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Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West, AZ

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Guide 82 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
2.9 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,178 feet
Elevation Gain 548 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.03
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2017-09-25 markthurman53
16  2017-09-25
Hugh Norris Dobe and Bajada Wash Loop
11  2017-09-22
Encinas Sendero Esperanza Trails
18  2017-03-06
Wasson Loop
13  2017-02-04 rwstorm
33  2016-12-23
Amole & Apache
9  2016-01-09 cw50must
8  2015-03-15 neilends
Page 1,  2,  3
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 475
Photos 5,651
Trips 400 map ( 3,956 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Dec
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:10am - 6:28pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Hope Trail
by markthurman53

The Sendero Esperanza Trail is 3.2 miles long and is the major North-South Trail connecting the King Canyon Trail in the south to Golden Gate Road to the North. The trail crosses over a Saguaro National Park’s major East - West ridge with an elevation gain from Golden Gate road of 600 feet and from King Canyon side 450 feet. Sendero Esperanza crosses over the Hugh Norris Trail along the ridge and is the terminus of the Dobe Wash Trail and the Gould Mine Trail. Much of this trail is along old mining roads that are almost nonexistent now but evidence of the roads can still be seen. From Golden Gate Road this is a good choice for heading up to Wasson Peak.

The Sendero Esperanza Trail head from the south is along the King Canyon Trail where it drops into the King Canyon Wash(about .9 miles from the King Canyon Trail head at Kinney Road). The Sendero Esperanza Trail heads west out of the wash and almost immediately comes to the Mam-A-Gah Picnic Area off to the left. Also immediately on the left is an abandon rock structure that was an outhouse built by the CCC in the 30’s and is now abandon. To me it looks more like one of those machine gun bunkers you would have seen in the Pacific during WWII. After passing the picnic area the trail continues to climb to a low saddle that crosses over to Gould Canyon (about 60 feet above King Canyon Wash). At .4 miles from the trail start is the Gould Mine. This mine was one of the more successful mines in the Tucson Mountains from about 1901 to 1911. The mine shaft is still there but has been covered by a steel grate and surrounded by a fence. There is also a rock structure that the trail passes by and I have been told this was a storage shed for explosives. The mine tailings have lots of color and make for great early morning pictures. The Gould Mine Trail also intersects the Sendero Esperanza Trail near the Gould Mine and this trail heads down Gould Canyon and ends up at the King Canyon Trail Head. The Sendero Esperanza Trail heads west from the Gould mine along an old mining road with a few mining excavations along the way. The trail does a steady but gradual climb to the ridge about 450 feet in 1 mile. The last .3 miles of this trail to the ridge appear to be along an actual trail and not an old mining road. Once on the Ridge the trail crosses the Hugh Norris Trail which is the major East West trail in this section of the park. From the Ridge the trail heads north and drops 400 feet in the first .6 miles via a system of switchbacks. The switchbacks make this trail fairly easy whether heading up or down. At about .6 miles the trail once again follows along an old abandon road and at 1 mile from the ridge comes to the junction of the Dobe Wash Trail. From this junction it is .7 miles to Golden Gate Road. Since this trail starts and ends in two different sections of the park it is a good hike for a shuttle. The other option is use part of this trail to complete a longer loop hike using one of the connector trails. There are good views to the north and south from the ridge and is especially good in early morning and I assume at sunset. Be aware that the Golden Gate and Bajada Loop drive are closed at sunset and open at sunrise but the King Canyon entrance is open all the time.

Wasson Peak
See out-n-back route.

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2017-09-26 markthurman53
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Most recent of 23 deeper Triplog Reviews
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Tucson Mountain Wander
When they said 90 days recovery, they meant it. This is day 93, and while it's still a bit uncomfortable getting out of bed in the morning, I feel pretty good once I'm vertical.

I set out today to do a test run on my benchmark trail, Wasson Peak. When I'm on par, it's 1:30 to the peak from the ECDC TH. While it was 1:37 today, about half of that discrepancy goes to the 25 hikers that I had to wait for as I tried to pass. All said, I am back to normal as far as pace goes. With that thought now seated in my head, I'm curious about my endurance.

I decided that since it was such a nice day, and I had only used a little of my water, that I would stretch this one out by taking the Hugh Norris :next: Sendero Esperanza :next: King Canyon route back, adding 3.75 miles to my trek. This worked out nicely, taking exactly the 5 hours I had to spare before getting back to not having a life, here on the couch. :?

The take away seems to be that I've got my speed back (at least reasonably so), but my dogs are barking a bit over a 13 mile stretch. Looks like I have to work on my long game now.
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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the beautiful cloud cover vanished in an instant when i hit the hugh norris saddle, so that the bulk of the easterly ascent up wasson was in the full glory of the sun and humidity and man did i suffer as a result. sheesh

startled a rattler and he gave me the business :)

time isn't great but given the circumstances i'm just happy i made it :lol:
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Wassup Wasson
big figure 8 in saguaro west

parked at Sus picnic area. ran hohokam and golden gate dirt roads to esperanza. took that up and over hugh norris ridge to kings canyon. hit wasson from kings canyon and came back the full length of hugh norris, then hohokam road back to finish.

cloudy and good temps with variable, at times crazy, wind. some decent flowers here and there. hand full of people, not much. felt pretty good. coming down the hugh norris steps at the end was extraordinarily painful. even with that, i've got no complaints :)
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Finally got in the time to make it back up Wasson Peak, and did it from my favorite side. Got started hiking about 3 in the afternoon and made it to the top in 1:14 with no breaks, felt pretty good about that. I took a nice stop at the top to enjoy the views, but the long distances were a bit hazy. I ran in to about a dozen hikers on the way up, all were friendly and understood the whole hiking courtesy thing. Tucson hikers rock! Saw no one on the way down so that was nice too. I finished up just a bit past sunset and made the drive out to Sanderio road and chatted with one of the rangers on my way out. Great afternoon!
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Tucson Mountain Tour
Thanks to old machinery breaking, I managed a couple of days off again. Though much of my time will be spent in personal biz, I needed a long beater to burn today away. As I did last week in a similar situation, I hit the Tucson Mountains. With the weather like it is in Tucson right now, the time is perfect to hit these hills. I figured I had time for about 20 miles, so that's what I did. These lower altitude hikes are probably gonna remain on the menu for the next several months, or until I get used to wearing warmer clothes.
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Wanted a longer hike with kind of a mid-range elevation gain. This one comes in at 213 FPM.

Not happy with my new shoes. They have a sloppy fit, leaving my feet achy.

Anywho, the weather is great and I'm glad to be out in it. :)
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Good afternoon hike in lovely Tucson. I started out about 3 from the TH, good time up to the peak with no breaks. I took a quick side trip to Amole Peak just for the sake of it, and back down the trail. Good bloom down below, but not a whole lot up higher. The Cholla were giving a nice show, with all shades of yellow, orange and red. Some bloom on Desert Marigold too, the Palo Verde were giving a nice show in the washes. There were all manner of flying and buzzing insects below, but once I got onto the Hugh Norris it was not a problem. Another good day up Wasson!

Palo Verdes, Desert Marigold, and Cholla all in good color at lower elevations.
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Did a nice loop from Ez-Kim-in-Zin parking lot...I did all of Encinas, then hiked the 0.4 mi back to Cactus Wren and took it south to Signal Hill. From Signal Hill I followed the road out of that picnic area to the Wild Dog Trail. I took Wild Dog to the end, then did Valley View real quick and back, then picked up Bajada Wash heading south to Hohokam Road, where I crossed the road to pick up the west end of Hugh Norris. I took Hugh Norris to Sendero Esparanza going north to return to Ez-Kim-in-Zin parking lot.

Encinas was part wash and part old road, a slight decline down to Cactus Wren. The others were ok also...the better trail was Hugh Norris for sure. Nice views. It incidentally was the real trail with any notable elevation (though Sendero Esparanza was a quick drop of elevation from the ridgeline that Hugh Norris started off as and continued as, on the way to Amole & Wasson Peaks).
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Visiting my adorable nephew in Tucson for the weekend, I managed to break away to properly set foot in the Saguaro National Park for the first time in my life. Since I had limited time, I opted not to climb Wasson Peak. Instead I just explored out and back along the Kings Canyon and Sendero trails. The views were great, the trails were fun (except maybe the first 0.5 miles of Kings Canyon, which is sandy wash), and I found several historic mining remnants.
Sendero Esperanza Trail - Saguaro NP West
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Called out sick and got out to hike becuase that helps me feel better. Moaping around the house does not. I had thought I would feel well enough to hike to Wasson, but I was still cramping and fatigued, so this was an effort. Gorgeous out, and I couldn't help but relish the mid 80 temps, the dry air and sky, the sunset and pink lighting on the Catalinas, and the view of Newman, which I now feel obsessed with. I would like, if I can hike it fine solo, to hike that at least enough times to get a nice orange dot, and maybe a few more.

Permit $$

Saguaro National Park
2019 $20 vehicle, $15 motorcycle or $10 for any individual on foot or bicycle - the receipt is valid for 7 days Fees

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Trail Head from the King Canyon Side is at The King Canyon Trail Head along Kinney Road just north of the Desert Museum. Trail head from the North side is along Golden Gate Road at the Ez-Kim-In-Zin picnic ground in Saguaro National Park West. The actual trail Head is about 100 yards north of the picnic area at a marked parking area. Golden Gate road is a dirt road accessible by a street vehicle from the west side along Sanderio Road. Golden Gate road from Picture rocks road to the trail head is accessible with a high clearance car.
3 pack - loud whistle
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