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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Foothills Loop Trail - Kartchner Caverns, AZ

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60 18 0
Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson S
Rated
2
2 of 5 by 7
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,625 feet
Elevation Gain 453 feet
Accumulated Gain 478 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.39
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
15  2017-10-07 vanillagorilla
3  2016-10-06 lindaagm
4  2013-03-08 WilliamnWendi
15  2011-01-25
Guindani Trail
SkyIslander18
10  2010-03-13 The_Eagle
13  2009-09-09 PrestonSands
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Apr → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:47am - 5:24pm
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Official Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Ocotillo Trail - Kartchner
0.0 mi away
1.8 mi
Kartchner Caverns State Park Campground
0.3 mi away
Kartchner Caverns - Big Room
0.4 mi away
0.5 mi
Guindani Trail
Guindani Trail
1.0 mi away
4.3 mi
1,250 ft
Cottonwood Saddle Trail #386 - Whetstones
Cottonwood Saddle Trail #386 - Whetstones
1.8 mi away
2.2 mi
1,027 ft
French Joe Canyon - Whetstone Mtns
French Joe Canyon - Whetstone Mtns
3.0 mi away
3.5 mi
1,000 ft
Apache Peak 7711 - Hi Pt Whetstone Mtns
4.7 mi away
8.0 mi
2,611 ft
Lobo Pass Trail #390
6.6 mi away
6.0 mi
1,124 ft
Coyote Spring Trail #291
7.1 mi away
1.9 mi
355 ft
Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate
Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate
9.9 mi away
2.7 mi
79 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
no reservations needed
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview
The Foothills Loop Trail at Kartchner Caverns State Park takes one through the limestone foothills of the Whetstone Mountains. High desert plant life, and views of the surrounding mountain ranges are the attractions on this easy hike. This write up describes a clockwise loop. Mileage listed includes the mountain view point spur.


Use of the Foothills Loop Trail requires the admission fee to Kartchner Caverns State Park. The Park's entrance gates are open from 7 am until 6 pm daily. Off trail hiking within the Park's boundaries is forbidden.

Hike
The Foothills Loop Trail begins at the northwest corner of the Visitor's Center parking lot. A sign marks the starting point. The trail heads west through mesquite scrub, towards the layered limestone cliffs of the Whetstones.

After crossing Guindani Wash, the Foothills Loop Trail reaches a "T" intersection with the Guindani Trail at 0.6 miles. Go right, and cross another dry wash. The trail turns north, climbing the rocky hill that houses Kartchner Caverns.

The trail crests a saddle at one mile, among prolific ocotillo and shindagger agave, then crosses gray limestone slopes to a second saddle at 1.4 miles. From the second saddle, a marked side trail leads west to the Foothill Loop Trail's high point atop a 5078 foot hill, where one finds a nice view of the surrounding area.

Beyond the second saddle, the trail travels east and then south to descend from the Whetstone foothills, passing another marked spur that leads to prehistoric grinding holes in exposed bedrock.

Continuing south, the trail crosses a park maintenance road, before dropping into Guindani Wash, which it follows upstream. Soon after crossing underneath the cavern tram bridge, the Foothills Loop Trail rejoins itself near its beginning. Turn left to reach the parking lot.

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.

PrestonSands
    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 Parks more info
    2018 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30

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

    Kartchner Caverns State Park State Park



    Directions
    Map Drive
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Tucson, drive east on Interstate 10 to exit 302 in Benson. Drive south on Highway 90 for 9.1 miles to Kartchner Caverns State Park.
    page created by PrestonSands on Sep 16 2009 1:00 am
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