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Alamo Springs Spur Loop, AZ

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Guide 66 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
3 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 5.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,802 feet
Elevation Gain 1,107 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,287 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.64
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
1  2019-02-24
Tortolita Ridgeline Trail
8  2019-02-23 fricknaley
2  2018-11-13 fricknaley
1  2017-01-16 fricknaley
6  2015-10-27
Alamo Springs to Ridge Crest Peak
5  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
13  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
24  2015-02-26
Tortolitas Superloop
Page 1,  2
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,743 map ( 18,146 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:28pm
Official Route
8 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Perfect for a quick getaway
by fricknaley

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.

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2010-03-20 fricknaley
    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 of 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    storm coming in

    Merry Christmas HAZ Friends :y: :y: :y:
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    First hike in almost a month, sadly my longest layoff in the last five years. Since my wife went back to teaching my hiking schedule has had to adjust a bit, but hopefully I can get back to my weekly regular. With a backpack trip looming this weekend, I needed to get some miles in just to get back into the swing of things. I have not hiked in the Tortolitas for some time, so that sounded like a good warm up. Kudos again to the Town of Marana, they have redone their free hiking map of the area and it is really nice. Brochure style but it folds out with a color map of all the trails in the area, also distances and elevation gain as well. Since the TH is right in the resort, I am sure they get all kinds of hikers, so it is really good to know that there is info for those that are less prepared. It preaches to take at least 2 liters of water, my favorite comment being 'bring your own water, there are no water stations available to refill on the trails.' Got started about 3:30, I went up Wild Burro to do a CCW loop. They have added a bunch more carsonite sign markers out there too. I really like the Alamo Springs trail, good effort and nice views. I took this all the way to the Wild Burro wash, I wanted a few extra miles so I skipped the spur trail. Didn't see another hiker until I was about a half mile from the TH on the way back. I always love finishing up hiking in the dusk. Now on to Reavis this weekend!
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    We had planned on doing Kimball/Window via Finger Rock, but the cold temps had us looking at the last minute for something a little lower in elevation, so JJ & I introduced Mountain Rat to the Tortolita Superloop. Started just after 8, and moved through it fairly quickly. All the trails are super easy to follow with the exception of the old, unnamed trail you take on the superloop to connect the end of Cochie Canyon to the dropdown onto Wild Mustang. It was a little overgrown in spots, and involves that short, steep ascent over the ridge.

    Today I was wearing leather boots, and during the our time in that particular section, the glue gave way with the sole on my right boot and I had a flopper. It came loose from the toe all the way to the arch on my right foot. Thankfully it was easily remedied with some good ole duct tape...few swipes around and it was fine the rest of the day. Once we were done with that section and was onto Wild Mustang, the left boot did the way from toe to the ball of my left foot. Little more duct tape, here we come.

    This was the first time I've done the whole loop in nearly 2 years; when I was on it last, there was still trail construction going on around the Wild Burro spur and the Ridgeline, and on that particular day I needed to take a detour route. Today I re-recorded the track and will update the trip description to note the final route.

    Up on the Ridgeline (my favorite section), we took in views from Mt. Wrightson, Baboquivari & Kitt Peak in the south to Four Peaks in the north, beautiful.

    Was great getting to know Mountain Rat, enjoyed your company today! And as always, JJ too.
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    I met up with JJ and Dave at the Wild Burro TH just a bit after 8:00 and we commenced to burning up the trail. Early on, we had just enough sunshine to keep us from freezing, but well before the half way mark we had a pretty comfortable balance of sun and shade that lasted the rest of the hike. This one covers quite a lot of ground and though the elevation gain seems kind of low, you pick it up quickly in just a few spots, so it’s not easy gain. This was a tough little trot in an area that I intend to further explore.

    Thanks to Dave and JJ for guiding this one. I had no track loaded, so had no clue what to do or where to go. Till next time…
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    I have been aiming for this one for about a month now, but autumn storms and some family plans have kept getting in the way. Not today! I got to the trailhead about 3:15 to start my hiking day. Nice weather conditions, but a bit toasty to start my hike. I did the Alamo Springs spur loop in CCW direction with the off-trail scramble out to Ridge Crest Peak. I saw a desert tortoise about a half mile up the Alamo Springs trail, always a good sighting! I took a little different track up to the peak, I was just using the standard path of least resistance. There were a few spicy moments, but for the most part this was a reasonable scramble. The worst part was trying to avoid the sharp ends of the Yuccas/ Cholla/ Prickly Pear/ Catclaw, there were a few points where I had to circle quite a bit to keep myself in one piece. i did manage to have one good Prickly Pear hit on my arm, spines and glochids that I spent some time removing, and then again when I got home...Views are great from the top, I could see as far north as the Superstition Ridgeline, of course the Catalinas were up front and center. After a short break up top exploring around, I started down teh south side of the peak and was surprise to see some trail! There is even a sign up there, apparently there is a loop from the east side that I did not know about. I followed this trail down a bit, and then cut back over to Alamo. I headed north again, and then made my way back by the Alamo Spur and Wild Burro trails. There was some nice golden color out here thanks to the Turpentine (Ericameria laricifolia), Dogweed (Thymophylla pentachaeta, gotta love that.), and Senecio. There was just a few wisps of clouds out on the western horizon, made for a fantastic sunset out in the desert. Made it back to the van only having seen one other person all hike, and that was about 5 minutes from the start. Another great day in the Tortolitas. I beat last year's mileage total with this hike, and I still have two months left in the year...woo hoo!
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    This lasso loop hike came onto my radar about a year ago. It looked interesting and it was relatively close to Phoenix. The weather looked pleasant for late April and I talked to Kyle and Claire and they were down. Wet met at Ray Rd and the I-10 and the drive down took took a little over an hour.

    This hike starts from the Ritz Carlton parking lot. The Trailhead has nice bathrooms and they provide a map with excellent details of the hikes in the area. The trail starts by dropping you into a wash. Soon after we hit a junction and went to the northwest as we started our lasso loop. These trails are in excellent condition and are easy to follow. There were a few people on the early portion around the resort. They didn't wander too far away.

    We made steady progress and we took a short break by the windmill at the five mile mark. From there we connected onto the unofficial trail. The route is generally easy to follow but it really helped having a GPS. Mostly for the beginning and a few short stretches as we climbed to the ridgeline and then dropped down the east side where we connected back on official trail.

    Once back on trail we made quick time as we headed for the homestead. We passed the grave marker along the way and soon after Claire spotted a bobcat on the trail ahead of us. I caught a quick glimpse of it as it ran away. We continued on and took our lunch at the homestead where there were a couple of tanks for water. It looked green but filterable. The real issue were all the wasps flying around. We didn't explore the homestead much. There is a large rock corral to the northeast. It looks like that is where you want to pick up the trail. Instead we followed a use trail two-tenths of a mile to connect back onto trail.

    Next up was the Ridgeline trail and this is the best portion of the hike. The trail is in excellent condition and the views of the Catalinas and Mount Lemmon are breathtaking! We made quick time and connected onto a few different trails. The rest of the hike blurred by and before long we were all done and back to the jeep.

    The Tortolitas have some nice hiking. It's a large range with a lot of trails in very good condition. It reminded us a lot of South Mountain without the people. Give this area a try if you're looking for some nice trails that aren't too far from the major cities.
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    9L's been wanting to do this... mostly for all the unique trail links to add to his ranking. I'm sure my list is wrong. I'll fix it after he posts-- he won't miss a single one :lol:

    It was nice to do a new area but there's really nothing too interesting going on down here. The Tortolita Ridgeline Trail was definitely the highlight-- some great views of Lemmon and Wrightson. There was a good bit of commentary that most of the day was very similar to hiking South Mountain except the trails here are immaculate. It was a beautiful day and an enjoyable hike but I don't see myself visiting these trails again. Good flower show right now.

    A+ for nicest bathrooms at any trailhead anywhere :D
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    I hiked this loop on Tuesday afternoon, second trip out into the Tortolitas. Started out from the Wild Burro Trailhead, did the loop counterclockwise up Alamo and back down the Wild Burro trail. I did take the longer Alamo springs trail out to the 'lunch overlook', and a good little break and then came back down the wash. Good elevation gain along this hike, steady but nothing too crazy. it was windy and actually chilly for a good part of this hike, especially once the sun went below the ridge. The Alamo springs trail is fun, it is a good combo of well defined trail and faint trail, enough to keep you looking ahead without trying your route finding skills too much. Great solitude once you are about a third of a mile from the Ritz. I saw three other fellow loner hikers out there across the whole trip. Limited bloom out there, Turpentine bush (Ericameria laricifolia)had some color but most were going to seed head. I did see a few Chuparosa (Justicia californica), even a few confused Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) that think it was spring, must be all the extra fall rain. Other than that, wildflowers were pretty well done. Good hike, enough to get me back out here again sometime, I would like to do the Ridgeline and Cochise Spring if I can ever get enough free time/ daylight.
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    Finally got this one in. Nice, warm day...lots of gnats out there! But great views. Dig the Alamo Springs loop while I was out there.

    Nice surprise to discover that this peak is part of the Canyon View Trail 2.5 mile loop, that comes off of Canyon Mountain Drive. I posted pictures of the sign at the top.
    Alamo Springs Spur Loop
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    Started out today to see if I could find a route for a superloop around the biggest swath of the Tortolitas as I could and hit some or all of every trail out there ... mission accomplished :y: The unofficial trail from the top of Cochie Spring to the top of Wild Mustang was a little uncertain at first but quickly proved very doable. Loved taking in the Torts from so many angles today. Especially loved the Cochie and Ridgeline segments of this loop! Take the time to do some looking around when you go to Wild Burro Tank, there is a lot more out there than you might realize.

    May re-do the official route I posted later, once the construction finishes on the Wild Burro Loop Trail portion, as I think that will put the first 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile after Wild Burro Tank on a much more defined trail.

    Started about 9am, out just after 4pm.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Wild Burro (Ritz) Trailhead
    From I-10 in north Tucson take Tangerine Road exit (#240) and head east. In about 5 miles the 1st stoplight you come to is Dove Mountain Blvd. Take left here and follow the road roughly 4 miles around the west end of the Tortolitas. Just past The Gallery is a small well-signed trailhead for Wild Burro Trail. This is on your right.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 104 mi, 1 hour 37 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 20.6 mi, 27 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 248 mi, 3 hours 43 mins
    page created by fricknaley on Mar 20 2010 9:25 pm
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