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McCleary Peak Loop, AZ

Guide 20 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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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!
10  2019-10-17
Santa Rita Crest Loop
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
Page 1,  2
Author RedwallNHops
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 10
Photos 498
Trips 1,238 map ( 9,041 miles )
Age 46 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  5:19am - 7:32pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

Wrightson's little brother
by RedwallNHops

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 Wrightson's attention, but it is a fantastic destination.

This hike leaves from the Roundup trailhead at the end of Madera Canyon road. Start 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 Bog Springs Trail, and 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 contours 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. 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 0.5 - 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 is 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 down the Four Springs trail as it switchbacks its way down the burned slopes. After about 0.5 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.

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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.

    Permit $$
    Visit this link for full details.
    2021 - FAQ
    $8 per vehicle per day
    $10 per vehicle per week
    $40 per vehicle per year (valid for one year from date of purchase)

    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.

    2021 Catalina State Park
    Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
    Individual/bicycle: $3.00

    2021 Sabino Canyon Tram is $12 extra. [ website ]

    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
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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