Perfect for a quick getaway
Overview: This is another quick lasso loop in the Tortolitas with a nice little dose of elevation to keep you honest. In the spring there are some nice flowers along this route and there are excellent desert views from the top of the southern ridgeline of Wild Burro Wash.
There is apparently now parking for the trail network at the Ritz. Just tell them you are going to the Wild Burro Trailhead. It shaves about a mile of walking up the wash from Dove Mountain Blvd and depending on your plan for the day, may or may not be the way to go.
Hike: From the new trailhead just drop down south into the wild Wild Burro Wash and head east into the mountains and Wild Burro Canyon. In a quick 0.3 miles you will come to the signed intersection for the trails in this part of the Tortolitas. This route will go clockwise. Hang a left on the signed Wild Burro trail and head towards the northern wall of the canyon, but before going up it take a right onto the signed Wild Burro and Lower Javelina Trails, while the Upper Javelina climbs away to your left. Soon the Wild Burro and Lower Javelina also split at another signed intersection. Take a right to stay on the Wild Burro Trail as it skirts just above the north bank of Wild Burro Wash, wandering through the lush desert vegetation and weaving around some interesting rock formations. Ultimately the trail will drop into the wash proper and soon the you will signs for the Lower Javelina Loop as it crosses the wash to connect either wall of the canyon. Keep going straight past it, staying in the wash. Ahead you will be able to see where the canyon obviously narrows down - this is your goal. At this point the signed Wild Burro will climb left out of the canyon. Look for another sign marked SPUR pointing ahead/right. Follow it straight for a short ways before it climbs up and to the right out of the canyon. This is the Alamo Spring Spur Trail and it will take you up the west flank of a steep side drainage feeding down into the wash. This trail starts about 1.7 miles from the trailhead. Climb up this fairly steep trail as it winds and switchbacks up the drainage, with nice views along the way. In the spring there will be flowers along this trail. It's a short 0.3-0.4 mile steep climb up to the signed intersection with the Alamo Springs Trail.
At the junction turn on to the Alamo Springs Trail and continue ascending up the southern wall to the ridgeline of the canyon. You will hit the ridgeline at a small saddle between peak 4373 (the Pyramid) above you to the south and a tiny ancillary hill off to your right. The views from up here are great. The trail will now wander back west along the ridgeline, dipping and skirting a number of highpoints along the way, many of them scenic and rocky. This is another good stretch of trail for flowers. The desert in this stretch of trail is also excellent and the terrain is uniquely rocky and rugged. Ultimately near the western most extent of the ridge, the trail begins a sharp switchbacking descent back the wash bottom. Along the way you will again meet the Lower Javelina trail at a sign as it also feeds back into the wash. Once in the wash head back over to the signed intersection of trails and take the Wild Burro back west to your car.
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.