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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

McCleary Peak Loop, AZ

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Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
4 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,417 feet
Elevation Gain 3,618 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,503 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 33.52
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
8  2017-08-19 fricknaley
10  2017-03-26 uphill_junkie
13  2016-04-23
Mt Wrightson Peakapalooza
21  2011-09-10 GrottoGirl
15  2010-08-14
Super Pipeline Crest Baldy
19  2010-08-14
Super Pipeline Crest Baldy
18  2010-08-14
Super Pipeline Crest Baldy
65  2010-08-10
Santa Rita Loop
Author RedwallNHops
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 7
Photos 237
Trips 941 map ( 6,810 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Aug, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:20pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Wrightson's little brother
by RedwallNHops

Likely In-Season!
When most people travel to the Santa Ritas, they go for the high point, 9453ft Mt Wrightson. That leaves gems like McCleary peak for the rest of us. At 8357 feet, McCleary doesn't get the attention of Wrightson, but it is a fantastic destination.

This hike leaves from the Roundup trailhead at the end of Madera Canyon road. Start out on the Super trail. Follow the Super trail 1/4 to 1/2 mile until you see a well defined route on your left(north). This is the unofficial "Pipeline Route". Follow this steep, narrow, but well defined route as it follows a pipeline until it dumps you out onto the Kent Spring trail near Sylvester spring. Follow this VERY steep trail(more like a jeep road) approx 1 - 1.5 miles until you reach Kent Spring.

There is a trail junction at Kent Spring. The left fork is the Bog Springs trail. The right fork is the unsigned Four Springs trail. Go right to get on the Four Springs trail. The Four Springs trail climbs steeply up and countours around towards Pine Saddle. At about 1.5 miles you reach "Shovel Saddle". This is a great rest spot with shade and pine needles to rest on. The unofficial name of "shovel saddle" comes from an old rusted Shovel stuck in the ground right off the trail. Continue on the Four Springs trail another .5 - 1 mile until you come to another saddle. This will be the departure for McCleary peak.

On the north side of the saddle, look for a route climbing up to the north. The route is not particularly well-defined, but it is followable. There are a smattering of cairns to help you out. Keep mostly to the top of the ridge and you should be fine. The top is a rocky exposed summit with great views of the rest of the range and the surrounding area. Go back down the way you came.

Continue on down the Four Springs trail as it switchbacks its way down the burned slopes. After about .5 miles you come to the Crest Trail junction. Take a right here. Follow the Crest Trail about 3.2 miles as it makes it's way to Baldy Saddle. From there it is another 4.5 miles back to your vehicle via the Old Baldy trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-07-18 RedwallNHops
    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
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    i wanted to do the mccleary/88mac loop using four springs and coming down burnt saddle but the weather forced a change of hand.

    pipeline is a jungle

    going up four springs reminded me this is probably the best trail in the santa ritas. i saw a twin spotted rattler on the way up

    the route out to mccleary is really overgrown and the roughest i have seen it. i did surprisingly see a couple guys up there tho!! not long after i arrived the drizzle started and i knew it was time to bolt. it immediately started coming down harder and confirmed that the rocky and at times slippery ridge out to mccleary is not where you want to be in the rain :o :scared:

    once back on trail i really wanted to continue my loop and actually started it but the rain picked up significantly and then a thunder crack and i was immediately heading back down.

    still a great day but could have been super great.
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Great day of peak bagging in the Ritas with Count Tacula. We hit McCleary, 88Mac and i went to the summit just south of Pine Saddle and JJ hit that one and the next one south as well. I was going to and realized how low on water i was...whoops. Ran out with 2-3 miles to go :?

    hammered some tacos at BK on the way home. awesome time up in the points on the Santa Rita ridge :y:
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    great hike with michelle's uncle dennis.

    pipeline - kent springs - four springs - crest - wrightson summit - down old baldy

    huge HUGE amount of flowers. running water and a small waterfall on the crest trail. twin spotted rattlesnake and mountain kingsnake sightings...yay for the santa ritas :y:
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    88 Mac Loop
    after two unsuccessful attempts due to weather i finally made it up to 88 Mac and i'm glad i did. this loop instantly goes on my short list of santa rita favorites. killer views are the reward, but also you get to hike up my now favorite santa rita trail (the four springs), visit the crest, wallow around in flowers and do some off trail stuff... :y: :y: :y: :y: :y: the santa ritas rule!!!!!!!!
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    went wandering in the santa ritas with dave. weather pumpkined up our plans but we still hit McCleary peak which is way cool. the weather rolled in and we had to go to plan b, then plan c...yada yada yada we are running down old baldy in a flat out monsoon!

    we did see an elegant trogon, and wild turkey with a baby. plus got dave up into the high country on four springs and crest trails. :y:
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Got a late start, not taking off until 9:45am. We weren't too concerned, because our whole trek for the day was only going to be 14 miles and 5,500 ft AEG. The night before I checked the weather forecast to see how hot it was going to be to determine how much water to bring, and it said "30% chance of thunderstorms". monsoons yet, the season didn't even START until yesterday (June 15)! I did throw my windbreaker in just in case, but figured it was a waste.

    Our plan was to bag 3 peaks...McCleary Peak, Peak 8853, and one nice loop. On the way up we hear and see a beautiful Elegant Trogon, a tropical bird that is mostly in Mexico but is found as far south as Costa Rica...and as far north as the Santa Ritas. If you learn the call, you know one is around! It almost sounds like a crow, or a dog bark (here is a film of one in Madera Canyon a couple of weeks ago: We then ran up on a mama wild turkey and a wee little one. I'm pretty sure that was what it was, it looked like one although it didn't make the sound of a turkey.

    While admiring the first summit atop McCleary, we heard a faint rumble and looked around, and saw some storm clouds forming. OK, party's over, let's get moving.

    By the time we get to the turnoff to Peak 8853, it's now storming a little to the south, and rain is falling. We decide we better pick between the two peaks and decide to bypass 8853 for the day to make sure we hit Wrightson.

    Then we get to Baldy Saddle and look to the south...the wind is blowing in our face and a massive wall of water is almost on top of us and heading right for us, with thunder and lightning popping. I struggled for about 2 minutes and knew the Wrightson summit that was just 0.9 miles away was not going to happen...and the more time I sat there thinking about it, the longer I was going to be in the storm on the way down.

    We took off for Josephine Saddle, and just as we pushed through the saddle the trickling started. Within a few minutes it was a downpour...then the hail started. Light hail, BB sized, but hail nonetheless. I think Nick and I made the all-time record for descent on Old Baldy! Well maybe not, but 32 minute to the car isn't bad.

    We're already talking about going back after those last two peaks next weekend...yeah, that's right! It's ON! : rambo :
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Super Pipeline Crest Baldy
    I wanted to take the scenic route up to Mt. Wrightson via the Four Springs Trail, which I had yet to hike. Incorporating the Crest trail (one of my favorites) and hitting Mt. Ian on the way seemed like a no-brainer. Now I just needed some people to suffer with me, and I found a more than willing crowd: Joe, Bruce, Denny, Wally, Liz and Randy. Thank you all for joining me on a tour through some of the sweetest spots in the Santa Ritas. On Baldy, we met my dad and had a nice break on the summit (for once) before a very pleasant, though increasingly hot, trip down Old Baldy.

    Thanks again, everyone, I had a blast and look forward to more :y:
    McCleary Peak Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Super Pipeline Crest Baldy
    A Great hike with Great group of HAZ'ers.

    What a beautiful area. The first 3 miles/3000' was a slog... Pretty, but sleep. We stopped at a few springs, a few posed with a shovel head and we continued to climb and hike away from our destination. We dropped down the east side into some of Randy's special areas. A spring coming out of a huge rock, and HUGE beds of Yellow Columbine. The final push up Wrightson lended some awe inspiring views!

    8) Randy and :worthy: Nick showed off their playground
    :y: Allan is a Hoot
    : rambo : Denny was fine today
    :oops: Liz... well... wasn't
    :whistle: Wally Dolly Ding Dong.
    :yuck: When Joe sings it sounds good in his head. ](*,) Most of the Artists on the radio did not know the words to their own songs.
    :yuck: Ladybugs bug me... wherever I sit, there they are
    :thanx: Thanks all! I had a great time

    Permit $$
    Visit this link for full details.

    There are four specific day use areas that require a Coronado Recreational Pass or a National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass.
    1) Sabino Canyon - located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District (520)749-8700
    2) Madera Canyon - located on the Nogales Ranger District (520)281-2296
    3) Cave Creek - located on the Douglas Ranger District (520)364-3468
    4) Mt. Lemmon at 11 day use sites.

    Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $10 extra.

    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 Madera Canyon Trailhead
    From Tucson: I-19 south to exit 63 Continental. At the end of the exit take a left and follow brown signs to Madera Canyon. You'll be taking White House Canyon Road 13.2 miles to Madera Canyon.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 152 mi - about 2 hours 31 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 42.3 mi - about 55 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 295 mi - about 4 hours 37 mins
    page created by RedwallNHops on Jul 18 2010 7:25 pm
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