I usually just take Old Baldy back down. I turned left there for the Old Baldy Trail. Ice and snow made the descent somewhat slow and precipitous in some sections. The summit itself is broad and flat. This is a blog for people of all levels and experience and is not limited to any state, province or sport. There are a few more trails that you can take to extend your hike if you want to add length and go up even higher. Wrightston) - Hiking The Trail The first half of the trail is sunny, but majority of the trail is shaded, so sunglasses or a hat should be fine, and it’s up to you whether or not you want to wear sunscreen. Thankfully, no technical gear beyond microspikes is needed! From Baldy Sadde (8,780') to the summit (9,456') was about 0.9 miles. Old Baldy is a steep climb to the summit of Mt. For a long time I believed Mount Lemmon was the highest in the region. The trail then goes deeper into the forest and becomes shaded. Old Baldy Trail, which begins in Madera Canyon, had reopened just before the Saturday incident after being closed by the Coronado Forest on Oct. 7, following three previous bear encounters, Hart said. Old Baldy Trail was a great hike - Review of Madera Canyon, Tucson, AZ - Tripadvisor Madera Canyon: Old Baldy Trail was a great hike - See 569 traveler reviews, 239 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. From Tucson, the drive takes about 1 hour, one way. As I began working my way back West from New Mexico, I spent some time in Southern Arizona. I understood his passion for this mountain as I have a similar passion for the Enchantment area in Washington State. This challenging and enormously popular 10-mile trek (round trip) leads to the 9,453-foot summit of Mount Wrightson, and climbs more than 4,000 vertical feet and tops out on one of … Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This is also when the switchbacks begin. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. Just a girl interested in science, nature, and writing about my adventures. This is a rugged hike. You’ll then come to the Mount Wrightson Wilderness sign and at that point you are official! Anybody been up Old Baldy Trail to the summit of Mt. Although the trail was steep for the next 2.1 miles to Josephine Saddle, there were endless views of Mount Wrightson's summit and the desert below. If I’m not out hiking, you can find me at home cuddling with my cat, Fred. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Your email address will not be published. Some climb the Super Trail which is a little longer. Gets steeper as you get higher! The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. Baldy (Mt. at Pine Gully Park in Seabrook, Texas. At the saddle, five trails intersect but there's a number of signs making the way to the summit evident. Eventually, the switchbacks end and you reach the saddleback and the end of the trail. This first section of the hike is very dusty and sandy, and there’s not a lot of traction on the actual trail. It took about 4/5ths the time to descend as it did to ascend. Were I a real naturalist, I could have better identified and appreciated the flora that typically only grows in Mexico. Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. Its a popular place for hiking, camping and bird watching so its best to get there early, any time of year. The area is very popular however it never feels overcrowded. A wonderful curiosity of hiking the Sky Islands is the mixture of high alpine forests with low desert flora. At... As I began working my way back West from New Mexico, I spent some time in Southern Arizona. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. It was 2.4 miles from the trailhead to Josephine Saddle with about 1,600' of altitude gain. This part of the trail is also not as shaded, so like I said before, a hat and sunglasses (and maybe sunscreen) would be helpful. Just like the hike to the “Carrie National Trail #78,” which I’ve previously written about, once you park, there is about a one-mile hike to the actual trailhead. This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to help show ads that are more relevant to your interests. Required fields are marked *, Hi! Gaining 1,700 feet in just 1.8 miles along Old Baldy Trail convinces me to take the longer Super Trail route. However that honor belongs to the Santa Rita's Mount Wrightson. However that honor belongs to the Santa Rita’s Mount Wrightson. Wrightson (summit: 9,543ft), which is the highest peak in the Santa Rita Mountain range to the south of Tucson. Even if you're not a bird-watcher, you have to appreciate the unique nature of this place. Met some really nice people. best. Have you ever completed this hike before? I'll get lost in the woods with you any day ;) When you get to the first Baldy switchback, don't take it. Your email address will not be published. I think that this trail is interesting because it takes you deeper into the forest, it’s a challenge so you’ll get a good workout, and you can find some pretty views of Tucson. Old Baldy Trail- Crest Trail- Foursprings Trail- Kent Spring Trail- Pipeline Route- Super Trail 12.1 mi/3750′ gain. The incline is very mild here but you will start to notice a steeper incline once you hit the Old Baldy Trail. I would recommend wearing sneakers or hiking boots with good tread. Southern Arizona and Tucson ... Up to Josephine Saddle, then to the top via Super Trail and back to Josephine Saddle via Baldy Trail. I typically bring two water bottles, but you might need more. Take head. The Old Baldy Trail described here is one of two primary routes to the top, the other being the Super Trail. (I currently live in Houston, which is basically at sea level, so the 5,000 elevation gain hit me hard.). Home: Recreational Activities: Trails: Old Baldy : view all sites by. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November. Both of these trails lead to the 9,543-foot summit of Mt. As of February 2020, I encountered snow at approximately 7,800' and it was packed and icy. Activities: Hiking Trails. I understand why they’re necessary, but I hate them. From Josephine Saddle (7,120') to Baldy Saddle (8,780'), its about 2.0 miles. Most notable is the Old Baldy Trail that leads up to Mount Wrightson. Going down, it’s steep so be cautious of your footing and, again, make sure that your shoes have good tread. #KeepOurParksClean) Coronado National Forest is at 5,000 ft. elevation, so take it slow and make sure that you catch your breath if you need to if you aren’t used to higher elevation. Josephine Saddle, at approximately 7,120' was a good spot for a break and assessment of progress. Thank you for reading! The Pursuit of Life is an outdoor adventure blog that’s dedicated towards providing guides on a variety of outdoor activities and wild places in the United States and Canada. Be the first to share what you think! Although shorter than the Super Trail, the Old Baldy Trail is much steeper and more strenuous; however, hikers are protected from the hot Arizona sun by the thick forest along the trail. It's another 1.8 miles around the northern slopes to Baldy Saddle. 0 comments . 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. Once you reach the trailhead, it’s pretty much “up” the entire way. These trails meet near Josephine Saddle to create a figure 8 on the mountain and can be combined to make a more interesting loop hike. The walk to the trailhead takes you up quite a few stairs and up a service road. You just have to keep going back again and again. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Old Baldy is located in Coronado National Forest, about 40 miles south of Tucson in southern Arizona. hide. Coronado Hiking Trails. Switchbacks take some of the bite out of the ascent. Members of the UA Ramblers Hiking Club trek the Old Baldy trail on Mount Wrightson on Sep. 21, 2019. Does anyone know the snow level on top of Mt. The Super Trail and Old Baldy continue together for less than a quarter-mile. Adventure is out there! This part is challenging and when I hiked it, I needed to stop 2 or 3 times to drink water and catch my breath. This is why this hike is classified as “hard.” It’s up, up, up for a few miles through the forest. Tucson, AZ, USA 85701 (520) 388-8300 (520) 388-8304 TTY. I love traveling, hiking, writing, photography, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. no comments yet. I hiked this in the winter so, no surprise, there was a lot of snow past Josephine Saddle. Old Baldy/ Super Trail loop. 57 Years ago tragedy strikes near Tucson on Mt. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. on Hiking Old Baldy Trail in Coronado National Forest, Arizona, Climbing Over Dunes & Relaxing at the Beach in Indiana Dunes State & National Park, Indiana, Hiking Old Baldy Trail in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. Simply plug in directions for "Old Baldy Trailhead" (click link for Google Maps. Don't hit this trail during the Fall, Winter or Spring without them! Please subscribe if you haven’t already and I’ll see you on my next adventure! I’ve definitely gotten a ticket from not paying for a day pass, so be careful. Mount Wrightson is the highest point in the Tucson region at 9,456 ft. Named after William Wrighston, a miner and entrepreneur who was killed in 1865 by Apaches during the battle of Fort Buchanan. While the Super Trail up Mount Wrightson is longer, its figure eight brother trail, the Old Baldy Trail, remains a favorite among visiting hikers. Old Baldy is located in Coronado National Forest, about 40 miles south of Tucson in southern Arizona. It took well over an hour of slow going to make it to the Old Baldy Saddle. My name is Emmalee Mauldin. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Surely that's enough of a reason to hike it but the real draw is the Madrean Sky Island environment which is exceptionally unique. The remarkable preservation of the region was evident from here to the summit. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Old Baldy Trail, Santa Rita mountains, Tucson AZ. However, I made it back before sunset. It’s a favorite hiking spot for my family and birders. (Please make sure that you take your trash out of the park! If you’re in the area and looking to do something outdoorsy and social distance, I highly recommend this hike! The service road is very dusty and rocky, and not like a typical “hike” in the mountains. In the ruins of some previous structure, presumably a fire tower, there's an ammunition canister and summit register. This hike is about 5 miles round-trip. Hiking the “Super Trail” in Coronado National Forest, Arizona – Emmalee Mauldin, Hiking the “Super Trail” in Coronado National Forest, Arizona, Take A Walk! I had the best intentions of getting an early start, but didn’t end up setting foot on the Old Baldy trail until almost 9 am. Old Baldy Trail #372 & Super Trail #134 Loop. Sort by. You’ll eventually make your way back to the trailhead, and follow the service road and stairs back to the parking lot. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. I’d like to go soon, wondering how cold it is at the top, or actually, the whole way up, too. Yep, I was right- it was an awesome campsite! It’s $8 a day per car to park, or you can get a yearly pass for $40. Of the two trails, the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is the shortest route to the summit. Activities that are covered in this blog include hiking, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, mountaineering, thru-hiking, caving, trail running, trekking, canoeing, ice climbing and general exploring. Old Baldy is the shortest and steepest, while the Super Trail is longer but has a more moderate gradient, but both of these trails lead to the 9,543-foot summit of Mt. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. The trail wraps around the Eastern and Southern tip of the summit creating and incredible panorama. 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. The 1st.4 miles of the hike are through a wide rocky path that will take you to the Old Baldy Trail. We intend to hike the Old Baldy trail. This side seemed quite protected and shaded from the sun so I'm sure it remains cold and icy throughout the winter months. Mount Wrightson is most often hiked from Madera Canyon, North of the summit. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. Hiking on a beautiful day. Recreational Activities. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer at 8.1 miles (13.0 km). It’s the first challenge of a pretty hard hike but it ends pretty quickly. I ascended the very steep trail running up the Western face of Mount Wrightson and couldn't imagine making it up without some sort of traction. Like Las Cruces, the city of Tucson is literally surrounded by mountains. Fun, but I have a big Grand Canyon trip coming up in a little over a month. This hike is about 5 miles round-trip. Cactus and yuccas grow alongside thick junipers and firs. The last 700' of climbing involved further snow and ice but the views into the Mexican desert were sublime. Old Baldy is the shortest and steepest, while the Super Trail is longer but has a more moderate gradient, but both of these trails lead to the 9,543-foot summit of Mt. Innumerable trails permeate the Santa Rita Mountains and there are perhaps dozens of other way to reach the summit. Large pine cones litter the ground trailside. 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, the actual name of this trail is called “Old Baldy.” It’s because It leads to a saddle that is mostly “bald” (fewer trees), hence the name. To get to the hike, you have to drive to the topmost parking lot in Coronado National Forest. The trail clearly begins at the Old Baldy Trailhead, at the end of Madera Canyon, Total elevation gain is roughly 4,200 with minimal loss on the way to the summit, There are usually water sources on the summit from springs but bring enough for a full day. Unfortunately I missed all the pretty birds ;-) Thanks to Lance Tipton for the audio track! Continue straight on the Vault Mine trail instead. At an altitude of 9,456', Mount Wrightson is the highest mountain near Tucson. For 0.3 miles, the trail was essentially an old road until arriving at the first intersection. What about other hikes in the area? Regarding the Old Baldy Trail: The trail clearly begins at the Old Baldy Trailhead, at the end of Madera Canyon Round trip distance is about 10.1 miles Total elevation gain is roughly 4,200 with minimal loss on the way to the summit report. Long, steep ascent but the views were absolutely … After scrambling over rocks, ... towards the picnic area on the Old Baldy trail for .3 miles. 100% Upvoted. I workout and go on runs a few times a week, but I am by no means super fit. There is a fee of $5 to park in the lot since you are visiting a National Forest. La Noue (13 years old), who had lost their lives on November 15, 1958. Almost immediately after that junction, I encountered the wilderness boundary. For a long time I believed Mount Lemmon was the highest in the region. With each 100 feet of climbing, I felt like I experienced an entirely new environment. Xoxo. I think that anyone in some sort of physical shape could do this hike, but it could be challenging for people who aren’t used to hiking or exercising. This is the desert! It’s a favorite hiking spot for my family and birders. I despise switchbacks, and there are quite a few on this trail. The hike I did was the Old Baldy Trail, the most popular and shortest route up the mountain. Madera Canyon is accessible, a reasonable place to go, and where the Old Baldy trail starts. Although Tucson is a haven for snowbirds loving the 70-degrees-in-February days, this part gets the full brunt of winter. Answer 1 of 5: We're planning to hike in the Santa Rita mountains tomorrow (1/29). Its almost impossible to know when and if there's snow on the Old Baldy Trail; conditions change quickly. It's only 5.4 miles away on foot, but it's way up there. 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. I definitely slipped once and scrapped by elbows and hands. Like Las Cruces, the city of Tucson is literally surrounded by mountains. share. TUCSON - It has been a while since we've gone Hittin' the trails in Madera Canyon at the Old Baldy Trail! save. Many hikers opt for the shorter, steeper Baldy trail, and some combine both in a figure-eight loop that crosses at Josephine Saddle. As we went up the Old Baldy trail, he shared several stories about the mountain and some of his experiences on it. Under a canopy of tall pines, the trail is comfortably carpeted in pine needles. Difficulty: 4/5 – Difficult; Distance: 12 miles / 6-8 hrs; Elevation gain: 4,080 ft; Best seasons: Spring & Autumn; Douglas Spring Trail 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). I have been doing a lot of hiking to swimming holes and waterfalls. Wrightson to the right. This junction intercepts six paths providing reason to return. Old Baldy Trail and the Super Trailheads are on the left and righthand side of the parking lot. And you’re done! Opting for the 3.3-mile Super Trail, the ascent continues in a counter-clockwise loop around the peak. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida and work at the aerospace company Redwire Space as a communications specialist and social media manager. Wrightson in the past week or so? Thankfully, I was prepared with microspikes. Mount Wrightson has two trails to summit the highest peak in southern Arizona: the Old Baldy trail and the Super trail. I don't know how you would check the snow level there. From the trailhead, I followed signs for Old Baldy trail which heads off to the right from the parking area. Overall, this is a difficult but doable for most experienced hikers in the winter. It is south of Tucson accessible from the west side of the Santa Rita Mountains from Continental south of Green Valley. Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it! On AllTrails, this hike is listed as a hard, and I agree with that assessment. 4.1mi — 3h 00m Dec 22, 2018 Ricky Holzer. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Douglas Springs is the smoothest trail I have hiked in Tucson. Baldy or the condition of the trail … Tucson has been oppressively hot, so 8,750′ Baldy Saddle sounded like the ideal place to hike up and out of the heat. Even in the middle of winter on a Superbowl Sunday, there were plenty of other hikers at the top. On AllTrails, this hike is listed as a hard, and I agree with that assessment. Old Baldy Trail #372 Old Baldy is the shortest and steepest, while the Super Trail is longer but has a more moderate gradient, but both of these trails lead to the 9,543-foot summit of Mt. This final section was short but strenuous given the altitude. The trail begins at the end of Madera Canyon. This hike primary trail can be used both directions. Old Baldy Trail #372 is a 6 km black diamond singletrack trail located near Vail Arizona. I essentially followed the signs that marked the Old Baldy Trail and/or Mount Wrightson summit. Also, please make sure that you bring enough water on your hike! This was to honor the three Boy Scouts: David Greenberg (12 years old), Mike Early (16 years old), and Michael J. You can take the long “Super Trail” back to the parking lot (however, the Super Trail is quite long and mostly sunny). There's a memorial for a few unfortunate Boy Scouts who were killed in a freak early winter storm some 50 years ago while hiking. Santa Rita Crest with Mt. When I slipped, I was going down and wearing old shoes with worn-out tread. The road into Madera canyon is paved and open all year. Where to Stay. Learn how your comment data is processed. Almost 1,700 feet up, Josephine Saddle is reached at 2.3 miles / 7,100ft. I always bring snacks for once I reach the top, so maybe bring a granola bar or orange. In February of 2020, I hiked the Old Baldy Trail to the summit. Old Baldy and Mount Wrightson Summit Trail is a 10.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Amado, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Five trails intersect but there 's a number of different loops using different portions of..: we 're planning to hike it but the views into the Forest and shaded. The unique nature of this place gone Hittin ' the trails form a figure eight making possible... Communications specialist and social media manager with friends and family last 700 ' of,. Activities: trails: Old Baldy continue together for less than a.... ; conditions change quickly holes and waterfalls so its best to get there early, any time of.. 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