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Florida Canyon Trail #145, AZ

157 19 1
Guide 19 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
4.1 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 4.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,340 feet
Elevation Gain 3,503 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,503 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.97
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2019-06-16 gummo
1  2018-01-28 friendofThunderg
11  2017-04-22
Florida Canyon / Crest Trail
6  2016-11-06 gummo
7  2016-11-03 JuanJaimeiii
12  2015-09-26
Florida Canyon to McCleary and Wrightson
11  2015-09-26
Florida Canyon / Crest Trail
8  2015-04-17
Wrightson via Florida Cyn
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:20pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Muther Wrightson
by HAZ_Hikebot

Florida (pronounced floor-EE-da in this part of the country) is in this case, the Spanish word for "flowered". A hike or ride in this canyon in any season, except late fall and winter, will give it the opportunity to live up to its name. Riparian areas, seeps and springs, even the desert hillsides that make up a good portion of the habitat here, can be positively blanketed with wildflowers during a year of good rainfall. Higher up in the canyon, other notable vegetation includes some large, gnarly Arizona sycamores that serve as natural arbors for high climbing wild grape vines. These prolific food producers provide favorite foraging areas for raccoons, an animal one usually doesn't think of as a desert dweller. Numerous other critters use them as well, including coatimundis, a southwestern cousin of the raccoon. At the head of the canyon, near Florida Saddle, there are a number of stands of large Douglas fir that provide a cool canopy to shade you along your way.

Views along the trail, especially along its higher stretches, are big and broad. Looking back toward the trailhead, the Santa Cruz Valley, the community of Green Valley, and a couple of large copper mines stand out. Up canyon, the Santa Rita Crest and the summit of Mt. Wrightson beckon users headed beyond Florida Saddle.

In addition to those features already listed, the Florida Canyon Trail provides the most uncrowded access to the upper reaches of the Santa Rita Range of any trail with an easily accessible trailhead. Usually trails that are this lightly used require bouncing over bone-jarring 4-wheel drive roads to the trailhead. Not so with this one. It's just a short three miles of all-weather gravel from the paved access route to Madera Canyon. With that in mind, you may choose this trail as your access route to the Crest, Cave Canyon, Old Baldy, or Super trail. All of them either branch out from Florida Saddle or are just one junction removed from it.

4.2 miles of this 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
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The plan was to do McCleary, but we got a pretty late start and we were not really feeling the peak by the time we got to the Armour Spring area. In particular, Carrie was definitely good with just seeing a new trail and taking in some nice views from the saddle, because she was coming off a 50k trail race the day before and that last little stretch is not the funnest in shorts, so we turned around and returned the way we came. Quick hike back. A little warm at the bottom.
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    WOW! Where do I start? Of all the times we had slated, then canceled this one in the last couple of months, we reeeeally should have today. After a night of rain and hail in Tucson, and the forecast calling for 50% chance of more today, we set out to do our best at stomping out the Crest Trail. Once at the trailhead, the unravelling began; One could almost hear the ginormous storm push its way around Wrightson, just kissing the top of McCleary :scared: . Then, we saw that a newly updated "closure" notice had been posted, now bounding at Florida Saddle due to killer grizzlies in the area :scared: :scared: or somethin (about 4-1/2 miles up canyon), AAAaand... my feet were really hurting :( ., with no real rain gear or means of fighting off the ravenous gang of killer bears, we said "pfftt" and went on.

    Most of the trip up was a blur, but I recall the scenery being nice. I do know that JJ disappeared much more quickly than normal, due to my going at half speed. At some point, whilst waiting around for me at the saddle, I think JJ figured I had been eaten by bears and he doubled back to find my remains. Well, let me tell ya, that worked out nicely for me, as my feet were done. I had no issue stopping a 1/4 mile short of my goal and heading home today.

    The trip down was nearly as painful, but seemed to go much quicker for some reason, and again the scenery was very nice. As rough as this little 8 miler ended up being on me today, it was still better than hangin around the house. :)

    Thanks for driving down JJ. A pleasure hiking with you, as always. Let's shoot for a redo before the snow comes.
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Mount Wrightson via Florida Canyon
    Knocking another one off the wishlist. Seriously great hike. I gotta' come back to the Santa Ritas soon.

    I started just after 6am. Really enjoyed the second half of Florida Canyon. The singing birds, greenery, and what's left of the canopy were really serene in the morning - all somewhat conflicting during that last, unrelenting mile before the saddle. Right around this time I started to feel some discomfort in one of my adductors. I didn't stretch very well before the hike. oops.

    At Florida Saddle, I took a break and considered turning back. That's when my stubbornness assured me it was only 3 more miles to the peak. Trying to ease the pain kept me pretty distracted along Crest Trail. Very cool to turn that last corner and see Wrightson in all its glory. It took me about 5 hours to reach the top. I headed down after 30 minutes of views, food, and expired aspirin from 2012.

    Walking downhill wasn't too bad at first, then came the uphills on Crest. By the time I returned to Florida Saddle, the pain had begun harassing my knee. I dropped back into Florida Canyon to finish off the remaining 4 miles. I was happy to have trekking poles during the last one.

    For those of you that are aware of the dead horse, it's a rough 200ft. The wind blew the stench at me on the way up and down. :sk: The only solace is that it's signed ahead of time regardless of your direction.
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Yesterday, I suffered a very mild heat stress, so today I would take no chances and would re-gear for the heat; big ol' hat, 3 liter Camel, spare 3 liter Camel, 1+ liters in bottles, tossed the survival kit out of my pack and was ready to rip.

    I met up with Roy at 7:45 and we departed. We hit the trail at around 9:00 as I recall and began our upward march. Only a short way in, a mist began to fall, then subside, then repeat... The atmosphere was extremely pleasant and the lighting was perfect for enjoying the views. And what views they are. We had the perfect conditions all the way to the top, or I should say almost to the top :/ Just after Armour Spring, we were so focused on the ground and finding the trail, that we failed to notice the squall that had developed over head. Then with only a few seconds notice, it hit! We quickly dropped pack and geared up for rain, and with the peak only a few hundred yards ahead of us, we stupidly trudged on :? At the peak, it was more wind than rain, so we took a quick photo-op and signed the register before making a hasty retreat. Upon our departure, the rain:wind ratio inverted, then the whole thing just went ^2. I can't speak for Roy, but as for my self, fear was keeping me warm and vertical(or seemingly so). It wasn't until Armour Spring, that the weather gave in and we could assess our situation and it was far less than we had hoped or planned for. ...But aside from that; soaked, cold, numb, hungry, tired and giggling like a couple of drunk teenagers, we made our way back to the TH.

    That was one wild ride!!!

    Thanks Roy for the adventure and for driving down. I'll see you on Friday...
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I headed back to Wrightson with JJ for the second time this month. We decided on another approach this time. I was not as spry as usual today and was beat several times by the climb.

    McCleary was fun. I got a little off-trail on the way back and regretted it a bit, but the route is generally easy to follow with careful attention. There was water everywhere and nearly perfect temps. Blanco tore it up as usual and we got tacos on the way home.

    I like that Wrightson area. I already have a few more hikes on the mind for that area.
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First time on this Wrightson route. The trail is graded so nicely that 5500 only feels like ~4000, except the first uphill stretch on the return (right after Baldy Saddle) is not particularly welcome. The fallen trees can also be a bit tiresome, but it's well worth the trouble.

    I think the regular way up Wrightson is still a better option for the summer months since you get a lot more shade. If it's 100+ in Tucson, anyone on the Crest Trail will get fried in that sun. I'll definitely do this again when it cools down...
    Florida Canyon Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mt Wrightson via Florida Canyon
    Mount Wrightson was calling and I have some vacation to burn. I decided to take Friday off and I easily convinced Kyle to join me. The plan was to hike up Florida Canyon and then over the Crest Trail and on to the summit. We’re doing this as an out and back. We were looking at a big AEG day of roughly 6,000ft.

    Kyle and I met at Ray Road and the I-10 around 6:45am and made the drive down and started hiking around 9am. The first mile is fairly mild as you steadily gain elevation. The grade is consistent and rarely lets up all the way to the summit. We put our heads down as we proceeded up the trail and took breaks when needed. There were a few patches of water but it wasn’t consistent. The Florida Canyon Trail is in really good condition with some dead fall starting a couple of miles in.

    With much effort we hit the Florida Saddle where we took an extended break and then continued the hike to the summit. Our pace slowed as we neared the Baldy Saddle and my pace slowed even more on the final climb to the summit. Once up top we took a long break and enjoyed lunch. The hike up took a lot of energy! After lunch we dropped back to the Baldy Saddle and then returned on the Crest Trail. There were two small climbs on the return and both took a lot of effort on account of all the climbing we’ve already done. It wasn’t a big deal though and before long it was all downhill back to the jeep at the trailhead.

    The Florida Canyon Trail is another wonderful option for Mount Wrightson. We saw a dozen bird watchers at the bottom and then roughly a half dozen people near the summit trail. The rest of the trail was vacant. I really enjoy Mount Wrightson and I’m glad I’ve hiked it from the west (Madera Canyon), east (Gardner Canyon) and north (Florida Canyon).

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

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From Tucson, Leave interstate 19 at Continental Exit 63. Turn east and follow the signs to Madera Canyon, about 7.3 miles to the Forest Road 62 cutoff. Bear right onto Forest Road 62A, and continue about 3.6 miles to the Florida Canyon trailhead on the left, just outside the entrance to the Florida Work Center.
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