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Tanque Verde Ridge Trail, AZ

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Guide 47 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson
4.1 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,136 feet
Elevation Gain 3,880 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,300 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 25.33
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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3  2019-04-25 Merianne
4  2018-04-07 RickInMesa
4  2018-03-03
Tanque Verde Peak
5  2016-10-23 air
5  2016-10-23 JoelHazelton
9  2016-05-07
Tanque Verde Peak
9  2015-10-21
Tanque Verde Peak
4  2015-10-21
Tanque Verde Peak
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov
Sun  6:08am - 6:26pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby

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This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.

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  • Rincon HAZ Map
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    Rincon HAZ Map
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    Rincon Mountain Distric East
  • Tucson Mountain District West
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    Tucson Mountain District West
  • SNP Cactus Forest Map
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    SNP Cactus Forest Map
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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
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Tanque Verde Peak
I got to bag the last of the 3 major peaks in the Rincons, and got to do it in It was pretty nasty on New Years Day, but the forecast said the rain would go away by 5ish, so we thought that worst-case we'd have to start the hike that afternoon in ponchos. To our surprise, things had cleared up by the time we reached the trailhead at around 1pm.

We were dry for the entire hike to Juniper Basin, but we were hiking in clouds for the last mile and a half or so. As we were setting up camp it started raining, and that went on until just about the time of night when it would've turned to snow. This made for some fun shaking the frozen raindrops off of our tents the next day.

Altogether, the camping experience was very wet and cold. Despite a valiant effort, it was impossible to get a real fire going. The toilet was impossible to find in the dark, though in the morning we discovered it about 30 yds from the creek off the path between sites 1 and 2. I don't think the temps got far below freezing, but my 22 degree sleeping bag was about at its limit.

The hiking on this trip was worth the trouble though. TVR trail, which I had been on a few times before, is always great, and the area from Juniper Basin to the summit (which we experienced for the first time on this clear morning with a fresh dusting of snow) is amazing. There was water everywhere, and that made the hike down from Cowhead Saddle to the Manning Camp Trail particularly enjoyable. By the time we reached the Quilter Trail it was a slog, but this was a great 27 hours in the mountains.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
So I'm posting late. Had to go to work ya know.

I met up with Jim for the cross town drive just before 10:00. By 10:30 we were on the trail. For a perfect Saturday morning, there weren't many people out, at least not beyond the first mile or so.

It had been quite a while since I was on this trail and I had certainly forgotten how looonng it was to the peak. I had been wanting to get back here for the last couple of years. Now, it's out of my system and It can wait another 3 or 4 years. If you live in Tucson, this is a "must bag" peak, but I wouldn't really suggest rushing down here just to tag it.

As usual, getting out is what it's all about, so chalk up another successful day.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
My first hike on the ridge. It is a pleasant trail with excellent desert flora. Wonderful views of the Catalina range. Most will prefer pants for the current tall grass. Only a couple catclaw bushes nagging above 5k.

The highlight of the day was the perfect weather. Puffy clouds, cool temps, light breezes and clear views. Plenty of other hikes I prefer around Tucson. Nevertheless it's good to learn up on some new terrain!

Carried 3 quarts, almost used 1.

Few areas with some nondescript yellow daisy clusters.

The green seed capsules on desert cotton bushes look plump! Probably ready to turn brown soon?
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
A 6 AM start. The trail is mostly shaded for the first 45 minutes, until the sun finally climbs high enough to wash the ridge in light. The temp was around 78, with a light breeze manifesting itself from the east, keeping me cool as I climb the ridge. Only two other hikers on the ridge. I go farther than I intended (don't we all), but that's ok, my morning is clear. I stop on a slab of rock to devour a blueberry muffin I had gotten at QT, then made my way back down the ridge. A great hike - I only wish that haze hadn't been present, otherwise the views would have been spectacular.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Up TVR and Cowhead Saddle trails to the Rincon high point at Mica Mountain, an outstanding ridge hike with huge views and gradually changing flora, cactus-to-conifers. Then back down on AZT #9 to the Camino Loma Alta trailhead. Juniper Basin was dry, good water at Manning Camp and Grass Shack. Bike shuttle between start/end.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Post work trip up the ridgeline a ways, good stuff. No one out on the trail today despite the nice overcast. I made it up to about 5000' or so, consistent sprinkles for about 5 minutes was enough to motivate me to turn around. Not that the weather was getting too ugly, but I was watching the big cell move up and over from the Santa Ritas, I just didn't feel like getting soaked. I got sprinkles off and on for the way back, but nothing serious enough to get out my jacket. Bloom is pretty well done, looks like the desert is finally settling into winter, at least for a brief while. Another great trip in the Rincons.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Last Tucson hike of the year, and it did not disappoint. I finally got around to picking up my Saguaro annual pass yesterday, and got in a solid hike. I did not have time to make it up all the way to the peak, but I still managed to get up to almost 5400', so there were good views to be had. I saw just a few hikers close to the TH but had the hike to myself for the majority of the hike. I hope to bag the peak sometime this spring if I can arrange for more time! Great views all around from the ridge.
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Started at the Javelina Picnic area and headed up the trail to meet some friends who were starting at at the Douglas Spring Trailhead. It had been maybe a decade since I had been on this trail and I as surprised how steep the first few miles are - wow great workout! I would guess about 4 or 5 miles up the trail there were very small patches of snow in the shade and up near Juniper Basin short stretches of trail covered in snow! (My friends reported 3-6" on higher sections of the trail) I met my friends just after Juniper Basin and we headed down. Great day! My friend Richard on the trail just a few minutes from Juniper Basin
Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
First training run of the season with a full pack. I've only done a few, pretty light hikes in the last couple of months so I didn't expect this to be too easy, but I really didn't think it would be as tough as it was. It was cool and cloudy, but extremely humid. I felt like I was breathing water all day.

I had a few contingency plans, the boldest of which was the entire trail. I fell out at Juniper Basin and felt lucky to have made it there. I know from experience that this is not the easiest trail. I guess in my excitement to get back in the saddle, I saddled up the wrong horse.

Anyway, It took a little over 5 hrs up and a little over 4 hrs down. Certainly no record, but it felt great to put on more than a day pack after a long, eventless summer.


Tanque Verde Ridge Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Did this out and back up to Juniper Basin as an overnight. I got a late start around noon on the 27th. Took me 6hrs 15mins to hoof it up the trail with a heavy pack full of water (there was no water at Juniper Basin that I could find, so I was glad I took so much). It was a lovely weekend for a hike--in the mid-70's at the TH. The sun was shining strong and there was very little breeze, so it did feel a tad hotter. Still, it was lovely. Passed maybe only 4 day hikers on my way up; they were all on their way down. Cached some water 1/3 and 2/3 of the way up. The trail was very very well marked with cairns--I think I only got a few feet off in the wrong direction a couple of times before realizing that I should backtrack and find a trusty pile o stones.

Juniper Basin was lovely and just the right brand of solitude. Not a soul to share the little forest-like spot with, and just enough light left to pitch the tent and start a fire. I had planned to make it to up to the peak but a sick cat and trip to the vet in the morning derailed those plans. It was very cool at night--think it got down to mid 30's, at least I could see my breath at 5am when I got up and I know that it got down to 40 3,000ft below. I couldn't tell since I busted out my +10 down in anticipation.

I trucked up out of the little camp at 8am and was back down the trail by noon--exactly 4hrs to make my way. I passed one solo dayhiker on her way up probably only a half mile from Juniper Basin--talk about an early bird getting the worm! My first water cache was empty when I came upon it (evil little critters had chewed their way right through the plastic) and I blew past the second one without even knowing it! I was out of water for the final miles, but luckily it was another lovely day with temps no higher than the mid 70s.

I passed a couple of backpackers on their way up when I was in my last mile or so. They had the same schedule and plan that I had had the day before. I do think they might have had more water than I did and no doubt if they were caching they were smart enough to use critter-proof containers. I'm sure they spent less time cursing than I did!

Permit $$

Saguaro National Park
2019 $20 vehicle, $15 motorcycle or $10 for any individual on foot or bicycle - the receipt is valid for 7 days Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Tanque Verde Trailhead
From Tucson, get to Old Spanish Trail (name of the road) and follow it south to the entrance of Saguaro National Park - East. Take the loop road south (turn right) and turn left into the Javelina Picnic Area. The Trailead is near the entrance of Javelina.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 134mi 2h 26m
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 24.6m 42m
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 278mi 4h 45m
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