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Pusch's Flatiron, AZ

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Guide 34 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
3.3 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,680 feet
Elevation Gain 1,054 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,275 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 - 2 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 9.08
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2017-08-17 rvcarter
12  2017-08-17 Mountain_Rat
4  2017-08-11 rvcarter
9  2015-12-28
Pusch Peak Traverse
8  2014-12-12
Pusch Peak and wander
16  2013-06-12
Pusch Peak
4  2013-04-26 MjoWright
4  2011-10-09 azdesertfather
Author azdesertfather
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 59
Photos 1,185
Trips 789 map ( 6,447 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Nov
Sun  6:12am - 6:19pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Pusch Peak practice
by azdesertfather

Likely In-Season!
For those of you who have done Pusch Peak, you know that it is an awesome hike, topping out at 5,361 feet with great views of the Catalinas and beyond. But what if you don't have time to pusch it to the peak? Or what if the trek to the top of Pusch is a bit much for you to take on due to the steep elevation gains? Then Pusch's Flatiron is for you.

I call this trip Pusch's Flatiron because the peak that you top out on below Pusch Peak is shaped on its north side in a way that looks amazingly like the Flatiron in the Superstitions (though a bit easier to get to!).

Although this peak (like Pusch Peak) can be reached by parking at the Calle Concordia trailhead or the Linda Vista trailhead, I will give directions from Linda Vista. Just keep in mind that the trail from Calle Concordia ends up merging with the one from Linda Vista about 0.75 mi into the trail from Linda Vista (at 32.37549, -110.95177) and just over halfway to the top of Pusch's Flatiron.

At the Linda Vista trailhead the trail splits. Take the trail to the left and you will begin to start a slow, gradual ascent toward Pusch Ridge. As you get farther, you will start following a drainage that will be on your left. Just 100 ft beyond the junction of the trails from Linda Vista and Calle Concordia, there is a rusted metal sign that marks a trail to the right that is a little more faint and starts heading up -- this is the trail up to Pusch Peak and to Pusch's Flatiron. This is also where the real climbing on the way up to Pusch Peak begins.

Although the trail isn't maintained, it is pretty easy to follow. There are a few little side trails along the way up, try to stay on the one that looks more well used. Oftentimes the other ones connect back into the main trail up to the peak, but there are a few that just go out a ways and just stop.

At just under 0.4 mile from the turnoff at the metal sign, you will see an intersection (32.37155, -110.94836). The trail to the left will continue heading southeast, a steep climb toward the top of Pusch Peak. The trail to the right you will see as you visually follow it will head off toward Pusch's Flatiron.

Once you turn right, you will actually descend a little bit. It will soon flatten out though and continue heading you toward the end of the flatiron. You will notice on the map that you actually start going west a bit, then start heading back toward the north as you approach the flatiron -- basically making a U-shape. Just before reaching the end of the flatiron you reach a flat area with a fire ring, apparently an unofficial camping area. The highest part of this flatiron is 4,000 feet.

From the flatiron you won't have the spectacular views to the east of the Catalinas, but you will have some pretty decent views of the ranges to the north, west and south, including the Tortolitas, Picacho Peak, the Tucson Mountains and beyond to the Santa Ritas.

Pusch's Flatiron only shaves only 1.2 miles off the round trip in comparison to the trip up to the top of Pusch Peak, but it gives you less than half of the elevation, at a total of about 1,275 feet AEG as opposed to 2,700 feet AEG you get going all the way to Pusch Peak.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-10-09 azdesertfather
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Did some off-roading with Roy along the western-most spur of Pusch Ridge (AKA The Flatiron by some of us). We took the general route of the original trail, which nature has mostly reclaimed. There's an interesting story behind this route and our visiting it today, but lacking so many details, the story will have to wait for now.

    Anywho, it was a great little adventure that I will definitely be revisiting. The views are indescribable and quantify one's perspective of the area, as you hop from high point to high point. Though a good deal of blood and sweat went into it, there were no tears. This was quite a memorable outing.

    At the southern end of our route to the ridge, is a site, where for decades two quartz monuments stood. I had visited the monuments in 2013 [ photo ] , then noticed them missing the next year. Seems some do-gooder decided for the rest of the world, that they didn't belong there, and obliterated them. Today, in their stead, we gathered what we could find of the remnants, and reassembled them into one. While not near as grand as the originals, this was the best we could do with what we had [ photo ] .

    [ photo ] RIP gentlemen.

    Great day to get out and cover some ground.
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Matt and I finished what we did not have time to do last week. We completed the search along Pusch Ridge to find the old trail to Pusch Peak. In the process we covered a lot of ups and downs, bushwhacking most of the way. I took my gaiters but failed to put them on, not sure why, and we both got cut up a good bit.

    At one point along the ridge, there used to be a couple of large quartz cairns dedicated to a couple of foreigners who loved this area. They were highly visible to anyone coming down from Pusch Peak. Some one had torn them down a couple of years ago, but one has been rebuilt to specs. It is at this point that the descent begins back to join the main trail. The intersection is just below the point where the main trail doglegs left to go more directly to the peak. Not sure that the old trail is visible at any point, but the route is ok and could be the way people got up there before the new trail was built. Make sure you aim for the slot to the left of the "window rock". Any other way is not easy.

    We still had some time before Matt had to leave, so we headed up the trail to the huge boulders to get a little extra workout in. Nice day of hiking.

    The bushwhack parts are not difficult, nothing above class 3, but I highly recommend gaiters and or long pants. :)
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Matt and I did this short hike before he went to work. Even with the 6:30 a.m. start, it got warm and muggy quickly. At the top of the Linda Vista Loop, we opted to try the the direct, bushwhack route up to the ridge. It was steep but nothing above class 3, and involved some skirting around some boulders and cliffs. We topped the saddle and proceeded up to the second little peak on the ridge. I had done this hike from the saddle many times, but not recently. The trail was suprisingly easy to make out despite the recent growth.

    Looked at the clock on the second peak and decided we didn't have enough time to complete the loop. Next time, all the way up the old trail to Pusch Peak. Couldn't find the signin jar. Who/what keeps carting those things off?

    Kept looking for Preston's sheep, but only saw lots of scat. They're in this canyon, but elusive.
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Matt and I tied the two approaches to Pusch Peak together by starting at Linda Vista trailhead and ending at Pima Canyon Trailhead. We wanted to do this before the Bighorn Sheep restrictions kicked in. Check out the description I just posted to HAZ, and Matt's triplog and track. A little cool at the start but nice after getting started. If you do this, be sure to include the scramble to the top of the very prominent rock formation about 1/3 mile up the ridge from the Pima Trail. It's very easy to see. :)
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    First off, this hike gets just plain absurd in steepness in a few points, much as advertised in the description. Secondly, this was a fantastic hike! I have had my eye on this one all year, but have stayed away for sake of the bee infestation. Today I figured with the colder weather that I should hopefully be OK, and all went well. No sign of the bees anywhere in the canyon on the way up, I definitely had an eye and ear out for them. Pretty windy out this afternoon, downright cold in the shady spots. I managed to take the trail for the Pusch Flatiron on the way up, so I got to climb up that really cool 12-15' rock section, fun stuff. Thankfully there is a trail connecting to the summit trail from here, actually got to go downhill for a minute. Back on to the big push up, I got off trail just a bit before the summit on a social trail, but quickly got back to where I needed to be. Victory on top, but it was a short party with the wind and cold. Plus, the super hazy conditions made for limited long range visibility. Awesome views over to Mount Kimball at least. Stared the chug down and took a detour over to the Flatiron, amazing similarities to its Superstitious cousin to the north...took another short break and then back down the canyon. Just a bit further down I was startled by what sounded like a really pissed off swarm of bees, so I readied for what I had feared...and then realized it was a quad copter. Somebody was playing with a good one, and had just fired it up to go up and over Pusch. Pretty cool stuff, after the initial shock wore off. Otherwise, an uneventful trip, but I did get to see a tarantula at least. While this hike is steep, I never felt like there was much exposure, I would rate this lower than Picketpost on the spicy continuum. Footing was good just about the whole way, even with the rain yesterday. Well worth a return trip, I can see why Jim H has done this one so many times. ;)
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Rain ended and clouds lifted enough to hike this with some sunlight out over Marana. Low clouds lingered over the Tucson mountains and most of the Catalinas, but the Tortolita Mountains were getting some nice later afternoon sunlight. Running water down the canyon and slick rocks on the trail. Had to go slow with the wet clay and wet rock.
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Nice way to watch the fireworks for the 4th. Arrived just after dark, moved up as quick as I could to get situated. Made it up with 10 minutes to spare before the fireworks started. Packed a couple of drinks up to enjoy the show, actually was able to enjoy over a half dozen shows all over Tucson...could see one in Marana, one at A Mountain, and other locations.

    Oro Valley's was incredible, watching it from above. What was especially cool was the ricochet effect the fireworks booms made off of Pusch Ridge. Neat seeing the face of Pusch and Bighorn lit up by the show, as well. Ran up on a group of maybe 6-8 kids watching the show also, and noticed at least 2 headlamps on top of Pusch Peak. Too high up, up there, to really enjoy it as much...even this vantage point is a little higher than I would like.

    Sprinkled rain during the show, just enough to cool me off a little bit.

    39 min up, 28 down.

    Happy 4th!
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    While Pusch Peak was definitely on the menu today, I had other goals in mind as well. On previous trips, as I was heading home, I could see bits and pieces of trails on the west canyon slopes and ridgelines. I wanted to check some of them out today. Additionally, on my last trip, under the right light, I could have sworn that could see two very large carins on one of the upper ridges. I didn't know what I was going to do about them yet, but I was scheming. Anywho, with a lot on my plate I loaded up with a gallon of water, my camera, my phone and I got in the truck.

    I was on the trail at 04:50 still formulating the plan. I had to move ahead though not yet sure of my primary objective. It was gonna get hot, so I needed to prioritize. I was 1.3 miles in when I had to make a decision. Go left to Pusch or go right to a new adventure? Okay, stay left. This would buy me about 2 tenths of a mile before the turn off to the carins. Those 2 tenths went by fast. I'm now at the point where the trail crosses to the east side of the canyon. The carins that I sought were at the top of the ridge, due west. Once again, do I go left to Pusch or right to the carins? Again, left won out.

    As I continued up the trail, I stopped frequently, looking back to gain perspective and orient myself with the distant landscape. I started to feel like I had made the right move, and it would pay off later.

    At about 1/4 mile short of the peak, I was passed by another hiker (I won't mention the fact that it was a tiny woman in her mid to late 70's... Doh!!!). We exchanged a brief 'good morning' as she left me in the dust. I caught up with her a short time later at the peak where she became a fountain of information. Turns out she had been on trails all over the canyon, many of which no longer exist. She told me the story of the carins, or as I now know them to be 'memorial monuments'. Seems a German family had mining claims along the canyon and just loved the place. When one of the brothers died, his ashes were spread and a 5' tall quartz monument erected at the site. She told me that when she last visited the spot that there was only one monument, but a second had appeared some years back. The woman had amazing stories of her adventures as a child in Alaska through her many decades of hiking the ranges around Tucson. Already, this hike had turned into an adventure. We said 'good day' as she once again kicked up a cloud of dust headed down the trail.

    Now, I'm no longer on a hike. Armed with solid information, and inspired by the accomplishments of a stranger, I'm now on a bender! I excitedly hit the trail, down to the crossover and with out a second thought, bushwacked to the top of the ridge to behold my grail. Two elegantly constructed, quartz pyramids with views that clearly explain why these people wanted to spend eternity at this spot. In one of the monuments, sealed in a bag, was a poem (see the photo set). After soaking up the spot for a while I headed out again. My guide told me to head northwest along the ridges, watching for what used to be a trail (This was by far more of a bushwack). Though there were only 3 or 4 carins along the next 1/4 mile, hints of a trail would occasionally show them themselves, reassuring me that humans had been this way. Then out of the blue, I'm standing in a small clearing with trails going 3 different directions. I took the short trail to the peak, finding a register of sorts. It was a coconut, hollowed out, with a monkey's face carved on it. There were no log entries in it, but instead just coins and a few small rocks. I had no change with me, so I tossed one of my spare keys in. From here the trail became incredibly steep for a bit, but was quite visible. By the time this loop met back up with the main trail, 2/3 of a mile and and 2/3 of an hour had gone by.

    My 3 quart Camel run dry not 50 yards from the truck. This was a good day! :y:
    Pusch's Flatiron
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    Took this trip up to record a GPS route and take in the views from this peak. Nice autumn day, came down just before sunset. On the way back toward the Pusch Peak trail from Pusch's Flatiron I took a wrong turn and started heading up the trail toward the peak before I realized I was heading up rather than down, and turned back around :)

    Permit $$

    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 hike
    Take the Ina Road exit off I-10 in Tucson (exit 248) and head east toward the Catalinas. When you get to Oracle Road hang a left and go north. Take Linda Vista Blvd right at the light. If you reach El Conquistador resort on your right you went too far. After about 1/4 mile on Linda Vista there is a small paved parking area on your right. This is the Linda Vista Trailhead.
    page created by azdesertfather on Oct 09 2011 10:16 pm
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