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Ramanote Canyon Middle, AZ

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  5 of 5 
AZ > Tucson > Ruby
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,634 feet
Elevation Gain 288 feet
Accumulated Gain 400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic & Perennial Creek
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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3  2019-12-14 freewilley
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 5
Photos 25
Trips 2 map ( 8 miles )
Age 67 Male Gender
Location rio rico, az
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:25pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

canyon with rocks and petroglyphs
by freewilley

Road down is serious 4x4 only. Once in the streambed, if the grass is long it is challenging to find the trail. Often I wait until cows have clipped it and go after New Years.

Ramanote canyon is beautiful and rarely hiked. There are 3 access points all but one requiring a 400 foot climb out (on old FSR roads). This TH is the one that can be driven to with a serious 4x4. This hike is one of 3 parts but of course, you can do the whole canyon if that works for you.

Old foundations in the bottom. Also, a petroglyph is talked about online but the location is not revealed. I believe it is in a cave on the east side, about the middle of this hike, about 15 feet above the streambed.

Park at the cattle gate at the bottom. Turn left (south) and walk along the fence without crossing through the gate. Soon you will be in the creek bed and will alternate between it and the frequent migrant trails you will see on either side. Enjoy the great views of the cliffs and sculpted rocks and caves as you follow the creekbed south. Several shaded lunch spots with rocky seats will become apparent in the area about 1 ½ to 2 miles from the start of the creek bed. Continue walking in the same southerly direction up the creekbed and you will come to a fence with a gate -- proceed through the gate. After a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes of hiking (including your ½ hour lunch break), you will come to a rock wall (the remains of an old corral??) just to the left of the creekbed, and off to your right-front will be a square-shaped mountain.

It is easy to bushwack to Castle Tank which is close to the streambed.
The GPS track ends at the other exit point... a faint trail up the hill which is shown on the Lion Mountain guide.

Water Sources
Often running, not always, but Castle Tank has water for your dog...

Sites on access road

If you want to avoid the rough steep hill drive, park anywhere after the corral and just walk along the Mesa and down into the canyon. If you want to make this hike a loop, use the GPS Route on Lion Mountain. It documents the VERY faint trail supposedly on an old FSR road. And then hike up to the mesa and just follow it back to your vehicle. It is a pleasant walk as you are looking down into the canyon and the view is fabulous. I have done it both ways and they are both good.

Ramanote Arch shows the same canyon south of here. You can access it by these directions or by the southern road past Toruno Tank.

Check out the Official Route.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found. The exception is signage on the gate directing you otherwise.

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

2022-02-16 freewilley
    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)

    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    GPS Route
    Drive to Ramanote Canyon Middle

    Take Frontage road south of Peck Canyon to Ramanote and turn right. Take to end and proceed into National Forest. Take to the Corral and park, or drive further north if sure of yourself. The road down is the first left. It is rough.
    page created by freewilley on Feb 16 2022 2:47 pm

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