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La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon Loop
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Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking Feb 26 2011
Hiking6.60 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   4 Hrs   16 Mns   1.55 mph
1,000 ft AEG
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners partners
Joel and I decided to hike the La Milagrosa and Agua Caliente Canyons today. Previously, we had played in La Milagrosa Canyon and had hiked the La Milagrosa Ridge trail. By going into Agua Caliente Canyon it added some variety.

It was supposed to be really windy today, but we lucked out for the majority of our hike. I guess it was the calm before the storm.

We followed the trail from the trailhead until it split. From there we wandered down into La Milagrosa Canyon. The first part of La Milagrosa Canyon was pretty tame. We saw some rock climbers on the wall and watched them for a couple minutes. Right after that the rocks in the canyon grew in size. We had to take a deviation up on the right side of the canyon to avoid some technical moves. Shortly after that there was a pool and then the canyon took a sharp turn to the left. We made our way through a crack where I could barely squeeze my hips through. I had to take off my pack in order to get up on the ledge. After that there were a series of pools in a slot to navigate around. We found a path to do so on the left.

After that the canyon flattened out - which was the cue to start looking for the trail crossing the canyon. We jumped on the trail and started to head further east. We hit a spot where there was a Y in the trail so we took the right turn (stepping over some sticks that were meant to block the trail) - however, this just lead to a spot where you could bushwhack steeply down into Agua Caliente Canyon. We weren't wanting to cut the hike short so we went back and continued up the trail. As we continued along the trail there were a few good spots to look down into Agua Caliente.

After a while, we hit the junction described in the hike description and it lead us down into the Agua Caliente canyon bottom. As we descended I looked up canyon and I could see a cattle tank called "Mud Tank". When we hit the canyon bottom we turned towards Tucson.

Shortly, we came up on the top of a box and had to work our way around it. At the bottom of the box was a fantastic pool complete with a beach. We decided to eat our lunch at this spot. I could tell that we're in a drought as the rocks around the pool showed that the water line was about 3 -4 feet higher than the current water level. There was also some evidence of flash floods. I saw a downed tree and the patch of topsoil that been held down with the roots had been peeled back.

Right after the nice pool, we had to get up on the right side of the canyon to get around another obstacle of huge rocks with long drop-offs. There were a few spots where I just slide down rocks on my butt - the water had made them nice and smooth so there really was not any other option.

After a while, we could see that we were coming to the mouth of the canyon where it converges with La Milagrosa Canyon. At that point, we jumped up on a route that goes between the two canyons and leads you straight to the trail where we entered the canyons.

I thought that the gloomy sky would make all my pictures either too dark or washed out. But I seemed to have lucked out and had a few good ones to share.

Overall, this is a great canyon hike and as far as rock scrambling goes it wasn't too tough.

Note: My track log said 2032 feet of elevation gain and that really can't be true. I noticed a lot of spikes possibly because of poor reception in the canyon in some spots.
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking Feb 26 2011
Hiking6.60 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   4 Hrs      1.65 mph
1,000 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners partners
Did La Milagrosa and Agua Caliente Canyon loop. I forgot how cool Agua Caliente Canyon is so I was glad for a repeat! This will go down in history as the hike I didn't eat on. Joel and I stopped at Gus Balon's for breakfast and I was pretty much miserable during half of the hike. One should not eat food like that before hiking :)
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

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