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North Slope Trail - Saguaro NP, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,480 feet
Elevation Gain -424 feet
Accumulated Gain 612 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.94
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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43  2021-05-01
Rincon Tour
47  2016-09-18
Your shoe's untied - Rincon's North Slope Loop
26  2015-04-16
AZT #9c Manning Camp to Park Boundary
11  2015-04-16 markthurman53
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 719
Photos 8,014
Trips 543 map ( 4,963 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Aug, Jul, Jun, Sep
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:37am - 7:20pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2014 Deer Head Fire8.5 mi*
🔥 2003 Helens 212.8 mi*
🔥 2003 Helen's 2 Fire11.6 mi*
🔥 1994 Rincon Fire44.5 mi*
🔥 1943 Manning Camp Fire5.7k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Believe me it's there
by markthurman53

Likely In-Season!
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At one time, this trail was probably a very scenic trail along the Northern slopes of Mica Mountain, below Mica Lookout and Spud Rock to the Saddle east of Helen’s Dome. After Helen’s II fire in 2003, it is a trail through burnt trees either still standing or across the path. On the upside, if there is one, there are good views in the northern direction. The trail is still there just hard to locate in some places, but I had no problem staying on course with help from GPS.

The North Slope Trail starts along the North Fire Loop Trail and heads down to Italian Spring. The Italian Spring area is moderately burned, but some pine and fir trees survived the fire. The area is recovering with new growth. Italian Spring is a far cry from what it looked like in 1970 with its dense Fir trees' forest. The North Slope trail heads west immediately at the spring, and the Italian Spring Trail heads north down the mountain (signed). The trail climbs a saddle and then over a small ridge and continues west, staying relatively level within an elevation window of 200 feet. The trail is relatively easy to follow for the first mile. As you approach just below Mica Mountain and Spud Rock, numerous tree falls concealed the trail. Follow your instincts, and as to where the trail is heading, and you will have no issues, A GPS is a nicety. Every so often, you will see the infamous red metal trail markers on a tree still standing or one on the ground to let you know you’re on the right track. Keeping on the route wasn’t that difficult compared to the continuous stepping over tree falls. The trail becomes more visible after about a quarter to half a mile as you approach the Saddle east of Helen’s Dome. The Pine trees become more abundant as the effects of the fire are less.

This trail is worth doing, and I don’t consider the route-finding skills to be that demanding; know where the trail is heading to and follow the most logical path for this short section of trail. I liked this trail, and the views to the north are spectacular. This trail makes a good loop trail with other trails on Mica Mountain.

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2017-04-13 markthurman53
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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.

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

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
Connector trail - Not Applicable

To hike
No roads to this trail. Access is via the Miller Canyon Trail in Happy Valley, or in Saguaro National Park, the Douglas Spring Trail, or the Quilter Trail.
page created by markthurman53 on Apr 13 2017 2:13 pm
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