Yes, this is Tucson...I swear
Here's a swift little loop through some lightly untraveled trails to a nice rock outcropping overlooking Madera Canyon. You may have trouble believing this hike is in Tucson...
This trail takes off on the Super Trail, from the ever-present trailhead at the end of the road into Madera Canyon, home of the Super Trail and Old Baldy Trail. Take off on the Super trail and follow it just past the first creek crossing. The trail will soon start switchbacking. After the first hard right, look for a definite dirt path leading off the trail and heading up left. Take this route up, which the Santa Rita faithful refer to as the Pipeline Route. It is only about 0.3 miles ( more info ) up the Super Trail where this route takes off. Follow the pipeline route as it climbs briskly up the ridge separating the canyon you climbed out of from the next over, which may be Kent Canyon. There is a pipe system running along the ground to your left, hence the nickname. Quickly the route will come to a little level clearing, where an old overgrown jeep tracks runs down and to your left. Stay right climbing on the pipeline route. Soon enough the route will parallel the Kent Springs Trail down to your left, with the pipeline running several feet above. During the right time of year there may well be water running down the canyon bottom with beautiful little cascades and falls. The route is thick with fern and trees. It is spectacular through here. After a total of roughly 1/2 mile on the pipeline route you will come to a creek crossing. The pipeline runs over head to the right and the Kent Spring trail cuts hard over the creek and breaks away left. At the crossing, go under the pipe and head up the creek away from the Kent Spring trail. Immediately you will pick up the route again, first on the right side of the creek then crossing over to the left. The next 0.6-0.7 miles climb up along the creek and cut through some of the prettiest forest in the Santa Ritas. There are fern everywhere and pines, littering the trail with their fragrant needles. Mossy old rocks dot the creekside and during monsoon season the creek flows. You could spend all day on this all too short trail.
After about 0.6-0.7 miles from the creek crossing you will come to a second creek crossing, where the trail abruptly swings right over the creek. Just before this notice a well-defined path breaking off left. This is the trail to Rogers Rock. Take this nice little trail for about 0.2 miles and look up to your right, where you will see a couple of established trails running up to a huge rock sitting amongst the trees...Roger's Rock. Make sure to climb up around the back onto the top where you get fantastic views over Madera Canyon and looking west over to Pete Mountain. I don't know the exact elevation of the rock, I got about 6437 on my GPS. Climb back down and pick up the trail again. If you continue on past the Rock, it quickly peters out at an old establishment site littered with old metal and such...long gone and forgotten I guess. Head back to the upper creek crossing. Here you can go back right and return the way you came, or make a left and cross over the creek. The trail climbs up briefly for about 0.25 miles or so to join back up with the Super Trail, which you can now follow back down for roughly 2 miles to your car and complete an outstanding 4.5 loop.
I would like to thank Santa Rita expert and HAZ member Saguarohiker (Bill) for the beta on this outstanding little loop hike through some gorgeous Santa Rita country.
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.