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Old Baldy Trail #372 to Wrightson Summit, AZ

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Guide 381 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 65
 
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Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,440 feet
Elevation Gain 4,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,043 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 30.62
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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15  2019-03-13 chumley
18  2019-02-10
Old Baldy - Super Trail Loop
nathanbrisk
13  2019-01-05 BiFrost
12  2018-12-01 gummo
5  2018-11-26 Jim_H
6  2018-11-26 gummo
26  2018-09-15 DixieFlyer
11  2018-09-03
Old Baldy - Super Trail Loop
trekkin_gecko
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 24
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 211
Routes 822
Photos 10,402
Trips 4,069 map ( 20,468 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:28am - 6:35pm
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51 Alternative
 
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by joebartels

South of Tucson and down into Madera Canyon. The drive in is eye candy for any hiker. The trailhead is up slope from the restrooms. It starts off easy and wide going up. This is an old road that used to be lined with picnic tables before the parking was upgraded to accommodate the crowds. Soon you come to a junction with the Vault Mine Trail, proceed left on Old Baldy. Vegetation is loaded with various oaks and incredible mandrones throughout the hike. The area is popular with bird enthusiast. Be on the lookout for the elusive Elegant Trogon!


Almost 1,700 feet up Josephine Saddle is reached at 2.3 miles / 7,100ft. This junction intercepts six paths providing reason to return. It's another 1.8 miles around the northern slopes to Baldy Saddle.

The Super Trail and Old Baldy continue together for less than a quarter mile. Old Baldy continues to the left. Here the vegetation starts to turn. Beautiful trophy chiricahua pines fill the slope. Their limbs reach out far and wide. Views to the northwest open up. The slope of the mountain is steep. You barely notice it slicing through a pine needle covered trail. This picturesque setting is what every boyscout dreams of on their maiden voyage. Undoubtedly rushed they return decades later to savor the moment.

1.2mi from Josephine Saddle or 0.6mi before reaching Baldy Saddle you pass Bellow Springs. Soon followed by nearly a dozen tight switchbacks up to the saddle. Views on the saddle open up. From here it's 0.85mi on the Crest Trail to the peak.

Wide views on Mount Wrightson (noted as "Baldy 2" on topo) reveal mountain ranges few know exist. To the North and Northeast the Catalinas and Rincons dominate. Baboquivari and it's towering massif is easily spotted to the west. Only 25 miles away Mexico dominates the southern views.

Note: Data is derived from a combination of GPS and topo map routing. The Coronado FS data is known to be erroneous.

Choices: As seen in the Wrightson Wilderness map, several trails ascend Mt Wrightson. Technically the shortest ascent to the summit is via the Garden Canyon Trail #143. However with its four-wheel drive access the Madera Canyon options are more appealing coming from Tucson. The Super Trail #134 has more switchbacks providing a less strenuous ascent. That might be a better choice if you're hauling a backpack or looking to ease the knees on your descent. Combing the two trails is a popular choice.

Revised 2008: Original summary posted on 2000-06-21

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

2008-06-15 joebartels
    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.

    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
    or
    Road
    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
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