I hope you like this hike
This is a nice easy walk along the southern flank of Tanque Verde Ridge and the Rincon Mountains along an old route to some old line camps, sites of round-ups when these were functioning ranchlands. There are two such camps along the way: Deer Camp and Hope Camp at the end of the line. These camps are marked by old rusty windmills and cement troughs. There are wonderful vista views along the way.
Take off from the parking lot and immediately pass through a hiker's gate. There is an immediate signed trail junction. Hope Camp trail continues straight ahead. The Ridge View trail breaks left. We'll do this later. Continue straight along the Hope Camp trail. It's an easy grade with some minor ups and downs. There are huge vistas to your left the whole way. Massive saguaros escort your passage. You will do a couple of wash crossings as you go, the route is always easy to follow.
At about 1.3 miles you will come to the Deer Camp site. There is an old windmill and silo on your left, just across the wash. Periodically along the way, halfway up the south face of Tanqe Verde Ridge, you see some grand dry falls. After a rain, these have to be sensational. From here you do a nice easy climb to a saddle at 1.8 miles. From here you have great views over Rincon Valley and Rincon Peak. Now there is a smooth descent through some riparian and grassy habitat to the old Hope Camp. Here is another old windmill and some cement troughs. The isolated feel of this old site is great. This is 2.8 miles from the trailhead.
There is another signed junction here. Take the North Hope trail from here across some beautiful desert grasslands for 0.3 miles. There is an old rickety fence to your right. There are fabulous views of Rincon Peak and Rincon Valley. The trail is littered with pricklies, cholla and huge saguaros. It ends unceremoniously in a small loop at a small "trail closed" sign. You can see a small knoll straight ahead. A short quarter mile bushwhack to this hilltop affords great views out over the Rincons.
After heading back the North Hope trail, then back the Hope Camp trail to the original junction with the Ridge View trail hang a right and head north on this short 0.8 mile trail. This is a pleasant route lined with purple cholla and purple Santa Rita prickly pears. It winds and climbs mildly to a small saddle overlooking all of the Hope Camp trail, southern Tanque Verde Ridge and Rincon Peak...wow this is sweet! Head back the way you came to the trailhead.
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.
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.