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Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas, AZ

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396 43 1
Guide 43 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
Rated
3.4
3.4 of 5 by 5
 
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Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,614 feet
Elevation Gain 823 feet
Accumulated Gain 856 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.05
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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9  2019-08-14
Crest Trail #144 - Santa Rita Mtns
fricknaley
18  2019-02-10
Old Baldy - Super Trail Loop
nathanbrisk
8  2017-08-19
McCleary Peak Loop
fricknaley
15  2017-06-08
Roger Rock and Old Madera Mine
markthurman53
15  2016-08-14
Four Springs Loop
Pivo
17  2016-08-14
Four Springs Loop
GrottoGirl
6  2016-07-24
Super Tr/Baldy/Fern/Pipeline
Pivo
7  2016-05-14
Roger's Rock
sparkspack
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 475
Photos 5,651
Trips 400 map ( 3,956 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:07am - 6:30pm
Official Route
 
15 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
great for loops
by markthurman53

The Pipeline Trail starts about 0.4 miles in on the Mount Wrightson Super Trail. There is no signed trail marker at the Pipeline Trail junction with the Mount Wrightson Super Trail. The Super Trail will climb out of the creek it has been following and head in a northwest direction, when it switches to an easterly direction start looking for a trail that heads up the hill to your left. The Pipeline Trail climbs about 200 feet and then levels off. The Pipeline Trail is now in the next canyon north of the the one you just climbed out of, this is the creek that comes from Kent and Sylvester Springs. the Trail continues on for about a half mile and then comes to a junction with the Kent Spring Trail. The Kent Spring Trail comes in from the north and continues on down stream, the Pipeline Trail continues on up this steam. The Pipeline Trail follows the stream for about .6 miles before climbing up and Connecting with the Super Trail again.


I have never been to it but Roger's Rock is along this trail. At about 0.9 miles in, the hill to the east of the trail is where Roger's Rock is. At the time I was on this trail (October) the streams were flowing pretty good. I would expect them to dry up in late Spring early Summer until the monsoons. When hiking along the Pipeline Trail keep an eye out for the pipeline for which this trail is named.

This trail makes a good connecting trail for loop hikes involving Kent Spring Trail, Bog spring Trail and Four Springs Trail. Even though it isn't marked it was fairly easy to follow.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2017-04-09 markthurman53

    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.
    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 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    You just can't beat summer in the santa ritas

    much needed day in the mountains. started at super trail and cut over to 4 springs on pipeline and kent canyon. very pleasant climb up to the high stuff. i was 50/50 on doing McCleary and when i got there i just didn't feel like thrashing through the thick overgrowth. took the lovely, though somewhat overgrown, crest trail to pine saddle and hit 88 Mac for the first time in years, then continued on to baldy saddle. shot up one of the nameless summits on the way for fun. got some welcome cloud cover for my trip up to wrightson, then had a nice hike down old baldy. a deer graciously pulled off trail just beneath the saddle, at a switchback, to let me hike by without much of a care.

    great day up there. the springs were all flowing, everything off the beaten path was a little overgrown and tore me up, i got bit, i got stung, flowers everywhere...everything summer in the santa rita high country should be! :lol:
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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.
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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:
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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:
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    Mount Ian Loop
    i do believe i have such a love-hate relationship with the old baldy trail. i just wish it didn't hate me so much when i love it so... :lone: :kf: the last time i was up the old baldy trail (when i summitted wrightson with randy about a month ago), i counted the switchbacks from josephine saddle to old baldy saddle: 42 (or 43, depending on which way you count it). this made me feel a little better when i reached 37, but the cramps in my legs did not. it was nice and cool on saturday morning, making me drink less water than i should have, precipitating these cramps. i was so happy to finally be up at the saddle, since most of the work was done at that point - and then the clif gel shot of double espresso that bobby gave me perked me right up :GB: for the rest of the hike.

    after a break at baldy saddle, we headed up the crest trail for about a half mile, then bushwhacked up to the ridge. oh my, what a view! but we weren't there yet. we had another half-mile of really fun ridgeline to follow before we found our mark. i was dubious it was even mount ian, but the gps didn't lie. i recognized the last names in the summit log: joel and belinda norby back in april. the summit register jar has shattered, and the mice have started in on the plastic bags - so that thing needs to be replaced (and might i suggest something other than glass? :M2C: )

    after my peak beer, we headed back down to the crest trail to the most malapropos named "pine" saddle. it was a nice meadow (no pines), and we cut off the trail here to go down to the four springs trail (and where we hit that trail, incidentally, was covered in pines). i was very pleased that we were going down this trail, as it was STEEP. then we finally hit the kent springs trail (an old jeep road, ugh), before finally taking the pipeline trail to the super trail back to the cars.

    many thanks to randy for putting a bug in my ear about this peak, as it is definitely worthy. there are beautiful views, and a great hike. and of course, bobby (southpawaz), i couldn't have done it without you; you have the patience of job. what a great day! :DANCE:
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    Josephine Peak
    two weeks ago, i just looked at josephine peak in envy. i wanted to mount her, but i wasn't sure it was the right time. i didn't have anyone with me or anyone who knew that that was my destination, and she looked like a hell of a hike, so i decided to do something that i thought would be easier - old baldy saddle.

    for josephine peak i asked around, and i ended up wrangling three buddies to go up with me. wendy, who i knew would put up with my slow pace up, bobby (southpawaz), who i was bound to hike with eventually, and sirena, who asked to tag along with wendy. let me tell you now - this is not a hike that anyone should do alone, especially for the first time. the route finding was not easy. once you take off the super trail for josephine peak there isn't much of a route, let alone a trail. i was wearing pants and i still got scratched to hell with the catclaw i went through. the most wonderful part was a section through new growth pine, which was freaking awesome to walk through.

    the section going up to the peak was steep and not well defined at all - a bit of a side slope scramble, which made it treacherous but not scary at all going up, and dangerous :scared: going down.

    the peak was kinda anticlimactic after all that. there was a summit register in a glass container that we all signed - and no one had been up there since the beginning of july.

    this is a worthy peak, most definitely. but i doubt i'll ever be back. it was too tough getting up with all of the scree and vegetation. the views were worth the climb, but i don't need to see it again.

    the way back after josephine saddle, we took my new favorite route down, which included the super trail down to the spur route to roger's rock and the pipeline trail down to the super trail.
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    Mount Wrightson Scenic Route
    i had to make it up to the peak, and randy was bound and determined to make it up there too, so off we went. steady, but slow up the old baldy trail. and no picture taking for me on the way up. on the way back down, randy offered to make it more interesting, and i accepted. so at josephine saddle, we veered down the super trail until we hit a spur that met up with the roger's rock trail, then we made our way down the pipeline trail to where it met back up with the super trail to the parking lot. what a treat! the summer monsoon action made everything more wet. above old baldy saddle, there were quite a few seeps on the way to the peak. and that fantastic jaunt off of the super trail had lots of water flowing in the drainage.
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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:
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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". Naaah...no 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 Wrightson...as 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGGQNr7fwBw). 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 :
    Pipeline Trail - Santa Ritas
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    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:

    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)


    Directions
    Map Drive
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    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 joebartels on Apr 08 2017 3:25 pm
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