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Wild Burro to Cochie Spring, AZ

no permit
110 19 1
Guide 19 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
3.1 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,675 feet
Elevation Gain 620 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,236 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.48
Backpack No
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25  2018-12-17
Tortolita Mountains Super Loop
5  2016-01-18 rvcarter
5  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
13  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
24  2015-02-26
Tortolitas Superloop
7  2014-02-23
Tortolitas Superloop
8  2012-01-22 lP14
41  2012-01-18
Cochie Canyon to Wild Burro Traverse
Page 1,  2
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,746 map ( 18,187 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:21pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Cochie Cochie Coo!
by fricknaley

Overview: Cochie Canyon is one of the large, wide canyon spilling out of the southwestern Tortolitas. Some old ranches dot the canyon bottom/wash. The canyon is accessible from the network of trails taking off from the common Wild Burro trailhead, located off Dove Mountain Blvd. The negatives of this hike include a 1.4 mile wash walk to the point where the trails all split off into the mountains. This walk will take you right past the new eyesore Ritz-Carlton resort. That's just the way it is. The payoff is a relatively new small network of trails in the southwestern Tortolita Mountains. Some of these are very nice. The hike into Cochie Canyon is one of them.

Hike: I've written up the ubiquitous beginning of this hike on other Tortolita descriptions here on HAZ so I will just recapitulate the beginning section from those hikes.

Take the Wild Burro Trail out of the gravel parking lot. It immediately drops down into the wide, sandy wash. This will take you into the mouth of the canyon. The trail itself snakes along the wash, crossing over and coming back. You can take the trail or just go straight up the wash, it doesn't really matter. The wash passes through a new high-end golf course and resort being built..we'll see how they preserve or reroute this passage in the near future. As you get closer to the mouth of the canyon, the vegetation perks up and the canyon walls slowly close in. After about 1.3 miles you reach a number of signed trailheads and the fun begins.

Hang a left at the signs for the Upper Javalina and Lower Javalina trails, with the Upper Javalina being the goal for now. Almost immediately, the Lower Javalina breaks off to the right, stay left on the Upper Javalina as it climbs up and swings out west. This trail crosses over a steep descending gully, then switchbacks up the other sidewall to gain access up the north wall of Wild Burro Canyon. This trail is very pretty with a great assortment of cacti and flora, particularly when there has been ample rainfall. There are some unfortunate views of the Ritz along he lower section. The higher section climbs away onto the hilly ridgeline. In about a mile another trail intersection is met. The signed Upper Javalina continues off to the left, around and down a ridge. The Wild Mustang trail goes straight/right - take this route and continue higher up into the "highcountry" of mountains. This leg of the hike is relatively short, perhaps 0.7-0.8 of a mile. The last signed trail junction for this hike is the Cochie Spring trail, which breaks off left.

Take the Cochie Spring trail north as it continues to ramble across the hilltops, descending slightly through some magnificently huge saguaros. Soon the trail takes you by a drop off where you can look northeast into the wide Cochie Canyon. Thereafter, the trail descends down and west around a ridge(an old fence is encountered) before continuing back east and passing through a rickety old fence gate. You have now accessed to southern wall of Cochie Canyon. You will mostly continue on along the wall of the canyon, heading northeast for about 2.5 miles. There are some ups and downs along the way. The trail crosses over several drainages feeding down the canyon wall. There are big, long views into the canyon and up the canyon all the way. You can see some old, presumably abandoned buildings in the wide wash floor, along with some old dirt roads. This canyon has a long ranching history and there is still one active ranch in the canyon, the Carpenter Ranch. As such, you may well encounter some livestock along the trail. Ultimately the trail begins an earnest descent into the wash, where you will encounter the old Cochie Spring, with it's requisite AERMOTOR CHICAGO windmill. From here, the trail continues on only a very short way over a ridge and back into the wash again.

The Cochie Spring Trail is about 3.25 miles in length and it takes a roughly 2.8 mile hike from the Wild Burro trailhead to access the Cochie Springs trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

2009-11-29 fricknaley
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    We had planned on doing Kimball/Window via Finger Rock, but the cold temps had us looking at the last minute for something a little lower in elevation, so JJ & I introduced Mountain Rat to the Tortolita Superloop. Started just after 8, and moved through it fairly quickly. All the trails are super easy to follow with the exception of the old, unnamed trail you take on the superloop to connect the end of Cochie Canyon to the dropdown onto Wild Mustang. It was a little overgrown in spots, and involves that short, steep ascent over the ridge.

    Today I was wearing leather boots, and during the our time in that particular section, the glue gave way with the sole on my right boot and I had a flopper. It came loose from the toe all the way to the arch on my right foot. Thankfully it was easily remedied with some good ole duct tape...few swipes around and it was fine the rest of the day. Once we were done with that section and was onto Wild Mustang, the left boot did the way from toe to the ball of my left foot. Little more duct tape, here we come.

    This was the first time I've done the whole loop in nearly 2 years; when I was on it last, there was still trail construction going on around the Wild Burro spur and the Ridgeline, and on that particular day I needed to take a detour route. Today I re-recorded the track and will update the trip description to note the final route.

    Up on the Ridgeline (my favorite section), we took in views from Mt. Wrightson, Baboquivari & Kitt Peak in the south to Four Peaks in the north, beautiful.

    Was great getting to know Mountain Rat, enjoyed your company today! And as always, JJ too.
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    I met up with JJ and Dave at the Wild Burro TH just a bit after 8:00 and we commenced to burning up the trail. Early on, we had just enough sunshine to keep us from freezing, but well before the half way mark we had a pretty comfortable balance of sun and shade that lasted the rest of the hike. This one covers quite a lot of ground and though the elevation gain seems kind of low, you pick it up quickly in just a few spots, so it’s not easy gain. This was a tough little trot in an area that I intend to further explore.

    Thanks to Dave and JJ for guiding this one. I had no track loaded, so had no clue what to do or where to go. Till next time…
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    This lasso loop hike came onto my radar about a year ago. It looked interesting and it was relatively close to Phoenix. The weather looked pleasant for late April and I talked to Kyle and Claire and they were down. Wet met at Ray Rd and the I-10 and the drive down took took a little over an hour.

    This hike starts from the Ritz Carlton parking lot. The Trailhead has nice bathrooms and they provide a map with excellent details of the hikes in the area. The trail starts by dropping you into a wash. Soon after we hit a junction and went to the northwest as we started our lasso loop. These trails are in excellent condition and are easy to follow. There were a few people on the early portion around the resort. They didn't wander too far away.

    We made steady progress and we took a short break by the windmill at the five mile mark. From there we connected onto the unofficial trail. The route is generally easy to follow but it really helped having a GPS. Mostly for the beginning and a few short stretches as we climbed to the ridgeline and then dropped down the east side where we connected back on official trail.

    Once back on trail we made quick time as we headed for the homestead. We passed the grave marker along the way and soon after Claire spotted a bobcat on the trail ahead of us. I caught a quick glimpse of it as it ran away. We continued on and took our lunch at the homestead where there were a couple of tanks for water. It looked green but filterable. The real issue were all the wasps flying around. We didn't explore the homestead much. There is a large rock corral to the northeast. It looks like that is where you want to pick up the trail. Instead we followed a use trail two-tenths of a mile to connect back onto trail.

    Next up was the Ridgeline trail and this is the best portion of the hike. The trail is in excellent condition and the views of the Catalinas and Mount Lemmon are breathtaking! We made quick time and connected onto a few different trails. The rest of the hike blurred by and before long we were all done and back to the jeep.

    The Tortolitas have some nice hiking. It's a large range with a lot of trails in very good condition. It reminded us a lot of South Mountain without the people. Give this area a try if you're looking for some nice trails that aren't too far from the major cities.
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    9L's been wanting to do this... mostly for all the unique trail links to add to his ranking. I'm sure my list is wrong. I'll fix it after he posts-- he won't miss a single one :lol:

    It was nice to do a new area but there's really nothing too interesting going on down here. The Tortolita Ridgeline Trail was definitely the highlight-- some great views of Lemmon and Wrightson. There was a good bit of commentary that most of the day was very similar to hiking South Mountain except the trails here are immaculate. It was a beautiful day and an enjoyable hike but I don't see myself visiting these trails again. Good flower show right now.

    A+ for nicest bathrooms at any trailhead anywhere :D
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    Started from the new Ritz Carlton Trailhead - still odd to have to go thru the gate but nice - and headed to a nice rocky point about 2 miles along the Cochie Spring Trail, nice view of the canyon bottom. Really enjoyed this trail - views of Picacho Peak, enjoyed weeing the wide float bottom of Cochie Canyon and liked the hillside portion of Cochie Spring Trail were it runs above the canyon! Look forward to going back and doing the loop route.

    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    first hike out in the torts this season. warm but never too hot. had my head in the clouds and went blazing right by the traverse route, which is no longer cairned. i didn't bring my gps route but was able to backtrack and find it easily enough. the route is overgrown but still pretty easy to follow going up, little faint coming down but no issues. cruised back on wild mustang.
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    Finally FINALLY hiked all of the Dove Mt. trails. When I was here a couple years ago, I was not able to locate the turnoff for the Cochie Spring Trail. It's now (and perhaps was) clearly signed, making this a really easy trail to follow. And with the new swanky trailhead at the Ritz, the hike is now, I believe, 9 miles RT.

    I was operating on maybe four hours of sleep and Korean food that didn't give me the oomph I expected, so I felt like I was dragging a bit. However, the undulating trail provided enough variety to keep my feet and head occupied. I didn't find the hike through Cochie Canyon (which starts at the gate) to be very nice, I'm not sure I would do this leg of the trail again unless I was looking to do some sort of training hike.

    There was lots of new growth evident. I plan to go back in the spring to catch what I'm hoping will be an awesome display of wildflowers. I also think that if I do this again, I'll go toward evening and stop at the gate, trying to catch the sunset on the way back. I would also consider combining this with the first half of the Alamo Springs trail, which I find to be quite pretty.
    Wild Burro to Cochie Spring
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    My daughter's generous gift (her cold) and questionable weather forced me to delay my originally planned hike and try this instead. Turned out well. Windy and cool, the day was perfect for a hike in the desert and this trail was a great fit.

    I'll be back for the originally planned one soon enough. :wlift:

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Wild Burro (Ritz) Trailhead
    From I-10 in north Tucson take Tangerine Road exit (#240) and head east. In about 5 miles the 1st stoplight you come to is Dove Mountain Blvd. Take left here and follow the road roughly 4 miles around the west end of the Tortolitas. Just past The Gallery is a small well-signed trailhead for Wild Burro Trail. This is on your right.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 104 mi, 1 hour 37 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 20.6 mi, 27 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 248 mi, 3 hours 43 mins
    page created by fricknaley on Nov 29 2009 9:54 am
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