Cherry Tank Trail Upper - Catalina Mountains, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog Mine 0 0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,526 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 478 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.19
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
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10  2017-10-24
Middle Gate and Cherry Tank Loop
1  2017-10-24 markthurman53
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 820
Photos 9,657
Trips 652 map ( 5,592 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
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Preferred Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:34am - 7:25pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bighorn Fire119.5k
🔥 2003 Aspen Fire87.7 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
Nearby Area Water
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Transition from desert to grassland
by markthurman53

This is a trail on the western slopes of the Catalina Mountains below Samaniego Ridge. Most of these trails in this area are used as mountain bike trails but do see some hikers, especially as you get higher up on the slopes of Samaniego Ridge. There is a maze of trails in this area. Many of them are not officially named routes. Signage in this area is nonexistent. This trail is entirely on National Forest, but access is from State Trust land, and a State Trust Land Permit may be required. The locals informed me that hiking in the area didn’t require a permit but parking on state Trust Land probably does. The rules for State Trust Land require that you get a permit if entering Trust Land. I went online and got a year pass for $15.00 to be on the safe side. The Majority of the trails in this area are on National Forest, but the trailheads are on Trust Land. Accessing this trail is from the Golder Ranch Road Trail Head via the Middle Gate and 50 Year Upper Trail. This trail may also be accessed indirectly from Cherry Tank Trail on the Charouleau Gap Road, on National Forest land. The Charouleau Gap Road is a rough 4WD road, and in places not sure I would call it a road even for high clearance 4WD.

This trail starts at the triple junction of the 50 Year Trail, the 50 Year Upper Trail and the Gem Trail. All three Trails start or end here. About 200 feet east of this junction along the 50 Year Upper Trail, the Cherry Tank Upper Trail heads northeast, following along the northernmost tributary of Sutherland Wash. The trail almost immediately crosses to the east side of this creek and continues to climb a small ridge before dropping back down and crossing back over to the west side of the creek. This trail is 1.6 miles long and has an elevation gain of 400 feet. The trail skirts around the north side of a granite hill with a peak of 4175 feet but stays well below the summit. It ends on the east side of this hill at about the midpoint on the Cherry Tank Trail. This trail transitions from the Sutherland Wash Drainage to the Dodge Tank Drainage, which dumps directly into Canada Del Oro Wash.

This trail is easy to follow, with only a few areas where the trail is vague and easy to get off trail but usually quickly noticed. Much of this confusion is because there is much more grass growing here than on the lower trails. The first and major confusion along this trail is passing over the first ridge and before crossing Sutherland creek the second time. Once over the ridge, keep an eye open for where the trail heads due north and crosses the creek. The trail on the other side of the creek is visible and can be used as an aim point if you lose the trail. The trail continues a gradual climb and ends up on the east side of Granite Hill 4175. Stay vigilant along the last 0.3 miles as the trail can be missed as it travels through the grasslands, also a favorite area for snakes. From here, there are views to the northeast of Charouleau Gap and the east of Samaniego Ridge and peak. This trail does not appear to be heavily used by mountain bikers.

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2017-10-27 markthurman53

    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 $$
    AZ State Recreational Land Permits
    For hiking, driving & sightseeing purposes, you seek the recreational permit.
    Under "Recreational Land Use" in the link above.
    2020 - $15.00 individual
    2020 - $20.00 family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18
    Plus $1 processing fee
    The permitting process quick, you will be emailed your permit instantly.

    Land Parcel Map

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

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Tucson
    Take Hwy 77 (Oracle Road) to the town of Catalina. At Golder Ranch Road turn right. Follow Golder Ranch Road until it turns to dirt, go through the cattle guard, take an immediate left on E. Equestrian Trail. Follow the dirt road for 0.6 miles, turn right at the corral. Follow the 4wd road 0.7 miles to the trailhead at corral and cattle guard.
    page created by markthurman53 on Oct 27 2017 10:13 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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