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Woodbury TH to Tortilla TH via Red Tanks, AZ

Guide 2 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3 of 5 
no permit
9 2 1
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Shuttle 12.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,520 feet
Elevation Gain 1,295 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,400 feet
Avg Time Hiking 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.7
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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21  2017-02-25
Woodbury Coffee and Red Bacon with JF
20  2017-02-25
Woodbury Coffee and Red Bacon with JF
9  2008-03-15 survivalhike
Author survivalhike
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 9
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Spring to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:25pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sawtooth Fire24.7k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 2011 Tortilla Fire10.5 mi*
🔥 1975 Needle Fire4.9 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
Hike From Hell
by survivalhike

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FR-172B, Coffee Flat Trail #108, Red Tanks Trail #107, Hoolie Bacon Trail #111, JF #106

The trailhead picks up near a private ranch only a small distance from the fenced-off drop area. Pass through the gate and follow the fence line, which will gradually give way to the trail. Coffee Flat Trail slowly descends about 1000 feet over the next four miles. This portion of the hike is gratifying, and the miles pass quickly. In early March, there was plenty of water in the creek along the way.

After the four-mile descent, Red Tanks Trail picks up, heading north. This trail is a challenging scramble up a boulder choked canyon for the first couple miles, where all 1000 feet of elevation lost on Coffee Flat is gained back plus another 200 feet in only 2.5 miles. The next mile is a 500-foot descent to where Hoolie Bacon Trail and Red Tanks Trail meet. The Upper La Barge Box is to the west of this juncture, continuing along Red Tanks. However, we continued north on Hoolie Bacon.

Hoolie Bacon ascends another 600 feet in 2 miles, essentially coming over the top of one of the larger hills in the route north. Then after one more descent/ascent that was slightly easier, the trail descends for 3 miles with small ups and downs back to 3300 feet. The final few miles were effortless in comparison to Red Tanks Trail.

Coffee Flat and Hoolie Bacon are delightful trails (Hoolie Bacon does have one section of excruciating uphill hiking that was difficult with a 35-pound pack). However, Red Tanks is a real challenge all the way to the Box. (In the Box as well is also challenging from what I heard from other hikers) If you are in it for the views and not the challenge, avoid Red Tanks because it's more struggle and less scenery.

I never made it into the Box after hiking Red Tanks, which is like going to Disney Land and not riding any of the rides, because from what I'm told, the scenery in the Box is well worth the effort. I found what looks like an easier route into the Box from the west side, following The Dutchman Trail instead. We'll see how that turns out.

Water was flowing reasonably well from several sources in March when I went. However, it only runs after recent rainfall.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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.

2008-03-15 survivalhike
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To Woodbury Trailhead
    Take US 60 east out of Apache Junction. A couple miles past Florence Junction at MP214.2 turn north onto Queen Valley Road and drive for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto FR357 (Hewlett Station Road) and drive for 3.0 miles to signed FR172. Turn left onto FR172 and drive for 9.1 miles to the intersection of FR172A/172B. IF going to Rogers Trough TH/Parking, then turn right onto FR172A and drive 3.8 rough miles to the Rogers Trough TH; IF going to Woodbury TH, then turn left onto FR172B and drive 1.1 miles to the Woodbury TH/Parking.

    Notice This trailhead may or may not be accessible by sedan. The road is generally grated once a year. Opinions differ on what is and is not doable.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 65.6 mi - about 1 hour 49 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 98.9 mi - about 2 hours 39 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 210 mi - about 3 hours 52 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

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