Mount Miguel - Catalinas, AZ | HikeArizona
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Mount Miguel - Catalinas, AZ

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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,800 feet
Elevation Gain 1,680 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,176 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18.88
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
 Dogs not allowed
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26  2022-11-04 Mike_W
author avatar Guides 44
Routes 66
Photos 2,521
Trips 212 map ( 1,182 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:49am - 6:22pm
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

Crisp Perch
by Mike_W

Mount Miguel is roughly a 3.6-mile hike up the very well-maintained Esperero Trail #25 in Sabino Canyon, followed by a 0.75 mile moderate bushwhack to the peak. After reaching the peak, I found it easier to bushwhack down roughly 0.4 miles to the east, and then eventually ran into a lower part of the Esperero Trail which I took to get back down.

Start at Sabino Canyon, either the main parking area or the overflow lot. I started this hike from the overflow lot and took the trails from there to the main road. Once at the main road, it's only a short distance to get to the Esperero Trail, in which you'll be turning left. There will be some hills to climb within the first mile of the Esperero Trail but the trail is very easy to follow. You'll pass through a gate within the first mile.

After hiking a total of 2 miles, the trail will cross Bird Canyon. The trail will enter an unnamed canyon between Bird and Esperero. Continue until after you have traveled roughly 3.6 miles to Cardiac Gap. Once here you'll head roughly 0.75 miles to Miguel Peak. The bushwhack was not very difficult but route finding was a bit challenging here. I found myself having to switch to higher and lower planes to get to where I wanted to go. There's some uneven terrain here, so you'll need to be careful in planning your route and make adjustments as you get closer. I found a registry near the bottom of a large rock structure at the peak. The last entry was from 2013, roughly 9 years ago! There are some really great views of the city of Tucson from the top.

To get down, the easiest and shortest way from the peak would be to bushwhack to the east, following the slope down to the Esperero Trail using the most gentle route. This route down could also be used to get up to the peak faster and it would appear to save about 1 mile from the one-way route. From the peak, bushwhacking back north to Cardiac Gap is also an option but it's a longer more tedious bushwhack. Once at the Esperero Trail, follow that back down roughly 3 miles to your starting point.

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.

2022-11-07 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 $$

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

    Paved - Car Okay

    To Sabino Canyon Recreation Trailhead
    From the intersection of Tanque Verde and Grant/Kolb Rd head northeast on Tanque Verde. Turn left at the second light on Sabino Canyon Rd. Go about 8 miles up Sabino Canyon Rd and you come to a four way stop with Sunrise. Go straight through the intersection and take the next right into the parking lot of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Signs marking the way start on North Kolb road.

    This is the universal directions to Sabino Canyon Recreation Center. Hikes take off from all directions and some you might need to hike another trail to get to the start of your hike. Reference the hike summary for details.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 117 mi - about 1 hour 57 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 14.1 mi - about 30 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 261 mi - about 4 hours 1 min
    page created by Mike_W on Nov 07 2022 7:18 pm

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