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Sutherland - Romero Loop, AZ

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Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
4.7 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 21.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,719 feet
Elevation Gain 5,810 feet
Accumulated Gain 6,801 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 12
Kokopelli Seeds 55.41
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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10  2019-01-05 vivisectvi
8  2016-02-28 JuanJaimeiii
7  2016-02-28 joebartels
22  2015-03-07 Pivo
2  2015-02-11 Mountain_Rat
Author Mountain_Rat
author avatar Guides 10
Routes 91
Photos 550
Trips 192 map ( 1,893 miles )
Age 56 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Nov → 6 AM
Sun  6:08am - 6:29pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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Western Lemmon Loop
by Mountain_Rat

Having completed this run from both directions, I find it worthy of it's own description, so I present you the Sutherland-Romero Loop.

I won't bore you with mile by mile details. In summary, it's the Sutherland #6 and the Romero #8, linked together by the Mt. Lemmon #5. I first did this run late in 2012 in a counter-clockwise direction, as it seemed most feasible. I stand by that theory in that it divides the climb by more distance. The second time was to be the more challenging, clockwise direction which proves to be notably more of a challenge.

Highlights of the trip include views in all directions; the biosphere, Samaniego Peak, a nice mid-day view of sun through the window (look south from Sutherland Ridge from time to time), an ominous look down the Canada Del Oro, Pusch Ridge and much more. There's also a section of upper Sutherland that will test you route finding skills as no trail exists there anymore. This section can be easily navigated if done slowly and calmly. For the most part, you will always be in view of the next cairn or tree flagging.

Which ever direction you choose to go, this is a rewarding trip. Pack a lunch and enjoy ;)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2015-02-12 Mountain_Rat
    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
    Sutherland - Romero Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Set out to do some testing, training and assessment.

    * Altra, Lone Peak 3.0 w/sof-soles. Nice on the feet, great grip, extremely stable, but wearing fast in the tread (I give them less than 100 miles). Great for long hauls, but not every day trails.
    * Fenix 3. 12 hours of Nav while Tracking took me down to 10% battery. Stats were unbelievably on the dot.
    * Packing. Camel ultra-10 weighing 10lbs, front-belt pack at 5lbs. Used 60 oz before Quartzite Spring, drank ~20 while there and loaded up with 80. Drank another 60 the rest of the trip. Could have easily gone with half the weight, but wanted to keep it a bit heavy today.

    As for training, this was time well spent. A 295 FPM average, sustained for 12 hours is a productive day.

    On to the assessment. According to the spreadsheet, this came in at 74% of my ability. As of 20 hours later, I feel more like it was 100% of my ability. I'm not impressed with the results. Gotta beef it up.
    Sutherland - Romero Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Unsure if I'd tackled Sutherland. Hoping for something with more meat on the bone as I've been packing on the pounds. Nevertheless it sounded fun. Up Romero-Lemmon is a great ascent with a little burn depending when you hit the gas. Memory had me thinking of the ascent right after Romero Pass and the final switchbacks at the top. Neither seemed a big deal today. Rather the entire upper half felt sloggy do to a river of sweat.

    MSimmons posted last week "patchy snow, knee-deep at moments". As most know I have no heart so when my feet or hands get cold it's nearly impossible to warm up. Good news! We encountered just one three and a half foot post hole. A few short stretches of foot deep snow was no biggie with foot steps in place.

    What caught me off guard was the sweat factor. After a short winter of carrying way too much water each week I just downsized from 4 to 3 quarts.

    Heading down Sutherland we came to the powerlines. At which point I mentioned to jj, yep I've done this trail. After that trail quality dwindled. I remember reading how this trail got maintenance a couple years ago. I'd imagine most would have considered it a nightmare prior. Glad we hit this CCW as I prefer descending through brush so my body weight is an advantage.

    We had the advantage of using Matt's posted route. This made it a breeze to adjust to the route when we got off course. By the time we got down to where the old road comes into play I mentioned to jj "I've definitely never done this trail". There is NO way you could forget The views are outstanding with towering ridges and a very Arizona feel. The trail is crap ( rocky and rutted ) from the road down to the gate. Very difficult to relax and surf the internet!

    I ran out of water with five miles to go. No biggie as the heat of the day crested, we didn't have any ascending and a couple creek crossings allowed for some nice cooling.

    Finishing up I was glad we didn't have another ten hours to go. I was pretty darn tired, even another hour sounded painful.

    Passed a steady stream of hikers up to Romero Pools. Two gals and boy scout group on route up to the pass. Two younger guys near WOR junction. Not a soul until down Sutherland past the gate.

    The bottom 3 miles of Sutherland has a weak display. Owl Clover, lupine, poppies and a couple other cute pedals.
    Sutherland - Romero Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Saw Mountain Rat's description a month ago, and added it my short list. This was a perfect day to do this, mild temps and with all of the recent rains, there was plenty available water. I am not a fan of lugging 6-7 liters to do a hike. We started at 0715 from the TH; the air temp was a very crisp 35 degrees. When I left my home in town it was 50. It warmed up quickly however and we dropped layers after about an hour.
    The lower Sutherland portion is knockout beautiful, rocks, running water, and plenty of wildflowers. It's a shame we wouldn't see the full glorious color display due to the early hour. I do want to get back within a couple of weeks at a lazy mid-morning hour to checkout the wildflowers.
    Lots, and lots of elevation gain on this segment until you reach the Mt Lemmon Trail junction. The trail runs through a burn area, so it's necessary to keep on the lookout for cairns.

    After hitting Romero Pass and starting the descent to the canyon, I was very happy to see there were cairns at the canyons multiple stream crossings. The last time I was there, it was after the very heavy late monsoon rains in September/ October 2014,that had washed out the trails and it really slowed passage through this segment.

    Upon arrival to the cars we were delighted to see,and hear an acoustic Blues performance :app: in the Park. Nice way to punctuate a memorable day.
    Sutherland - Romero Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I did this run a couple of years ago heading up Romero. As I descended the switchbacks on the Sutherland, I thought to myself that it would be much more a challenge in reverse. Well, yesterday I did it in reverse and it certainly was more challenging. I warmed up on the Finger Rock the day before, and was well prepared, though I was unable to track down my head lamp. A stop off at Wally World for a new head lamp set me back about 20 minutes and the subsequent attempts to make up for that time cost me another 25 and an extra mile, as I drifted up the Canyon Loop trail by accident :/ Anywho, I arrived at my predetermined break spot at the base of the ridge behind the clock, so I took a quick 3 or 4 minutes before charging on. The next 4 miles are all uphill, the first 2 of which are just brutal. This is where I just put my head down and went. I made the peak at the Mt Lemmon #5 at a pathetic 2:00pm and took 30 before making the mad dash home. As I passed through Romero Canyon on the way down, I came across the site and effects of 2 massive landslides from top to bottom of canyon, between the 2, upper campsites. I was amazed to see beaches in places where there were previously boulder fields. I would guess that the old trail, in places lies 4 to 6 feet below the new level. As I crossed at the Romero Pools, I dawned the head lamp and went on auto pilot. I arrived back at the car, realizing that I had not laid eyes on a single human since I left turned into the CSP gates about 13 hours erlier. That held true until I pulled out of the gate. :D On a side note, my track has been cleaned up to match the yet to be posted, route description.
    Sutherland - Romero Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Plan A was to take the #8 then up the #5 to Lemmon Creek. With the temps being as good as they could get, I decided on plan B which would take me down the #6, finishing in the dark. Excellent hike. The #6 is a tough one to follow in some of the upper section, bringing you to a brutal downhill before flattening out for the last 3 or 4 miles. I can't imagine trying this in reverse, though some have.

    Permit $$
    AZ State Parks more info
    2018 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To Catalina State Park Trailhead
    From Phoenix take 1-10 south to the 241 exit (Tangerine). Follow east to AZ 77 (Oracle Road). Turn right (South) on AZ77 and signs for Catalina State Park lead the way.

    From anywhere in Tucson, connect to Oracle Rd (Highway 77) and head north past Pusch Ridge. After you have gone about 15-20 miles you will see the sign for Catalina State Park on the right. There is an entrance fee to get into the park. To get to the trails, just drive in and follow the signs to a large parking area marked "trailhead".

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 107 mi - about 1 hour 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 14.0 mi - about 23 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 251 mi - about 3 hours 50 mins
    page created by Mountain_Rat on Feb 12 2015 1:28 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
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