walk up; Best months to climb: May, June, July, August, September, October; Convenient center: Green Valley; Update info or location. Started at 715am. Be safe. Fantastic hike! I came across some bobcat tracks in the snow. As you look south, however, the highest and most distinctive peak is Mt. To my surprise there was snow near the top. Your email address will not be published. There are numerous springs on the Mount Wrightson trail system, but they run dry during certain times of the year, so hedge your bets. Both paths are equidistant and meet up at Kent Springs after 2 miles. Mt. This is a wonderful loop around Mt Wrightson with two sections of dirt road and two sections of paved road. The "Super Trail" loop around Mt. Required fields are marked *. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. You are now on the Four Springs Trail. Wrightson in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona, USA, July 27 and 28, 2009. Water is a must, I took 1.5 gallons in my pack. Directions: From Tucson drive south on I-10 until you reach the I-19 exit. The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. Hike to the top and you'll be rewarded with a 360-degree view from the highest point between Tucson and Mexico. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains and Tucson, Arizona region. Hiking Wrightson alone is a good challenge, but the trail system in the area provides a great double-activation opportunity for hams who want a tough but rewarding day. Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. The path is also well-maintained and, for the most part, clear of obstacles. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. From Mt. Distance 11 miles Elevation gain 4000 feet. We went up old baldy and down old baldy. There are occasional sightings of black bear in the Santa Ritas and mountain lions are known to inhabit the area as well. 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. Wrightson Wilderness Area over the past week was killed over the weekend by an officer from the U.S. Around 2 miles later you will arrive at Amour Spring, then another half mile brings you to the junction with Crest Trail. everything was very gradual up and down. Lots of fun and great views. Hiking trip report for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. I came across some bobcat tracks in the snow. Located in the Santa Rita Mountains in Southern Arizona, Mt. I’m Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide for Southwest Discoveries, a hiking and adventure company based in Tucson.Born and raised in New York City, I came to discover the great outdoors and fell in love with Arizona’s special places. My goal was to reach the summit of Mt. The first thing that'll come to mind when you catch your first glimpse of Mount Wrightson is, HOLY MOLY! Wrightson from Madera Canyon Santa Rita Mountains. The hike was pretty cool. I took my 2 older kids 13 and 15, they found it difficult but worthwhile. I had plenty of layers, though, so it wasn't too terrible. It was beautiful up there! To the left is the Bog Spring loop. What’s not to love about this beautiful hike? And it looks even farther than that — at 9,453 feet, Mount Wrightson, also known as Old Baldy, is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains. About 2 km from either Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows campground, you will encounter a map board and a trail junction, off to the left is the trail head to Black Tusk. The first time we summited McCleary Peak which involved bushwacking through prickly undergrowth, but I got cut up and it wasn't worth it since the views from Shovel Saddle are just as good. If you’re slogging this hike in one day, you may want to take the slightly shorter route through Taylor Meadows. Go to the right (strangely not marked on the sign). 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. This is a wonderful loop around Mt Wrightson with two sections of dirt road and two sections of paved road. It was named for William Wrightson, a miner and entrepreneur in the region killed by Apaches in the 1865 Battle of Fort Buchanan. Old Baldy and Mount Wrightson Summit Trail, Josephine Saddle via Super Trail and Old Baldy, Vault Mine, Agua Caliente, Super Trail Loop, Old Baldy, Vault Mine and Agua Caliente Trail. Drive about 25 miles on I-19 and take the exit for Continental. Car camping off Gardner Canyon Road near Mt. Guest post by Mitch Stevens. Your second thought will be, There's no way! We lunched at Shovel Saddle at 8000' (2600' elevation gain) and then headed back as weather was moving in. 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. Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail is a 11.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Green Valley, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. As good it gets! Trails in the Wilderness crisscross forests, canyons and ridgetops, accessing panoramic views and cool, shaded glades. Note: Hike statistics were recorded with Gaia GPSapp. I would rate it as difficult. icy chunks from the trees all over up top made it hard coming down. Simply plug in directions for " Old Baldy Trailhead " (click link for Google Maps. There … Wrightson – Hiking Tucson’s Loftiest Summit. I'm not sure if this is a seasonal occurrence as it was my first summit, but if you go up there, be prepared for LOTS of bugs. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. As seen in the Wrightson Wilderness map, several trails ascend Mt Wrightson. This is a hike that must be done by any avid hiker, but I doubt I'll be doing it any time soon. Trails within the Mt. You can start this trail at Bog Springs Campground, Madera Picnic Area, or the Madera Ampitheatre. From there the trail climbs steeply for a half mile. He completed his first 14-mile day hike at age 7 in Zion National Park and was backpacking by age 11. His docile female The ridgeline of the Santa Ritas included Old Baldy (Mt Wrightson, Mt McCleary, Jack Mtn, and Mt Hopkins, where the Smithsonian had an observatory. Around 1 mile in, the trail splits in two directions; one takes you past Bog Springs, the other past Sylvester Spring. Gps track and follow signs for Madera Canyon supports a rich and diverse selection of plants wildlife! 14-Mile day hike at age 7 in Zion National Park and was backpacking age... Recommend the full loop like this to get there early mt wrightson hike any time of year to. Past Sylvester Spring across some bobcat tracks in the Mt the Kent Spring jeep trail to Josephine Saddle and... 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