Both trails are accessible from the Mt Wrightson parking and picnic area. Old Baldy is the name by which those familiar with the Santa Rita Mountains know the centerpiece of this 25,260-acre Wilderness. Once you get acclimated to these amazing new views, you’ll have to deal with a few switchbacks which aren’t too bad. The first set of switchbacks is going to be have about 30 of varying lengths over the stretch of about half of a mile, gaining about 540 feet. Wrightson to the right I have been doing a … It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. Towering more than 7,000 feet over the surrounding savannas and deserts, Mt. Wrightson Wilderness. #onlyina, Entering one of the many grottoes at Chiricahua NM, Climbing Picacho Peak is an epic hike. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/mt-wrightson-via-old-baldy-trail 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. . Unfortunately, it was impossible for us to really relax on top because we were getting absolutely swarmed by bugs including a lot of ladybugs. More information is available at the Coronado National Forest Passes and Permits Page. From here on, brown signs for Madera Canyon will indicate the turns and assure you are heading the correct direction. That trail is not as steep but it is longer than the Old Baldy Trail. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer. . Wrightson may cause some people to experience altitude sickness, which typically occurs above 8,000 feet. The geology transitions to rhyolite volcanics in the Mount Wrightson Formation of the Middle Triassic age. The favorite destination for most hikers at Arcadia Dunes is Old Baldy, an open dune perched 356 feet above Lake Michigan for sweeping views of the Great Lake. Awesome view of a bristlecone pine tree. see directly into Mexico. Continue following the paved road all the way until the end at the Mount Wrightson Picnic Area, then find parking. Turn right at White House Canyon Road. Occasional breaks in the trees reveal glimpses of Mount Wrightson taunting you as you make seemingly little progress, as pictured below. Old Baldy Trail is not the only path to Wrightson, but it’s one of the shorter starting points. At over 9,400 feet, climbing Mt. Pay your fees at this kiosk near the Old Baldy Trailhead, Find the best hiking in the Midwest and Mountain West, Coronado National Forest Passes and Permits Page, Strenuous climbing, 4000 feet of elevation gain. As you continue to ascend, the views just continue to open up more and more over the next half a mile. Even if you're not a bird-watcher, you have to appreciate the unique nature of this place. I don’t know if this is a year-round spring that flows but it had a slight but steady flow in early May when we hiked. Note that at the time of writing, there is a proposal to increase daily fees to $8 and annual pass prices to $40 that may be implemented sometime in 2019. And then I wasted no time in … This is the most popular route to the top, so expect to see plenty of people. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains and Tucson, Arizona region. The mile following the Josephine Saddle is actually a pretty enjoyable segment of the hike and sort of the calm before the storm for some people. At 0.3 mile, Old Baldy curves sharply around to the left and crosses into the Mount Wrightson Wilderness. I would highly recommend utilizing the spring so that you don’t have to go overboard packing your water plus the spring water was so refreshing. Last Updated: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 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. It was absolutely stunning all the way through; I can confidently say it’s a new favorite hike in the Tucson area. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer at 8.1 miles (13.0 km). The Old Baldy and Super Trail meet in the saddle and share the footpath for the next 0.2 mile. This is also where the views open up to the other side of the mountain, and there are a couple of spots with shade making this a perfect place to take another rest. Old Baldy on Mt. (Notice all the crazy lady bugs in the photo! At the trailhead for the Super Trail is posted a plaque (pictured below) telling hikers that Boy Scout Troop 301 and Venture Crew 301 cautions you to be prepared. Hike the trails and enjoy the majestic views from "Old Baldy", a dune overlooking Lake Michigan. Rising over 4,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert to a respectable 9,456 feet above sea level, Mount Wrightson is the tallest mountain in the vicinity of Tucson and the highest point in Santa Cruz County. Despite the physical demands of the hike, you'll forget the aches and pains in your legs and look back on this hike with fond memories of natural splendor and personal achievement. It is recommended to filter this water if you choose to drink it and honestly this was a perfect opportunity for me to use my Lifestraw for the first time. I did this hike with two liters of water in my Camelback and a Gatorade but hitting up the spring on the way up and down allowed me to finish up the hike with just enough water. You’ll only have to deal with about seven or so switchbacks this time but things do get much more rocky as you get higher and this is where the loose rocks can be a little tricky in a couple of spots. After you move around the last curve then it’s simply a little incline right to the summit! Old Baldy Trail- Crest Trail- Foursprings Trail- Kent Spring Trail- Pipeline Route- Super Trail 12.1 mi/3750′ gain Santa Rita Crest with Mt. It is a nice challenge but it’s great to be able to hike up in the mountains with lots of shade throughout the journey. After about half a mile from the saddle, you will reach the next set of switchbacks. Of the two trails, the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is the shortest route to the summit. If you take the east route around the loop traveling counter clockwise, the distance to … After dealing with a handful of switchbacks and right at four miles into the hike, you will encounter Bellows Spring. Views on the saddle open up. 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. Since most summit this peak as a day hike and start the day from the desert lowlands of Tucson, you won't have a chance to acclimatize your body. By Ricky Holzer. Mount Wrightson | Via Old Baldy Trail | A Montage - YouTube You can choose from two trails if you want to reach the top of Mount Wrightson. The way back down is obviously much easier but due to the loose rocks and large drop downs at times, it is a little bit more time-consuming than I initially thought it would be. But if you want an easier trail, you should just take the Super or Loop Trail (13.1-mile hike), which is … Wrightson. Nov 26, 2019 - Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail - Arizona | Julie and Mike hike Note: Hike statistics were recorded with Gaia GPSapp. The total path is approximately 9 miles roundtrip and 4,000 feet of elevation gain. . From Tucson, take Interstate 10 to Interstate 19 heading south. Once you finish that punishment, you’ll come to another trail junction that meets up with the Crest Trail — the Baldy Saddle. The trail head is located in Madera Canyon at the very end of the South Madera Canyon Road. Though the top's panoramic views extending to Tucson in the north and Mexico in the south are the primary reward, the entire hike is chock full of scenic viewpoints -- each of which you will definitely use as an excuse to take a breather on this high altitude climb with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. . In the summer, this is a good trail to beat the heat thanks to the trailhead starting at a cooler 5,500 feet of elevation, the trail's location on the shady north side of the mountain, and the shade of the pines in lower elevations. It doesn’t quite riva, Another shot of Pando — the largest organism in, If you’re ever in Telluride make sure you go for, The beautiful mountain town of Ouray just after su, Happy first birthday to this adventurous corgi, ou, Love a good set of cascades but these can be slipp, Back when I used to a wear ridiculously oversized, “One should not pursue goals that are easily ach, Not many places leave an impression on you quite l, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, « Signal Hill Trail and Petroglyph Review | Saguaro National Park Tucson, AZ, How Much Water Should You Drink on a Hike? The summit offers outstanding views of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Shortly after you pass the spring, it’s time for switchback city and arguably the most challenging portion of hike. If you have knee trouble, you might want to go up the shorter and steeper Old Baldy and come down the longer and more gradual Super Trail. Soon followed by nearly a dozen tight switchbacks up to the saddle. ». No matter which lot you park in, walk to the north end of angled spaces on the eastern side of the picnic area to find the Old Baldy Trailhead -- the Super Trailhead begins on the south end of the lot near the restrooms. You’re basically going to be faced with three main sets of switchbacks, with the first set being the longest. But we actually had another half a mile in front of us so if you are relying on those measurements, just prepare yourself for more work ahead. Learn to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and descend if feeling sick -- you'll immediately feel better once you reach lower altitudes. The first part of the trail will be the most crowded since many hikers turn around at Josephine Saddle. Still, I was able to snap some photos from the top which offered some pretty amazing panoramic views. I had been dealing with rehabbing my neck and was having some issues with it locking up on me. The trail starts traveling gently uphill until you reach a rusty metal sign indicating you take a left turn turn for the Old Baldy Trail. The wide footpath is interspersed with bedrock and … The 1st .4 miles of the hike are through a wide rocky path that will take you to the Old Baldy Trail. . On the right are the Rincon Mountains. National Parks and Other Worthy Destinations in the USA. This view looks down into Madera Canyon with Kitt Peak in the background on the left. Super Trail/Old Baldy Trail is a hiking, trail running, walking adventure located in or near Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area, AZ. Exit the highway at Continental Road in Green Valley, then turn left. Hoping to get b, Back when we lived in Houston I did physical thera. 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. From this point, it's 1.8 miles to Baldy Saddle via Old Baldy Trail, and 3.3 miles via the Super Trail. We arrived in Arizona on the evening of November 11, 2006 and climbed Rice Peak and found the Pinal County Highpoint on November 12th. . . From here, you only have one mile to go until you reach the summit. Enjoy & research Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area, Arizona with trail guides, topo maps, photos, reviews & GPS routes on Trails.com. . I also felt like while challenging, the incline you have to deal with is not terrible so this hike could have been much worse. Finish up those switch backs and then you are so close to the finish line, you just need to head up a handful of more switchbacks. Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. The Old Baldy Trail described here is one of two primary routes to the top, the other being the Super Trail. And then finally looking south, you can look directly over Patagonia, Arizona and see directly into Mexico. A new universally accessible trail to the Lake Michigan dune was added in 2017. As you make your way through this portion of the trail, some great views of Mount Wrightson will open up and you can admire the scenery of your destination. Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. This is the location where several Boy Scouts lost their lives in a winter storm a few decades ago and there is a sign there reminding visitors about the tragedy. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. Overall, this was a terrific hike. The Old Baldy Trail is a loop trail that is 5.7 miles in length. It is kept in good condition but at times it can be very rocky and Forcing you to step up and down large rocky steps or tree trunks. Hands down, one of the greatest hikes in Tucson is to the top of Mount Wrightson. While the Super Trail up Mount Wrightson is longer, its figure eight brother trail, the Old Baldy Trail, remains a favorite among visiting hikers. Trail lies in the Mt.Wrightson Wilderness Area. ), Just trying to keep my ankles intact on the side o, Tucson has some pretty amazing pine forests surrou, One of my favorite Yosemite shots! Mountain bikers are allowed on portions of Baldy Trails but the open dunes and short segments make this system best suited for hikers and trail runners. I will say that it was easier to appreciate the views on the way back down. . Even if there is no snow on top, ice is usually present at the higher elevations in the winter; I highly recommend bringing trekking poles and/or traction devices like Yaktrax to prevent you from slipping and falling. The ascent of Jack Mountain was forested but wasn’t totally garbage as I did get a good view looking back at Mt. Coronado National Forest Weekly ($10) and Annual Passes ($20) are available for purchase at the Santa Rita Lodge, which you'll pass in Madera Canyon on the drive to the trailhead, or at any district office (found in various places in southeastern Arizona). After reaching the Boy Scout Memorial at the saddle, we returned to the Mount Wrightson Trailhead on the Old Baldy #372 Trail. Personally, I never found the incline on the switchbacks to be that bad. The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of nearly 4000 feet over 9 miles round-trip to the exposed summit. It was just crazy so after hanging around for only a couple of minutes, we were on our way back down. If I did not have my trekking polls I feel like I would have slipped a number of times so once again I’m a huge fan of trekking polls for the hike. #co, The fall jungle on Mt Lemmon. Also, Old Baldy is shadier. As soon as, Nothing like hiking through a forest of Christmas, One more look at the magnificent color change in M, Aspen groves on Mt Lemmon. Some of the steps are pretty rocky so you need to be careful of where you place your feet — I found trekking poles to be very valuable on this portion of the hike and for the whole hike in general. Wrightson's distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Mexico. This was where I truly fell in love with the views. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. Note: At the base of the switchbacks we hit 5.1 miles which I thought would be the length it would take us to hit the summit based on the AllTrails app. Follow the direction of the trail head sign and you will begin the ascent in the corner of the parking lot up a white sandy path. Bears, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions may be encountered, so know what to do around dangerous wildlife. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. So we decided to continue along the Old Baldy Trail. Ice on the Old Baldy Trail Old Baldy Saddle to Mount Wrightson's Summit. With over 4000 feet of elevation gain and over 10 miles of hiking, this is no place for kids to hike; nearby kid-friendly alternatives include the Nature Trail to the amphitheater or the accessible trails at the Proctor Parking Area or Whitehouse Picnic Area -- read the Hiking Trails Descriptions published by the Friends of Madera Canyon for more information. . 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. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail. Of the two trails, the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is the shortest route to the summit. At 2.5 miles into the hike, you will arrive at the Josephine Saddle, a stopping point for many people choosing to do the shorter and much more moderate day hike. The best seasons for hiking are fall and spring when temperatures are mild at the base and the summit is clear of snow. Either way, you take the Crest Trail to the summit for breathtaking 360 degree views. 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. Although it’s a little rocky at times, it’s very shaded and there are some nice views that start to emerge. You will have to deal with some large steps at times but it did not prove to be too difficult for me and it’s great that so much of the path is shaded, especially earlier in the morning. You will see fewer people the closer you get to the top, and there will probably be people resting at the summit. Looking out over the F. L. Whipple Observatory and Tubac/I-19. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. Although it may not look like it, the mountain towers 4,000 feet above where you stand. Stay left for the clockwise route around the peak. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. . . This portion of the trail is still pretty mild. At this saddle, you can choose to jump on the Super Trail (which is just a little bit further along the trail) and use that to make your way up the mountain. On the summit, there are a few rocky places to sit down and relax. Wide views on Mount Wrightson (noted as "Baldy 2" on topo) reveal mountain ranges few know exist. The last 700' of climbing involved further snow and ice … Mt. This is also the junction of the Super Trail meaning that even if you took the Super Trail on the way up, you will have to hike up to the summit the same way you would if you took the old Baldy Trail. There’s a decent sized parking lot and you will see signs pointing you towards the trail in the parking lot. Trip Date: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 . Wrightson… The trail is very easy to follow at pretty much every point in the route. 1.2mi from Josephine Saddle or 0.6mi before reaching Baldy Saddle you pass Bellow Springs. The trail begins at the end of Madera Canyon. The rest of the descent down Old Baldy Trail was a bit mind-numbing but at least it’s all downhill so didn’t seem to take long. From here it's 0.85mi on the Crest Trail to the peak. Many people use the Super Trail as a way to come back down and appreciate the views a bit more but from what I have seen, it is less maintained and better to do with pants which we did not have. But overall this did not feel like a very “dangerous” trail to me. 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