This figure eight loop combines Old Baldy Trail
up to the peak then follows the Super Trail #134
back down. Predominant vegetation consist of oaks, madrone, walnuts, pines and even a few sycamores.2.3mi up to Josephine Saddle:
Up slope from the restrooms the trail takes off easy and wide
. Soon comes a junction with the Vault Mine Trail
, proceed left on Old Baldy
. About 1,700 feet up Josephine Saddle is reached at 2.3 miles / 7,100ft. This junction intercepts six paths.
1.8mi up to Baldy Saddle:
The Super Trail and Old Baldy continue together for less than a quarter mile. Old Baldy continues to the left. Here the vegetation starts to turn. Beautiful pines
fill the slope. 1.2mi from Josephine Saddle or 0.6mi before reaching Baldy Saddle you pass Bellow Springs
. Soon followed by nearly a dozen tight switchbacks up to the saddle. Views
on the saddle
0.9mi up to peak:
From here it's 0.9mi on the Crest Trail to the peak
. The footing gets a little rocky on route. Wide
views open up on Mount Wrightson (noted as "Baldy 2" on topo).
0.8mi down to Super Trail:
Retrace your steps back down. 0.1mi before reaching the saddle take a right at the signed junction onto the Super Trail. For some odd reason the signage doesn't mention "Super Trail".
1.5mi to Riley Saddle:
Here you enter the torched forest skirting the eastern flank over to Riley Saddle. Fortunately the views are top notch. To the east-northeast French Joe Peak hides Benson. To the east-southeast lies Sierra Vista with the Huachucas fanning south. In the far far east horizon lies the Chiricahuas. Continue on over a couple sections of firm scree. Our group debated this may be old mine tailings. Getting closer to Riley Saddle the brush closes in. It's not a bushwhack yet but could be in future years. From the saddle I'm sure some go off-trail 0.55mi to Josephine Peak.
1.7mi to Josephine Saddle:
Views turn to the southern wilderness and the opposing ridge (directly west). Which is Tia Juana Ridge coming down from Mt Hopkins. The pines make a comeback the closer you get to Josephine Saddle. However the lack of shade over the past four to five miles begins to take its toll. Smiles curl as you're greeted by the towering pines on the lazy switchbacks.
3.4mi to parking:
Carefully select the proper signed path for the Super Trail #134
. Sprung Spring is immediately passed. This hike kicks into overdrive pampering you down. Albeit slighty sun exposed, every twist and turn continues to provide exceptional views. The best views of the peak are over your shoulder. McCleary Peak
to the northeast practically begs a future visit. Huge and healty sycamores
greet you at the creek. Within a half hour you arrive back to the parking lot.
Data is derived from a combination of GPS and topo map routing.