Bog Springs Trail runs through part of Coronado National Forest and Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area. Like Madera Canyon, it is a prime location for bird watching due to the water. This is truly a great example of 'sky islands.'
This hike starts in the Santa Rita Mountains from the Bog Springs Campground. The trail begins by climbing moderately on lots of loose rocks. The trail is wide and easy to follow as this was once an old road. AT approximately .7 miles in, there is a signed junction where you bear left. On this visit the Manzanita were blooming and absolutely beautiful. At the junction the trail narrows and climbs slowly another .8 miles to Bog Springs. There are views off to your left, but they are dominated by the big, ugly mine near Green Valley. The views get better shortly thereafter.
Bog Springs is a small, man-made, cement rectangle with a slow flow of water. Not terribly exciting, but the huge Cottonwoods and shade make this a pretty spot. From Bog Springs, the trail continues to Kent Spring approximately 1.2 miles further in. This part of the trail gets pretty steep, but it does offer some great views of Mount Wrightson and Madera Canyon. At this point the vegetation is pre-dominantly Chihuahua pines.
Kent Springs is another man made spring, this time round, with a pretty strong flow of cold water. Again, lots of large trees and a streambed running down the hill. There was a small amount of water in the streambed---just enough for it to sound relaxing and peaceful. There are also good views in this area of Kitt Peak and Baboquivari Peak to the east. From here, the trail begins to descend toward Silvester Spring, once again following an old jeep road. This descent is steep. Along part of this descent, you parallel a stream, which makes for a beautiful walk. Keep you eyes open---we startled some Big Horn ewes that were drinking at Silvester Spring. There are some small waterfalls and cascades as well.
The trail is well kept and clearly marked. This area is supposed to be great for birds, even some strays from Mexico like the elegant trogon and the Lucifer's hummingbird. Bird season appears to be April to September and makes this area get busy. We were here on a Friday in late February and had the trail to ourselves. Because of the water, white tailed deer, black bears and coatimundis, as well as the big horns and javelinas frequent the area.
Sabino/Madera - $5 per day or $20 annual. Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $8 extra.
To hike From Interstate 10, take Interstate 19 to the Continental exit (just south of Green Valley). Go left (southeast) for approximately 13 miles, you can follow the signs for Madera Canyon. You will see see signs for Bog Springs Campground. Follow the road to the campground about .5 miles. There is a SMALL day parking area at the top of the campground. The trailhead is signed and is near camp site 13. Additional information on trails in the area is available form Santa Rita Lodge 520-625-8746.
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