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Italian Spring Trail #95, AZ

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Guide 46 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson
3.8 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,997 feet
Elevation Gain 3,642 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,107 feet
Avg Time One Way 3-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.69
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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3  2018-11-16
Rincon Mountains - AZT #9
9  2016-06-04
Death March and napping
199  2016-05-21
Mica Mountain Marathon Loop
6  2015-10-11
Manning Camp via Redington Road
5  2015-10-11
Manning Camp from Redington
8  2015-06-13
Italian Spring Trail to Spud Rock
26  2015-04-16
AZT #9c Manning Camp to Park Boundary
30  2015-04-04
Rincon Mountains - AZT #9
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   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:07am - 6:26pm
Official Route
14 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
touch of olive oil
by HAZ_Hikebot

Begin on the Rincon Wilderness Trail, which provides access to the Italian Springs Trail, and then goes to the top of the Rincon Mountains. The first 1.6 miles of the Rincon Wilderness Trail passes through grasslands sprinkled with mesquite trees. At the end of this section, a faint path comes in from the left. This side path leads a short distance to the Park Tank. The Italian Spring Trail continues to the right.

After going through rolling hills with mesquites, oaks, and junipers, the trail crosses a streambed which fills with water during summer monsoons and which may have water during the winter. The trail narrows here and begins to climb into an area of large rock formations, pine trees and alligator junipers. After the trail enters the Saguaro National Park, it climbs steeply and ponderosa pines begin to appear. The trail continues through a burn area which has filled in with thick brush. Italian Spring Trail ends at the spring which is also the junction with the North Slope Trail.

The Italian Spring Trail is a part of the Arizona Trail system.

Rolling grasslands, stands of ponderosa pine, alligator junipers, and oaks, access to Saguaro National Park, an Arizona Trail segment and access to North Slope Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

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

2018-07-15 HAZ_Hikebot
  • sub-region related

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 Triplog Reviews
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Manning Camp from Redington
Hit one of my favorites for the third time with the flip phone fanatic ( aka Abercrombie disser ). Previous trips were Aug 09 2012 & Aug 28 2014. The thought of hitting this mid October sounded mighty nice! Wozzer Doogie Howser was it unexpectedly humid or what?

Most would want pants and gaiters for the bottom third. The grass is green and waist high in large swaths. Creeks were running well in several areas. Light flow in a creek 0.85 mi up from the Italian Trap TH.

October Columbus Day weekend, not a soul on trail or at camp. Very nice coming down the top half. Summer esque for the balance.

Took 4 quarts. Expected to use 2. Used 3.7. Warmer than anticipated and a sweat fest the entire ascent.

one tree up top was swinging into yellow symphony mode
Italian Spring Trail #95
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This hike almost didn’t happen

My plan was to hike the AZT 10 from where Redington RD intersects the AZT. My ETA to the TH was 8:45. There was an accident on I-10 and that brought traffic to a standstill. This delayed me 45 minutes. After getting past the accident I continued on to Redinton RD. About10 miles from the intersection there was a sheriff and a road closed sign!! I then came up with plan B. Start at the northern end of the AZT 10. I when doubled-back to the Catalina highway and drove up to the Molino Basin campground.

My 8:45 ETA turned into a 10:15 arrival.

The Hike:
I went north on Bellota trail to the Prison Camp and checked it out. Then I headed south to the Italian trap TH. There was water everywhere! The creeks and washes were flowing heavy and fast. A good portion of the trail had water flowing down it. The Agua Caliente Wash was about 2 feet deep and 5 feet wide. I just bite the bullet and walked through it. I got to the Italian trap TH at dusk. FR4424 was a running creek.

On the way back, the valley was so cold I could see my breath.
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Manning Camp via Italian Trap FS 37
It had been two years since we hit this favorite. We drove FS 37 in this time. Didn't think it would be faster. HAZ Tracks rattled off 8 & 7 minute miles so it does save about 15-20 minutes. What you make up in a few minutes may not be worth it to most. The road rattles you pretty good. jj tested out the buoyancy of the jeep on a lake by Arizona standards ( pond sized puddle ). It passed the test. Another ten to twenty feet may not have netted such stellar results... lol

Started at 10am. Humidity was out in force so the hike up was a soaker. A good 10-15 degrees cooler up in the pines was all worth it. Manning looked well stocked yet no one was home. Probably just out surveying or working nearby as nothing was locked up. Headed down and over to the car wash / bus depot for tacos!

Tough decision between this and Cathedral. I really like both, Cathedral may have a slight year round edge.
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Manning via Redington
Last week I watched all the "good memory" break-stops with Bob, Nick, Denny, Bruce and Dave over the years pass by until our first 74 second break at 9.9 miles. It was probably best at that point that I wasn't aware that had to keep me fresh until 19.5 miles. At which point the next frat pledge hazing was to consume four pounds of cheese and grease. Then finish the remaining 15 miles from Tucson to Oracle over the mountain. Of course in honor of the Olympics at pace most wouldn't consider in December yet alone August.

Ya ya, move on...
How about a popular 3.3 mph August hike up Mica!

I decided I needed to rearrange how I do things...
Rule #1 - food must be easily accessible at high speeds
Rule #2 - accept that you are mortal and will have to carry nearly twice the water weight
Rule #3 - forget the silly break concept

Everything went really well until about 20 minutes before the end. I opened my big mouth. First you must understand that to say jj is not competitive would be almost as convincing as Bob saying such in his garage surrounded by 638 trophies.

What could I possibly say? "Oh, hey looks like we're gonna be about ten minutes over 7 hours." Na, 5 tops. Umm, you know there's like 400 feet uphill at the end. Hey where'd you go? Okay, rule #5 - shut up. No I don't know what happened to rule #4. Heck I couldn't tell you for sure what happened in the last two miles. The main thing that was going through my mind was if science was even aware of the indescribable pains I was experiencing.

I already turned down a killer offer to get tacos in another country as I couldn't justify the drive. Yet despite all thoughts of "I probably shouldn't eat for a little while until my body cools down" I gave in and indulged in taco buffet heaven shortly after.

It all had a happy ending. I love the hike up to Manning and it was a great hike overall. The weather going up once in the pines was extremely nice. Felt more like a breezy Autumn day. We chatted with Chris up top for about ten minutes. He hadn't seen the other guy since Amy went through, hmmm. It did get hot at the end but nothing like Phoenix hot.

what's ne... RULE #5
Italian Spring Trail #95
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we finally did the rincon segment of the azt. i had a couple bad weeks leading up to this, so i tried not to think about how much it was gonna kick my butt

we really had a perfect day and perfect weather for this hike. i nearly bonked about halfway up, and told joe and dave they didn't have to wait for me. they did anyhow and after a snack and some electrolytes i felt much better.

getting up into the pines, i remembered how much i love being up here. to my surprise we ran into ol' Jeffy at Manning Camp. what a great surprise.

we wandered around a bit near mica before figuring out the correct way, then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way, except for the horrible pain of the 5000 foot descent :y:

finished right at dark. i got totally carsick on the drive down reddington. man that was horrid. that's the second time joe's seen me turn green now :sl:
Italian Spring Trail #95
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After a 3 week layoff, the Boys from the Hood were back at it. This is another passage of the AZT, where the "Published" Trailheads make absolutely no sense. For day hikers, add 4.6 miles to the published distance. 2.3 miles on each end.

Leaving the house at 3a, we started hiking a bit after 6am. This was only because Father Dave and and his wife had placed a car at the north TH the day before, saving us 1 hour and 45 minutes in Shuttle set up time the day of the hike!! Thanks Dave and Theresa!

This hike starts out pretty tame from the Alta Loma TH until the climb starts 4 miles in. From there it's around 5000' in 10 miles to Manning Camp. This was the week for the Bioblitz'ers. We passed 3 or so groups on the trail around Grass Shack campground, which was one of their bases. The main base, where we took lunch, was at Manning Camp. We relaxed in the shade, ate some lunch, and refilled our water supplies.

Dave and Joe have already mentioned the wrong turn we took that cost us .75 miles or so. This was the only area that was poorly signed (At least for the AZT).

After a short side trip to Mica Mountain to view the area of the Former Lookout, we continued down the trail to my favorite section. You leave a dense forest and enter a meadow with scattered trees 7,500' or so up. the 180 degree views West, North, and East are to die for. It's like being in heaven (I can only imagine).

We finished this hike on Reddington Road, a shade over 12 hours after we started. We started just after first light, and finished just before dark. In my opinion, perfect use of the available daylight hours!

In addition to the Springs reported, there was filterable water in an intermittent stream at the 10 mile mark, and plenty of water in the stream south of Manning Camp, and at Manning Camp.

Thanks again Dave and Theresa for planting a car the day before, Denny for getting us to Tucson, and Nick for the cushy ride to the beginning of the hike.

AZT Status
Passages Completed -- 34
Passages Remaining -- 9
Miles Completed -- 640.0
Miles Remaining -- 172.1
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Joe's report was pretty good. We did one of the toughest segments of the Arizona Trail today. Because segment 9 ends at Italian Trap (which is not a nice road even for 4WD), we stopped at a parking lot at Reddington Road which the AZT (segment 10) goes through. Why the segment doesn't end there is beyond me. But with this extra 2-3 miles added on for segment 10, that makes this hike tied for #1 with the Superstitions #19 as the hardest hike, just ahead of the Rim to Rim segment 38.

Started out early with Denny up front followed by me, and I watched him step right over a coiled up rattlesnake. Thankfully he was cold and calm, he even let us go all paparazzi on him :). Soon after we passed another one, a blackmail, and he was not so nice. No photos of him!

The haul up Mica was a good workout. Most of the nearly 7,000 ft of elevation gain was in this part. Took lunch at Manning Camp, to give us an AEG break before the final 600 feet or so push to the top. Nice area!

Beyond Manning, be sure to look at every sign pointing ahead, on your left and on your right. Keep going straight unless you see a sign for a trail on your left or right that has an AZT logo underneath. No logo, no turn, and you'll be ok.

All of us but Joe took the 0.1 mile turnoff to the Mica Mountain summit. Nice view!

On the way down the north side, expect the nastiest trail, at least until the Saguaro NP boundary fence. As of this writing this area is very overgrown. This section has a steep grade too, to the point that my ankles started acting up so be prepared there.

Managed to finish with just barely enough light that we held off on the headlamps.
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Finally got a chance to visit Mica! Catalinas are still my favorite Tucson destination yet I'm loving the Rincon Mountains thus far!

After making a poor decision to hike the night before I found myself jittery and unable to sleep with tired legs. Just the ticket for a hike like this one. Luckily the ascending grade turned out to be very forgiving. We passed a couple small groups for the Bioblitz and their larger deserted camp while they were out working. All seemed very friendly and pleasant to chat. The temps just barely held to reasonable on the climb up as it's still an above average Oct. Poor decision number two came when I consumed a cheese stick that expired in It destroyed me for a few hours yet all was good before the day was over.

Turning into Manning Camp got a pleasant surprise and saw Macewen for the first time in over three years. After Manning we had some difficulties finding the route. It's not marked very well for the AZT or simply stating which way to Italian Spring Trail #95 for that matter. On the same token I didn't even check out a map prior so fair is fair. It all worked out, now looking at the route I understand the layout. It is such a beautiful forest in those upper reaches, I really enjoyed that part.

The first views heading down Italian Spring #95 are flat out breath taking. Along with similar eye popping views on the route down. The entire thing is steeper heading down than I prefer. The upper end in the National Park is overgrown. Once you pass through the gate it has recently been worked. Very much appreciated I might add!!! I do wonder on some of the soft aerated soil getting washed out in the first major rain. Sizable stretches are shelf cut into dirt with no means to hold it in place. Though I'm no trail expert and perhaps it's not finished either. One thing for sure it was a blessing over the upper portion!

The temps for the day turned out pretty good for the entire hike albeit warm heading up. Thanks guys for another excellent hike. I look forward to more Rincon hikes in the years to come. It was great seeing all the other ranges from above. Nick knows his stuff and each identification brought on an "oh yeah, ooo ahhh" moment. I feel very fortunate to have visited so many.
Italian Spring Trail #95
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Italian Springs to Manning Camp

I have always had a goal of climbing all the peaks around Tucson since moving here in 1968. I hike all of them except for Mica Mountain on the top of the Rincon's. A few years ago I took up Mule riding to take me where my legs and knees would no longer carry me. I truly love the wilderness experience.

We left from Tucson and went up Reddington road 12 miles to where the Arizona trail crosses. We took the Arizona trial though rolling grassland s down to the actual trailhead. You can four-wheel drive to the trailhead and save abut a mile and a half of hiking. The trailhead starts in a sandy wash and is overgrown four wheel drive road for the first 2 to 3 miles up over the foothills of the Rincon's. It ends at a barbwire gate that lists the park boundary in 2.3 miles.

This is the worst section of the trail so pay attention to orange markers in the trees and rock piles (cairns) to guide your way. When in doubt go up. This trail is a hell of a climb. There are many burned areas and erosion in this section of the trail. We reached the gate entrance to the national park with the sign in log and the trail became much nicer with rock steps and more burned area. Italian spring is fairly unimpressive and not well developed moist spot in the ground. I would recommend traveling to Manning Camp or Spud rock from here on a day hike if you have come this far. Turn south or UPHILL at Italian spring to fire loop trail. Go right or west on fire loop trail to the next junction and go straight to the peak on Mica Mountain and Spud rock or left downhill to Manning camp. I believe the trail name is the Bonita trail. I would recommend a GPS, it saved me because the trail names do not match anything on any map that I have. The best map is the Rincon Mountain hiking TOPO map sold at local hiking stores. We camped for two nights at manning camp and watched a herd of fearless deer graze around our campsite. They have great corrals with water at manning camp . The bathrooms are brand new and stocked with real toilet paper. The campsites have a cement fire ring with bear boxes and must be reserved in advance for a 6 dollar fee at the old Spanish trail park office. Nighttime temperatures were below freezing.

The views from spud rock to the west and the reef rock to the east are worth taking a loop hike around the top of the mountain.

The Italian Spring Trail is a lot of elevation change with great views along the way. It is the shortest route to Mica Mountain and Spud rock. The top of the Rincon's is a great ponderosa sky island in the midst of desert. Spring and fall are the bet times to be there. I will attempt to upload my GPS data and some pictures. I am also way to old for computers

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Coronado Forest
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Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To hike
Access to the trailhead requires a four-wheel drive vehicle. From Tucson, drive east on Tanque Verde Road until it becomes Redington Pass Road, a gravel road. Travel 9.6 miles from the beginning of the gravel to FR 37. After about a half mile, the road appears to fork - stay to the left. At the junction of FR 4424 and FR 37, bear left and take FR 37. At the barbed wire flexible gate, bear left when the road seems to fork after going through the gate. A short while later the road drops into the bottom of a sandy wash. The trailhead is on the opposite bank of the wash.
1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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