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Agua Caliente Trail #140, AZ
details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
10
photos
19
triplogs
3
topics
nearby
Overview: An alternate approach to the forested inner bowl of Madera Canyon via a less-often visited western canyon, passing through a dense scrub forest then into the Madera pine country in route to Agua Caliente Saddle. From here an easy jaunt along the flanks of Mt. Hopkins and Jack Mountain to Josephine Saddle. This hike offers plenty of shade, and in the summer there are tons of flowers.

Hike: From the signed trailhead this trail heads off east into scrub country and basically follows the north flank of Agua Caliente Canyon most of the way. Right away you can see the differences of this side of the range - the peaks are more rocky and severe. Periodic breaks through the trees afford wonderful views northeast towards Mt. Hopkins and the huge MMT telescope. There are really no route finding issues on this trail, it can be a little overgrown but that's about it. The trail up to Agua Caliente Saddle is bascially a nonstop climb of varying severity. It's about 2.3 miles to the saddle. The first half generally stays north of the canyon bottom. There are a couple of canyon crossings thereafter, mostly over northern drainages feeding into Agua Caliente. These are easy to navigate and generally forested, so that it really just seems like you are crossing back and forth over the main canyon. The climbing is much more severe once this starts. A little over half way you may notice a couple of mine shafts beneath you to the right. There are three and they are uncovered so please be careful. One of them is labeled Treasure Vault Mine on the maps. Soon thereafter you make a nondescript grassy canyon crossing (truly over Agua Caliente this time) then the last 1/3-1/2 mils is up the south flank of the canyon. At this point you also transition into the pine forest. And then you are at Agua Caliente Saddle - marked by an old rusty sign. There are some great huge juniper here, perfect for resting under.


The rest of the hike is simple, the hard over being achieved on the climb up. From here, follow the sign and head right or southeast on the Agua Caliente trail to Josephine Saddle. There are magnificent views over Madera Canyon and to Wrightson and the Santa Rita ridgeline for much of the way, sometimes forested and sometimes wide open. The trail is a narrow little path along the northern flanks of Mt. Hopkins and then Jack Mountain. It's fairly level, with constant little ups and downs but no major climbs. Within 1/3 mile from the saddle, the Vault Mine trail will come up from your left. Just stay on Agua Caliente the whole way. It is almost 2.5 miles to Josephine Saddle, the last stretch being through a magnificent pine forest.

Return the way you came.
Description 19 Triplogs  3 Topics
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 3
 Region
 
0
0
 Tucson S
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,932 feet
Elevation Gain 2,492 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,895 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19.63
Interest Seasonal Creek
Author fricknaley
Descriptions 93
Routes 312
Photos 3,181
Trips 2,287 map ( 15,071 miles )
Age 42
Location Tucson, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
20  2017-01-11
Agua Caliente Trail Bear Paw Rock
markthurman53
12  2015-11-03
Jack Mountain Loop
The_Dude
18  2015-06-10
Old Baldy-Carrie Nation Loop
rwstorm
23  2014-10-10
Jack Mountain Loop
rwstorm
19  2014-08-01
Vault Mine to Josephine Saddle Loop
markthurman53
7  2014-07-20
Jack Mountain Loop
neilends
13  2013-07-28
Mount Wrightson with Hopkins
JuanJaimeiii
10  2009-02-07 dysfunction
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Forest Coronado
Wilderness Mount Wrightson
Preferred   Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:59am - 5:21pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Elephant Head - South Approach
0.6 mi away
6.2 mi
2,343 ft
Quantrell Mine Trail
0.6 mi away
5.3 mi
1,217 ft
Carrie Nation Trail #78
2.5 mi away
1.5 mi
1,327 ft
Bearpaw Rock & Pete Mountain Loop
2.8 mi away
7.5 mi
3,052 ft
Josephine Peak
2.8 mi away
9.5 mi
3,240 ft
McCleary Peak Loop
2.9 mi away
12.5 mi
4,500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Arizona Sister Butterfly
Ladybug beetle
Rock Squirrel
Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Yarrow's Spiny Lizard
Yellow-eyed Junco
Flora
Alligator Juniper
Arizona Thistle
Banana Yucca
Coral Bells
Cosmos
Dakota Verbena
Mexican Silene
Nodding Onion
Red Cinquefoil
Smooth Bouvardia
Torrey's Crag Lily
Western Dayflower
Wright's Limabean
Yellow Columbine
Yellow Coneflower
Named place
Elephant Head
Josephine Saddle
McBeth Spring
Mount Wrightson
Sprung Spring
Culture
Humor
Mine Shaft
Mining Equipment
Spring Box
Telescope
hot! hot! hot!
by fricknaley

Overview: An alternate approach to the forested inner bowl of Madera Canyon via a less-often visited western canyon, passing through a dense scrub forest then into the Madera pine country in route to Agua Caliente Saddle. From here an easy jaunt along the flanks of Mt. Hopkins and Jack Mountain to Josephine Saddle. This hike offers plenty of shade, and in the summer there are tons of flowers.

Hike: From the signed trailhead this trail heads off east into scrub country and basically follows the north flank of Agua Caliente Canyon most of the way. Right away you can see the differences of this side of the range - the peaks are more rocky and severe. Periodic breaks through the trees afford wonderful views northeast towards Mt. Hopkins and the huge MMT telescope. There are really no route finding issues on this trail, it can be a little overgrown but that's about it. The trail up to Agua Caliente Saddle is bascially a nonstop climb of varying severity. It's about 2.3 miles to the saddle. The first half generally stays north of the canyon bottom. There are a couple of canyon crossings thereafter, mostly over northern drainages feeding into Agua Caliente. These are easy to navigate and generally forested, so that it really just seems like you are crossing back and forth over the main canyon. The climbing is much more severe once this starts. A little over half way you may notice a couple of mine shafts beneath you to the right. There are three and they are uncovered so please be careful. One of them is labeled Treasure Vault Mine on the maps. Soon thereafter you make a nondescript grassy canyon crossing (truly over Agua Caliente this time) then the last 1/3-1/2 mils is up the south flank of the canyon. At this point you also transition into the pine forest. And then you are at Agua Caliente Saddle - marked by an old rusty sign. There are some great huge juniper here, perfect for resting under.


The rest of the hike is simple, the hard over being achieved on the climb up. From here, follow the sign and head right or southeast on the Agua Caliente trail to Josephine Saddle. There are magnificent views over Madera Canyon and to Wrightson and the Santa Rita ridgeline for much of the way, sometimes forested and sometimes wide open. The trail is a narrow little path along the northern flanks of Mt. Hopkins and then Jack Mountain. It's fairly level, with constant little ups and downs but no major climbs. Within 1/3 mile from the saddle, the Vault Mine trail will come up from your left. Just stay on Agua Caliente the whole way. It is almost 2.5 miles to Josephine Saddle, the last stretch being through a magnificent pine forest.

Return the way you came.
© 2009 - 2017 hikearizona.com

-
    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
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Tucson, Leave Interstate 19 at the Canoa Road Exit. Take the east frontage road, 3 miles south to Elephant Head Road and turn east 1.6 miles to the Mt. Hopkins Road. Drive 4.5 miles to Forest Road 183, turn north on this dirt road about 2.4 miles to the trailhead at the canyon. There is a small pull out to the left just before the signed trailhead. Park here and walk a few hundred feet up the road to the trailhead on the right.
    page created by fricknaley on Nov 23 2009 11:22 am
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