register help

La Milagrosa Ridge, AZ

102 24 0
Guide 24 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
3.7 of 5 by 7
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,793 feet
Elevation Gain 1,252 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,212 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 21.56
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
1  2019-02-10
Soldier/AZT/La Milagrosa
30  2018-01-28
La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon Loop
5  2018-01-28
La Milagrosa / Agua Caliente Canyon Loop
3  2016-07-03 JuanJaimeiii
8  2016-01-16 azdesertfather
12  2015-02-27
La Milagrosa Agua Caliente Loop
12  2015-01-22
La Milagrosa Ridge Trail
13  2012-12-12 OldNslow
Page 1,  2
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,746 map ( 18,187 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:20pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
This ridge is la milagrosa (miraculous)
by fricknaley

Overview: This is another beautiful trail out in the area around Agua Caliente Hill, at the far east end of the Catalinas. Like the other trails in this area, the forest service makes no mention of it - it is unsigned but totally obvious and well-hiked. This particular trail hikes the La Milagrosa ridgeline out to the junction with the Bellota section of the Arizona Trail.

Hike: This hike begins at the intersection of N. Avenida de Suzenu and Horsehead Roads. Walk around the gate onto Horsehead Road and blast out the initial boring segment of this hike, a roughly 0.6 mile or so walk down the road to the mouth of La Milagrosa Canyon. Near the end of the road, you will walk past the intersection of Wentworth road, and then the trail drops across a little wash (which will flow after rain) and crosses over a small gate that will likely be trampled over. After climbing up the other side the trail now obviously is heading towards the converging La Milagrosa and Agua Caliente canyons. The first left is a spur to an old, abandoned shack which you should ignore. The real trail contours down and to the left beyond the remnants of the house. A quick descent takes you to the intersection of interest. Take a left here onto the La Milagrosa route. A right leads towards Agua Caliente canyon. The left you took will almost immediately start you climbing up the western flank of La Milagrosa Canyon and the views are almost immediately sweet. At about 1.3 miles from the start you come to a hikers gate on the climb up the canyon flank. Pass through here and continue your ascent up the western ridge of the canyon. Before too long you reach the highpoint on this side of the canyon (with spectacular views up the canyon to prove it) and begin a short earnest descent back down to the canyon bottom, at the location of a great rock shelf sitting across the canyon bottom. At times of water flow, any number of little falls will spill off this excellent slab of rock.

Cross over the canyon bottom to the east side and pick up the trail to climb up the east wall of La Milagrosa canyon and access the La Milagrosa Ridge that ultimately separates La Milagrosa from Agua Caliente canyons. It's a nice, brief and somewhat steep climb up to the ridge. The trail will not head northeast along the ridgeline for some way. At about 2.5 miles from the car a distinct, but unsigned intersection will present itself to you. The right fork clearly heads towards Agua Caliente Canyon which falls away hundreds of feet to your right and is the route to take for the loop hike described by Red Rover. You want the LEFT fork, which is the continuation of the La Milagrosa Ridge trail. This intersection is around 32.30362 N, 110.6977 W.

Continue hiking along this excellent route further out into the hills between the Catalinas and the Agua Caliente Hill formation, climbing up or skirting several ridgeline points along the way. The views ahead and to the right are always great, and to the left the views down into La Milagrosa Canyon are generally splendid. Ultimately the trail finally curves north and begins a descent towards the top of the canyon, and descends down to it's floor. Again, when water is running this is a wonderland of cascades and falls. A broad creek crossing after this spot will bring you to an unmarked, unsigned intersection with a wide, sandy trail - the Bellota Trail, a section of the Arizona Trail. This is the end of the La Milagrosa Ridge trail, never signed or marked in any way yet truly excellent nonetheless. It is about 5.25 miles from your car. Return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

2010-03-11 fricknaley
  • sub-region related
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
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Since I was down in Tucson for the Oracle Rumble, I decided to hang out with Wendy and this is the hike she chose for us. Saturday nite, however, we got to eat at Mosaic and despite a long wait, it was worth it. Very yummy! a little different spin on Mexican flavor. It definitely lived up to the hype.

Oh, the hike. About 1/2 hour from Wendy's we parked at an unofficial trailhead. I'm glad the community allows people to access this hike from here. You walk a paved road a bit before it turns to dirt and crosses a wash onto another road and down into the wash of La Milagrosa Canyon before you head up onto the Ridge. The great part of this hike is what Wendy calls "slabby goodness". Slabbiness is so great for hiking especially on this very windy day. At a makeshift gate we encountered a resident of the area and his two Mexican rescue dogs. He pointed out to us some very faint petroglphys on low-lying rocks just barely off the trail. I couldn't really get a good photo of them though as they are so faint. We thot it unusual to see the glphys on such low flat rocks.

From there we continued our gradual hike up the Ridgeline with occasional peeks over the edge down into La Milagrosa Canyon which continued to get deeper the further along the ridge we went. And then we went more to the other side of the ridge and would get a peak down into Agua Caliente Canyon. It's definitely dry and the plant life reflected that as I can imagine this being a much prettier hike; altho, I was duly impressed by what I saw. When Wendy and Sirena did it a couple years back, they were crossing thru water in several areas. Eventually it was time to veer to the other side of the ridge to the Agua Caliente side. The trek down here is a bit on the slippery side.

Once down into the canyon it opens up wide and you start heading slightly southwest. We took a break in the wash and would have stayed longer (we had boulders for our backs) but it was just too darn windy and a bit nippy. So we continued thru the wash/Canyon a little further before crossing up and out of the wash by this rather large slabby area. It's a bit of a climb but not bad. Once out there is an intersection that takes you up to the summit of Agua Caliente Hill but not today.

From here it is all downhill with views into the Valley of Tucson. You drop nearly 1000 feet in 1 3/4 mile as you stay on the other ridge. Gnat Tank is devoid of water of course. It's not a really big tank anyway. Once again you come to a fence and since we couldn't figure out how to open the big green gate from this side, Wendy went over the barbed wire fence and then saw the locking mechanism that needed to be lifted in order to slide the lever. You just couldn't see that from this side. After the gate the ridge gets a little narrower and once you get across to the other side, you now have to go almost straight down to reach the wash as the usual trail has been blocked off. I saw this trail before we started and didn't realize we would be taking it.

The trail down is a bit dicey in spots so you have to take extra care. Fortunately it's short-lived but I was still glad to be on level ground. You stay in the wash for awhile before you get back to where you started. We encountered a few folks here as we made our way back to the TH. Surprisingly, it was a little warm when we got down to the bottom. It's a great hike and I'm sure it would be even better with water based on previous pictures I am just now looking at.

Thx for suggesting it Wendy, it was a wonderful choice which allowed me to get back to Phx in daylight.

Part 1: TH to Milagrosa Ridge [ youtube video ]
Part 2: Milagrosa Ridge to Agua Caliente Canyon [ youtube video ]
Part 3: Agua Caliente Ridge and back down to same named wash: [ youtube video ]
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Soldier/AZT/La Milagrosa Loop
good big loop using catalina highway, soldier trail, the AZT and la milagrosa ridge. perfect day. felt decent for the most part. saw some people here and there.

ended up being a small fire in molino basin the next day. yikes. certainly wasn't from me burning rubber :lol:
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
My plans today were changed at the last minute, I had a free day, so decided to head to La Milagrosa. Started at 10:15 and was greeted by the TORCA Trail Medics. Three guys and a gal, riding dirt bikes and fully armed...weapons of choice? shears and a gas-powered weed wacker. The dead grass along the back half of Milagrosa Ridge was waist high and overgrowing the trail, they definitely had their work cut out from them but did a fabulous job.

Made it to the end of La Milagrosa at noon, put my foot on the AZT there and watched a bunch of bikers whizzing by. Then headed back, thanked all the workers, and veered off Milagrosa at the Agua Caliente Canyon Loop turnoff. Descended down the ridge into the canyon (lots of water flowing in the canyons on both sides of MIlagrosa, by the way), and then took the turnoff toward Agua Caliente Hill. It is only less than a 1/2 mile trail that connects into Agua Caliente, 1 1/2 miles from the top.

Made my way up Agua Caliente, and probably like most people their first time out, was fooled by which peak was really AC. Being called "Agua Caliente Hill" I assumed it was the one in the foreground that the trail was heading to...then I went passed it and realized I had a BIT more climbing to do! Finally made it to the top of AC just before 2:30, rested for 10 and signed in, then headed down. Just as I started heading down, a solo hiker was also making his way to the top. He told me it was his second trip up today. Yikes, I enjoyed it but wouldn't enjoy it THAT much. ;) Made it out just past 4.
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Loving the slightly milder temps that are making getting to some of the lower trails in the Tucson area more pleasant! I started at Molino Basin made the short/steep climb to the high point of the Bellota Trail, always great views, before plunging down towards towards the West Spring Tank and over to the (unsigned) junction with the La Milagrosa Ridge Trail - a new section trail for me!

I enjoyed the views down into Milagrosa and Agua Caliente Canyons, but maybe a little to much since I had to sit down and spend a few minutes with map/gps after running about a half mile past the junction I wanted! After backtracking I found the fun connector that took me down into Agua Caliente Canyon and back up the other side to a junction with the Agua Caliente Hill trail - Alison had given me a ride to Molino Basin before driving around to the Agua Caliente Hill Trailhead and it was great to meet her on the trail!

It was a little too late in the day to make the 3 mile up and back hike to the top so we just enjoyed the descent back to the trailhead... Beautiful day.

I liked this link up - not too long/strenuous (but still some climbing and challenge for sure) and leaving the Santa Catalina Mountains and ending up at the Agua Caliente Hill trailhead was a great journey. One picture:
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
I had never been on this trail before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The previous description certainly helped me find the way to the trail head, as it is unmarked in any way. I Parked on the road at about 9 AM and started hiking through the residential area to the trail head proper. Once onto the trail it was obvious this trail gets lots of use, both hiking and mountain biking. The trail is clear and easy to follow, but the trail junctions lack any signage, so a map is important, at least if you trying to get somewhere specific. It was a good climb out of the valley and the weather was nice with highs in the low 70s. I lunched at the Belota Trail junction, which I've hiked on a previous backpacking trip. While there I saw a horseback rider with a large herd of hunting dogs. I wish my dog was so well behaved. After lunch I returned the way I came. Overall a very good day. There was very little water in any of the canyons at this time. Only a few stagnant pools were visible.
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Wonderful hike with that (now famous) trail maven Sirena on her most auspicious birthday. Doing this shuttle hike from top to bottom was a real treat, though there were more climbs than one might imagine.

I should have written this triplog before I left for my Grand Canyon hike, because now it's all a blur...
La Milagrosa Ridge
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Hiked La Milagrosa out to the junction with the Bellota Trail. Massive water flowing in the canyons, I almost couldn't make it across the wash right beyond Wentworth...woulda made for a 0.6 mile hike. Pretty epic, right?

Excellent trail out into nowhere. Too many waterfalls to count.

Permit $$

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 hike
Take Catalina Hwy toward Mt Lemmon and turn right on Snyder Road and follow it east. Turn left on N. Avenida de Suzenu to the intersection with Horsehead Road. There are usually a few cars parked along Suzenu at the intersection. The trail starts at Horsehead Road. This is actually a residential area, but the residents have agreed to allow foot traffic to get to the public land, so please be respectful. You must park where Horsehead Road and N. Avenida de Suzenu intersect.
page created by fricknaley on Mar 11 2010 3:33 pm
help comment issue

end of page marker