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Brittlebush to Peak 3373, AZ

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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,382 feet
Elevation Gain 991 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.56
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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10  2009-02-14 fricknaley
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 387
Photos 3,974
Trips 3,106 map ( 20,172 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  5:18am - 7:35pm
1 Alternative

Hike through the desert to a Peak with no name
by fricknaley

Background: This is another desert scramble to a pretty nameless peak in the foothills north if Wasson Peak. It's a combo of trails, washes and peakbagging perfect for relatively quick jaunt into the desert.

Hike: From the Ringtail trailhead off Picture Rocks Road (or Box Canyon as it's officially named) take off on the wide sandy Ringtail trail heading south into the desert. Almost immediately there is a signed trail breaking off right for the Cam-Boh trail. Take this for less than 0.4 miles to another intersection, the Ironwood Forest Trail, breaking left. Take this scenic little trail as it wonders south into the desert proper for 1.4 miles. Along the way enjoy some marvelous views east of the Catalinas, as well as local peaks of the Tucson Mountains: Picture Rocks east, Peak 3263 and Panther Peak north, the northern Tucson mountain peaks and Wasson to the south. There is perfect desert and thousands of saguaros along the way too. The trail ends in the wide, sandy Picture Rocks Wash.

Hang a right in the wash and continue south. Very soon the wash splits at a sign, take the left wash signed as Brittlebush. Head south up the wash. The trail breaks right out of the wash, you can take this or stay in the wash because it soon redrops you back in the wash. You hike the wash for most of the way. It's a neat little desert wash, sandy and rocky. Wide and narrow. Peaceful and serene. The trail breaks right out of the wash again, and again you can stay in to pass through a short section where the walls narrow in briefly, very cool. Just after this the trail drops back in and through the wash to climb out the left side, there is a sign marking "TRAIL" left and right through the wash here (about 2.65 miles from your car). At this point ignore the trail and continue south hiking in the wash. The wash narrows down and gets much more overgrown from here on out, but it is still very hikable. Looking up and out to your left you will see the bi-domed, relatively flat topped Peak 3373 occasionally. Stay in the wash until you come to it's western end, there is a false ridge right in front of it. It's about another mile (give or take a couple tenths) to this relative point. Here you will just climb steeply out of the wash and head left/east straight up the steep wall of the peak. Tread carefully to avois cacti. Pick whatever way works for you. Near the top I came across some promient rocks that required more intense scrambling, but you could avoid these by angling left. When you reach the top, you will see the farther east dome is the taller of the two, easily accessible by scrambling along therocky ridgeline connecting the two. My GPS read about 3.75 miles from the trailhead fromt the summit. Enjoy the views and head back the way you came. I descending down the northwest side of the peak for a more easy scramble down. I hit the ridge north of the peak and headed down the west end of this back into Brittlebush Wash. You can just pick whatever route works for you. Being off trail, please be respectful of the vegetation that's fought hard for it's living and tread lightly. This is rocky country and the flora can be easily avoided off trail.

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2009-02-15 fricknaley
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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.

Permit $$

Saguaro National Park
2020 $25 vehicle • $20 motorcycle • $15 individual on foot or bicycle
Receipt is valid for 7 days
$45 Annual Park Pass View All

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Tucson take exit 246 off I-10 and go west on Cortaro until it ends at a T. Turn right here onto Ina for a short distance, then Left onto Wade. Wade quickly becomes Picture Rocks Road and crosses through the Tucson Mountains. You'll see a couple of signs announcing Saguaro National Park. As you come down the west side of the mountains the road swings hard to the right and there is a paved pull out area to the right. Park here. The trails take off just across the street.
page created by fricknaley on Feb 15 2009 9:29 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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