Coyote Pass from Picture Rocks, AZ

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,385 feet
Elevation Gain 530 feet
Accumulated Gain 530 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.25 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.65
 Backpack TBD
 Dogs not allowed
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20  2017-08-24
SNP West Thunderbird Cactus Canyon Loop
14  2008-03-09 fricknaley
11  2007-04-15 fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 396
Photos 4,198
Trips 3,551 map ( 23,244 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
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Tucson Region
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Preferred Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:25am - 7:18pm
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Hey...Pass the Coyote
by fricknaley

This is another pleasant little leg out in the trail network of the eastern Tucson Mountain foothills of Saguaro National Park West. The trail is accessed from the Picture Rocks Wash, which I wrote up in a separate hike named Cactus Canyon. I would refer you to that hike for directions to the Picture Rocks wash via the Ringtail Trail. It is about 1 mile to the wash. At the wash, hang a right and travel along the wide and sandy wash for about 0.4 miles.Abruptly, a trail cuts out of the wash's left side, with a small marked sign announcing the departure. The sign reads Coyote Pass. Take this short trail as it climbs out and away from the main wash. In about 0.2 miles, you come to another signed split in the trail. To the right is Cactus Canyon. To the left is Coyote Pass.

Hang a left here and hop onto the Coyote Pass trail. You can see that this is gently climbing to a pass or saddle ahead of you. There is a wash down and to your right, with ridgelines on either side of you. There are thriving Saguaros out here. The trail will drop into, then cross over to the other side of the wash. At the pass, you can see out towards Tucson and along the north-south face of the eastern Tucson Mountains. The views are nice. The trail then slowly winds down from the pass into the low foothills. It ultimately drops you down into a narrow, sandy wash.

After 0.8 miles, the trail deadends at an intersecting, wide wash signed as Gila Monster. I believe this leads to a mine, but I did not follow it today.

Head back the way you came. At the Pass, you can climb up to a saddle in the ridgeline to your right. There is no trail, but it is a short and easy bushwack to the top. From here, there are nice views of the northern Tucson Mountains. You can also look down onto the old Yuma Mine, which is very close by. Kind of interesting. Afterward, just head back down the ridge to the trail and head back to the Picture Rocks Wash. You can go all the way back you came or continue down the wash to the signed Ironwood Forest trail that breaks out of the right side of the wash in a little over 0.3 miles. This route is also described in my Cactus Canyon write-up. This is the way I would recommend it. It adds a little distance and some very nice desert scenery to the hike.

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2007-04-15 fricknaley
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

 Permit $$

Saguaro National Park
2022 $25 vehicle • $20 motorcycle • $15 individual on foot or bicycle
Receipt is valid for 7 days
$45 Annual Park Pass View All

No fee required from Miller Creek Trailhead off Mescal Rd.

Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Tucson
Take exit 246 off I-10 and go west on Cortaro until it ends at a T. Turn right here onto Ina for a short distance, then Left onto Wade. Wade quickly becomes Picture Rocks Road and crosses through the Tucson Mountains. You'll see a couple of signs announcing Saguaro National Park. As you come down the west side of the mountains, the road swings hard to the right, and there is a paved pull-out area to the right. Park here. The trails take off just across the street.
 90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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