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Colossal Cave to Marsh Station, AZ

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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,500 feet
Elevation Gain 640 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.2
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2007-11-02 BrettVet
Author BrettVet
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 40
Photos 335
Trips 48 ( 525 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Summer to Winter
Sun  5:23am - 7:15pm
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Official Route
 
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Named place Nearby
Camelot visited
by BrettVet

The Arizona Trail has several connector trails between mountain ranges. This is a 3 mile segment between the Rincon Mountains and the Santa Rita Mountains heading south from Colossal Cave Park to Marsh Station Road.


The trail is brand new and well maintained with some great panoramic views of the Rincon and Santa Rita mountains. It traverses a low set of foothills of the Rincon's out of Colossal Cave park.

The trail head starts in the "Cowboy" parking lot which is part of the La Posta Puemata Ranch located within the parks boundaries. At the west end of the parking lot there is a small picnic ground with an aluminum gate. This is where a small connector trail goes across the wash up a small incline to intersect the main Arizona trail. Go right on the AZT to begin the small climb up and over the saddle. The trail has a few long switchbacks and then parallels the side of the mountain gradually gaining altitude. At the saddle the castle comes into view to the east. Yes, I said castle... it sits on the next hill over and is owned by an exocentric man and wife that I guess wanted to fulfill there own version of a dream home. The only thing missing is the mote. I was on constant lookout for knights or trolls on this section of the hike. From here the trail ascends gradually into the valley below heading towards marsh station road and I-10. This section of desert to a desert dweller is OK but not spectacular, mesquite palo verde and a few saguaros.

You can avoid the park fee by starting this hike at the marsh station trail head of the AZT. The park does not open until 9AM.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-10-24 BrettVet
  • sub-region related
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 $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
I-10 to 22nd st go east.From east 22nd Street, turn south onto scenic Old Spanish Trail and follow it about 17 miles to Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Past the entrance go straight 0.5 miles to the gate then left into the ranch. 100 yards to the paved parking area. Trail is to the east of the parking lot behind a picnic area. Or, take I-10 east from Tucson to exit 279 (the Vail/Wentworth exit), turn north, and follow the signs for about 7 miles to the park.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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