username
X
password
register help

Shovel Springs Loop, AZ

details
drive
permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topic
location
122 12 1
Guide 12 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
Rated
3.9
3.9 of 5 by 7
 
2
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.84 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,093 feet
Elevation Gain 1,957 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,412 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19.9
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2018-08-17 jtaylor
5  2018-07-26 fricknaley
2  2018-06-05 pmstirling
24  2016-09-09
Catalina Mts Samaniego Ridge
markthurman53
34  2013-05-04 Jim_H
21  2011-10-15 Sarae
7  2011-07-16 cindyl
15  2011-05-22
Samaniego Peak
GrottoGirl
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:49am - 5:25pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
15807followactivity
Official Route
 
1 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Mount Lemmon Loop - Lemmon / WOR / Aspen
Mount Lemmon Loop - Lemmon / WOR / Aspen
0.0 mi away
9.6 mi
2,453 ft
Mount Lemmon to Sabino Canyon
Mount Lemmon to Sabino Canyon
0.0 mi away
15.5 mi
1,615 ft
Meadow Trail #5A
Meadow Trail #5A
0.1 mi away
0.8 mi
-350 ft
Mount Lemmon / Lemmon Rock Loop
Mount Lemmon / Lemmon Rock Loop
0.1 mi away
8.6 mi
-2,100 ft
Mount Lemmon Trail #5
Mount Lemmon Trail #5
0.1 mi away
5.8 mi
-1,600 ft
Samaniego Peak
Samaniego Peak
0.1 mi away
12.0 mi
2,000 ft
Mount Lemmon 9,157
Mount Lemmon 9,157
0.2 mi away
0.8 mi
165 ft
Aspen Draw Trail
Aspen Draw Trail
0.6 mi away
2.4 mi
850 ft
Upper Sabino Canyon Riparian Area
Upper Sabino Canyon Riparian Area
0.6 mi away
1.5 mi
-370 ft
Mint Spring Trail #20
Mint Spring Trail #20
1.0 mi away
1.7 mi
493 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
You no longer need a shovel to dig the trail out
by fricknaley

Overview
A very nice lasso loop in the Catalina high country starting from the Mt. Lemmon trailhead and heading out into some less visited areas in the Samaniego Ridge area, on some newly reworked trails. Unique and spectacular views are there...ripe for the taking. There is a lot of excellent forest up here as well.


Hike
This hike starts on the Mt. Lemmon Trail #5. You can opt to start the first leg on the beautiful little Meadow Trail leg of the Mt. Lemmon Trail, called Meadow Trail 5A. This short little 0.8 mile leg wanders through some big trees and little meadows (some burned) near the summit of Mt. Lemmon before descending back down a slope to rejoin Mt. Lemmon Trail proper. Continue on the Mt. Lemmon trail for another 0.7 miles to the signed junction with the Sutherland Trail #6.

Turn right on Sutherland #6 and descend down the west slope of Mt. Lemmon for about a total of 0.8 miles. Along the way incredible views open up of Pusch Ridge and its craggy summits as well as the western slopes of Mt. Lemmon. In the fall there will be golden blazes along the slopes. The trail can be a little brushy but is very easy to follow. After about 0.8 miles you will reach the signed junction for Samaniego trail #7, with Sutherland breaking off and descending to your left. Stay straight or right on Samaniego Ridge Trail and absorb more amazing views of Pusch Ridge. If you know where to look you can see light streaming through the Window. You will start to enter more and more patches of outstanding pine forest. The descent continues quite steadily for about 0.5 miles into denser pine forest, which in many places seems totally untouched by any hint of fire and is really outstanding.

After about 0.5 miles of descending you come to the signed intersection with the Canada Del Oro (CDO) Shortcut trail. For this little loop you can go either way. For this description I choose to continue left on the Samaniego Ridge Trail. Hike this for about another mile as it continues to descend out towards a saddle south of Samaniego Peak, which you periodically have awesome views of along the way through the trees. At times the views towards to slopes of Lemmon and over Canada Del Oro are just fabulous. Out towards the far intersection with the CDO Shortcut trail (about 1 mile from the last sign) the trail is a little brushy but still easy enough to follow.

At the CDO Shortcut signed intersection take a right onto the CDO shortcut trail. You will follow this route for about 0.3 miles to the signed intersection with the CDO Trail #4. This is the only short section of this hike where the trail is faint. It does appear to have been recently tagged and blazed, however, and if you keep this in mind and follow the faint trail you should be able to make the 0.3 section to the next intersection without too much trouble. At the last signed intersection for this little loop you are presented with the CDO Trail #4 proper descending into it's namesake canyon or continuing your climb back up to the intersection with the Samaniego Ridge trail at the CDO Shortcut intersection. This last little leg is about 0.7 miles and has obviously been recently cleared. There should be no significant route finding issues as you make this last little climb through some more awesome forest. Shovel Spring is along this stretch as well.

Once back at the signed intersection with Samaniego Ridge Trail #7 you can take it back up to the Sutherland intersection then the Mt. Lemmon intersection to get back to your car. The way back is all uphill.

fricknaley
  • sub-region related
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 hike
Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Go all way up, turing right towards Ski Valley and continuing past it to the end of the line at the power substation on Radio Ridge. This is the trail head for Mt. Lemmon Trail.
page created by fricknaley on Nov 01 2010 3:05 pm
help comment issue

end of page marker