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Vault Mine Trail #77, AZ

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Guide 23 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
3.8 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Distance One Way 1.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,960 feet
Elevation Gain 2,360 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5-2 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 9.66
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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4  2017-08-13
Bearpaw Rock & Pete Mountain Loop
3  2017-05-19
Jack Mountain Loop
30  2016-06-26
Amphitheater to Carrie Nation
7  2016-06-03
Mount Hopkins Loop
24  2016-05-21
Mt Hopkins Lollipop
24  2016-05-17
Jill & Jack Mountain Loop
15  2015-08-12 gummo
19  2014-08-01
Vault Mine to Josephine Saddle Loop
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:07am - 6:31pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

This trail provides access to the upper slopes of Mt. Hopkins, the second most prominent peak in the Santa Ritas. The trail leaves from Roundup Picnic Area at the end of Madera Canyon Road. It earned its descriptive name from the fact that it climbs 1,400 feet in a distance of a little over one half mile. This heart-thumping climb leads from upper Madera Canyon to the vicinity of Agua Caliente Saddle, where that trail branches off toward Josephine Saddle and a number of other trails that crisscross the upper slopes of the Santa Rita Mountains.

If you arrange a shuttle in advance, a trip that stretches between this trailhead and the Very Steep/Vault Mine trailhead in Madera Canyon makes a good long day hike. A loop that doesn't require a shuttle takes you up the Very Steep/Vault Mine trail to Agua Caliente Saddle, then northeast to Josephine Saddle and back to the Roundup parking Area via the Lower end of either Old Baldy or Super Trail.

1.5 miles of the Very Steep/Vault Mine Trail are within the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness. Mechanized vehicles, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness areas.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2008-02-20 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 Triplog Reviews
    Vault Mine Trail #77
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    started getting it in my head recently that i wanted to visit this peak again. it's been a long time.

    worked all night and it stormed fairly wildly all night so i wasn't sure but decided to give it a whirl when i got up anyway

    85% humidity today = this is gonna get ugly folks

    slogged up vault mine suffering mightily yet enjoying the flowers. the route out to bearpaw is faint. past that to Pete is wildly overgrown and requires some thinking, knowledge of the route and/or gps as line of sight won't really cut it. it was wonderful to be on this summit again - probably nondescript to most but a gem to santa rita nerds.

    scared up an agitated rattler no more than 50 feet off the summit. and it reminded me that the exact same thing happened in the same place some 10 years ago. how random is that?

    the gps distance feels short. i think it's more like 6 round trip
    Vault Mine Trail #77
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    perfect day for this hike. got out of my car at relatively deserted roundup TH to the gobbles of the turkeys somewhere in the canyon. decided to go up carrie nation to the agua caliente trail (perhaps my 2 favorite santa rita trails?). found and watched a silent and beautiful trogon near the mine. this is probably now my 15th sighting or so, and i have gotten pretty good at figuring out a couple specific spots they like in particular over the years. hit up good old Jack mountain for my yearly visit (at a minimum). the route up there is getting more and more faint. enjoyed the fabulous agua caliente trail over to vault mine. had the pleasure of spotting and getting buzzed by a twin spotted rattlesnake on one of the rockfalls. i believe that is the third one of those i have seen in the santa ritas. quick and steep trip down the vault mine trail sealed the deal.

    as always this is a VERY high yield short hike in the santa ritas.
    Vault Mine Trail #77
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Mt. Wrightson (Super-er Trail Loop)
    Wanted to spice up Wrightson by taking a few extra trails. We started up Vault Mine, made a side trip to Agua Caliente Saddle, and then traversed back over to Josephine Saddle. I had only ever done the lower portion of the Super Trail before, so we took the upper portion of it to Baldy Saddle. After the familiar homestretch to the summit, we returned via the Old Baldy Trail.

    Unsurprisingly, Vault Mine and Agua Caliente were great trails with a nice view of Wrightson and the canyon. Still plenty of other trails to check out there...
    Vault Mine Trail #77
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I was planning on doing the Mt Wrightson summit, but some birders in the parking lot were boasting about the Elegant Trogon on Carrie Nation Trail. I was zipped last time I fell for the old Trogon rumors, but I went against my better judgement and proceeded up to see. Of course, I was 15 minutes late - the 80 year old granny got all the photos of it, and she would not stop reminding us - OK lady I get it! :gun:

    After 20 minutes of hearing her make noise and crumple paper bags - "Yah lady keep making noise so the Trogon wont come back, after got your photos"! :gun: :bdh:

    I then proceeded up the strenuous Vault Mine trail - man! this one make the old pumper...pump!

    Luckily, I could hear the Trogon calling on the way back down - of course, my IT bands (Knee) were screaming bloody murder :stretch: but I had to push on. Me and 3 other birders saw him, high in a tree, and I was able to get some sub-par photos -this sighting really made my day! :y:
    Vault Mine Trail #77
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The Elegant Trogon has been seen recently, so I decided to go and see. No Trogon, but I did see some nice birds; "Grey-headed Dark eyed Junco, Yellow eyed Junco(only occur in SE Arizona), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, numerous wood Warblers, American Robin, Spotted Towhee. The weather was very nice, especially on top, I had a nice quite rest and lunch. Great way to spend Black Friday.

    Permit $$
    Visit this link for full details.

    There are four specific day use areas that require a Coronado Recreational Pass or a National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass.
    1) Sabino Canyon - located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District (520)749-8700
    2) Madera Canyon - located on the Nogales Ranger District (520)281-2296
    3) Cave Creek - located on the Douglas Ranger District (520)364-3468
    4) Mt. Lemmon at 11 day use sites.

    Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $10 extra.

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Madera Canyon Trailhead
    From Tucson: I-19 south to exit 63 Continental. At the end of the exit take a left and follow brown signs to Madera Canyon. You'll be taking White House Canyon Road 13.2 miles to Madera Canyon.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 152 mi - about 2 hours 31 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 42.3 mi - about 55 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 295 mi - about 4 hours 37 mins
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