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Three Tank Trail - Saguaro NP, AZ

Guide 22 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,697 feet
Elevation Gain 715 feet
Accumulated Gain 770 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.67
Interest Seasonal Creek
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
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13  2021-07-29
Bridal and Ernie Falls
markthurman53
37  2020-03-13
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop
RowdyandMe
2  2019-05-11
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop
TosaInu
10  2019-01-24
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop
markthurman53
6  2018-10-20
Douglas Spring Trail
MandaBearPig
4  2017-07-13 markthurman53
12  2017-07-13
Garwood Carrillo Three Tanks Loop
markthurman53
9  2014-03-25
Bridal Wreath and Ernie Falls Loop
markthurman53
Page 1,  2
Author
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 820
Photos 9,657
Trips 652 map ( 5,592 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Feb, Mar, Nov, Jan → Early
Seasons   Spring to Winter
Sun  5:39am - 7:18pm
Official Route
 
9 Alternative
 
Water
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 1989 CHIVA Fire21.9 mi*


Three Tanks but no water
by markthurman53

Overview
The Three Tanks Trail starts on the desert floor of Saguaro National Park along the Wildhorse Tanks Trail and terminates at the Douglas Spring Trail. The trail climbs the lower hills of the Rincon Mountains and ends on a low saddle just prior to the Ernie and Bridal Wreath Falls trails for a total of 2.1 miles. The trail is named for the three tanks along the trail, Steel Tank, Mica Tank, and Aguila Tank. Steel Tank is an actual steel tank and the other two are dug-out cattle tanks. Since this trail does not have a trailhead that is accessible by a vehicle it is usually done with connecting trails, Garwood, Wildhorse, or Douglas Spring Trail. For this reason, the Three Tanks Trail makes for interesting loop Trails using the trails mentioned above.


Hike
This description along with the Route is from the upper end of the Three Tanks Trail at the junction with the Douglas Spring Trail and continues from there down to the junction with the Wildhorse Tanks Trail. The Three Tanks Trail is in really good condition and even though the AEG is 770 feet the ascent or descent is not difficult. The trail after leaving the junction with the Douglas Spring Trail remains fairly level for about .3 miles until it crosses a creek and the location of Aguila tank. You have to look a little for this tank, it hasn’t been used for cattle in many years and is located just to the right of the trail (North) in the creek. If hiking along this section of trail in the warmer months, particularly in the early morning, watch out for snakes. This little 0.1-mile section near the tank is where I ran into 4 rattlesnakes and one Gila Monster all along the trail. From Aguila Tank, the trail does its only climb, it is only about 100 feet and climbs to the top of a small ridge, from this ridge though it is all downhill. Mica Tank is at about 1 mile in and is easier to spot, particularly if approaching from above as in this description. The creek the trail is now in is the upper drainage of Deer Valley wash and the trail follows close to this creek the rest of the way. At 1.5 miles the trail comes to Rock spring and the location of Steel Tank. This tank has been dry for some years but at one time it had goldfish in it that were placed there to keep the algae down in the tank. After leaving Steel Tank the trail follows close to Deer Creek that is now cutting deeper into a canyon just south of the trail. At 2 miles the trail has some great views of the pools in this creek. At the time of this hike, the creek had a little water in the pools from the monsoon rains that just started within the last week. At 2.2 miles the trail connects up with the Wildhorse Tanks Trail.

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2017-07-14 markthurman53
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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.
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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 $$
NPS

Saguaro National Park
2020 $25 vehicle • $20 motorcycle • $15 individual on foot or bicycle
Receipt is valid for 7 days
$45 Annual Park Pass View All


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Douglas Spring Trailhead
From I-10 & Speedway Blvd exit #257, travel East on Speedway Blvd 17.4 miles to the trailhead.

The final major crossroad will be Freeman and "Dead End" signs will begin to appear. The trailhead is a small parking area with a picnic able and ample signage at the dead end of Speedway.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 129 mi - about 2 hours 17 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 19.4 mi - about 41 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 272 mi - about 4 hours 23 mins
page created by joebartels on Jul 14 2017 9:59 am
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