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Ramanote Peak, AZ

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
AZ > Tucson > Ruby
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,257 feet
Elevation Gain 1,775 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,933 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.17
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Peak
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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56  2023-03-16 Mike_W
author avatar Guides 59
Routes 91
Photos 3,824
Trips 243 map ( 1,392 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:22am - 7:22pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

perhaps the arch is more "famous" than the peak
by Mike_W

Ramanote Peak is in the Atascosa mountains, has an elevation of 6,032 feet, and is roughly 1.5 miles northeast as the crow flies from Atascosa peak, the highest point in the Atascosa mountains. Overall, it is a rough bushwhack, and I'd give this hike a difficulty of 5 out of 5. Most hikers will not be interested in summiting this peak, but the canyons in this area are quite pleasant if you can avoid the catclaw bush.

There are a lot of cattle in the lower elevation areas which have grazed and made trails. You may also encounter migrant trails and some trash along the way to the peak. There's a natural arch in this area, called the Ramanote Natural Arch but it's on a different route from the route going to the peak.

In general, we were thankful for the many cow trails at the lower elevation because they saved us some time. Looking up toward the direction of the peak, we saw a rocky ridge that was blocking our view of the peak. This rocky ridge had a notch somewhere near the middle. We decided to head for this notch because it appeared to be the best route to the peak. The brush was pretty thick immediately below the notch, but once we got through that, the terrain opened up and flattened out a bit. We found trails that took us up higher in elevation that was used by border crossers and saw a lot of trash and debris along the way.

Then, when we got closer to the high point, we climbed up a rocky area. Once at the high point, we realized we were at a false summit, and had to climb along a curved long rocky ridge to get to the peak. This curved rock ridge was at least 1/2 mile long. Near the peak, we happened to see multiple areas with a lot of blankets, trash, and debris. We were not sure how long it had been there.

At the peak, we had some great views of Atascosa lookout and Atascosa peak. We looked all around for a registry but didn't find one. I happened to have a jar with me so I started a new registry in March 2023 and put it under a small rock pile at the high point.

Our route going up was probably a better choice than our route going down. Our route going down followed a nice gradual ridgeline for probably 1.5 miles, but then we were forced to enter a canyon that was messy and required us to hike along the side of a steep canyon, which was tedious and time-consuming.

Here's a rough narrative of the route that I posted.

0 - 0.18 miles - Follow Camino Ramanote Road west
0.18 - 0.36 miles - Follow an unmarked road going west
0.36 - 0.72 miles - bushwhack downhill, then head northwest to cross wash, follow cattle trails
0.72 - 1.6 miles - hike northwest and west to get a better view following cattle trails at times, then head toward "the notch"
1.6 - 1.7 miles - hike through the notch and continue UP
1.7 - 2.75 - continue following the wash to a point that can be crossed
2.75 - 2.97 - climb up a steep rocky area to a high point
2.97 - 3.5 - climb along the rocky ridge to the summit

3.5 - 4.5 - follow the rocky ridge down to a gentler ridge. This part of the hike took a long time because of the steepness, rockiness, and rain. It was definitely a lot slower going down this route. We felt like we would have made better time on the same route we took up, had we taken it down.
4.5 - 6.0 - follow the gentler ridge down as far as we could go. There were some rocky and steep areas near the bottom, above the canyon.
6.0 - 6.32 - enter the canyon, stay on the left side of the canyon
6.32 - 7.09 - cross the canyon, follow cattle trails in the canyon, or on the right side of the canyon
7.09 - 7.51 - look for an old road going south, east, southeast, and then south again to the starting point

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.

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

2023-03-17 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)

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Tucson drive south on I-19 to Exit 22, Peck Canyon Rd, and take the West Frontage Road south for two miles to Camino Ramanote and turn right (heading west). Set your odometer to zero. Follow Camino Ramanote for 3.2 miles to where the pavement ends abruptly at a cattle guard. Continue on the dirt road extension of Camino Ramanote now signed as FS 4191 to a corral at 4.7 miles on your right, wrap partially around the corral and take the road that goes off to the left. (You kind of hit a “T” -- turn left). At the corral, reset your odometer and drive about 1.4 miles further and park on the side of the road. If you continue the road gets steep and requires 4x4.

    A good place to park is near these coordinates: 31.444828, -111.090285

    From the Forest Service topo map, you could park near the intersection of FS 4191 and FS 4193. FS 4193 is very faint, hard to see, and overgrown, and I'm sure nobody drives on it anymore since trees are growing right on the road in some places. But you can walk on it.
    page created by Mike_W on Mar 17 2023 2:42 pm
     90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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