Cordones Ridge to Biosphere, AZ | HikeArizona
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Cordones Ridge to Biosphere, AZ

Guide ♦1 Triplog  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
no permit
29 1 0
Camino Campana Trail
Camino Campana Trail
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 13.43 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,223 feet
Elevation Gain 627 feet
Accumulated Gain 742 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 17.14
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
29  2022-02-20 Mike_W
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 32
Photos 1,335
Trips 162 map ( 922 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:18am - 6:07pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bighorn Fire119.5k
🔥 2003 Aspen Fire87.7 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

views of the snow from down below
by Mike_W

This hike attempts to follow the Cordones ridge from near Oracle road to the area close to the Biosphere, stopping at some interesting sites along the way. This hike involves some bushwhacking, some walking in sandy washes, walking some ridgelines, and walking a lot of dirt roads that are quite rocky in many areas.

After parking, walk North and enter the sandy wash. Then follow the wash Northeast for roughly 1.3 miles. When the wash gets messy, and it will, walk on either side, following in that general direction. After roughly 0.8 miles, you should see a road that crosses the wash. Exit the wash going East and the road will bend to the North. Follow the road North / Northeast for about another 0.5 miles. Then turn going North and bushwhack to the top of the ridge to your North.

From this point, the Tascal Tank (similar to a pond) is roughly 0.35 miles to your West. See route for approximate location. This is an area where cows may gather at various times. There is also a ravine slightly West of the tank that we didn't take the time to visit on this trip. We continued back to the ridge where we came from. We followed the ridgeline up for the next 0.4 miles and then we ran into a road. Then we followed that road for another 0.8 miles until we ran into another road going left/right. We turned left here and followed the road uphill. On the upper part of this road, there should be some excellent views of Mt Lemmon and many of the peaks in the Catalinas including Pusch Peak, Bighorn Mountain, Table Mountain, Cathedral Rock, Finger Rock from the backside, Mt Kimball, etc. In February, on a 70-degree day, we saw the snow on the back side of Mt Lemmon.

After walking approximately 3.3 miles of road we saw a water tank and, not far after that, a gate that said private property headed in the direction of the Biosphere. From this point, we were not able to get any closer to the Biosphere without another bushwhack. We decided to turn back and head down the road back to the vehicle, following various roads all the way down and doing a short bushwhack to the parking area.

Special thanks to Dave W. for suggesting this ridge which was new to us.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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.

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

2022-02-22 Mike_W
    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 $$

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive on Oracle Rd / Route 77 North of Catalina. After passing Saddlebrooke Blvd, continue about 1,000 feet and park in a pullout area on the East side of Oracle road. There should be room for 2 or 3 cars here., continue 0.6 miles to a shallow ravine crossing under Route 77. There is an unmarked and very small half-circle to enter and exit with room for about 2 cars.
    page created by Mike_W on Feb 22 2022 12:11 am

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