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If you've ever driven between Tucson and Phoenix, you might have noticed a jagged-looking peak southwest of Picacho Peak. This is Ragged Top, and getting to the top is a bushwhacking, scrambling adventure! This trail packs a lot of scenery and excitement into just 3 miles roundtrip. If you're lucky, you might see some bighorn sheep. There are supposed to be 35-50 sheep in the Ironwood Forest National Monument.
From Dave Baker's Trail Talk blog:
Though not long, this should be regarded as a difficult hike. There are no established trails, so the venture involves cross country route finding and plenty of bushwhacking, though you are likely to appreciate the many faint game trails that criss-cross the peak's flanks. To reach the summit, one must negotiate steep and brushy terrain, and near the top, there are 2nd and 3rd class sections of rock scrambling to deal with. Hikers must also take care on slopes and gullies steep enough that dislodged rocks can roll and bound downhill for some distance.
To start the loop route, walk south to the broad saddle between Ragged Top and Wolcott Peak, and then turn west, first contouring under the summit of Ragged Top and later working up a steep slope towards the crest of a prominent ridge sweeping south from the summit ridge. As you near the crest of the aforementioned ridge, look for the prominent South Gully, which cuts up directly towards the high saddle just west of the summit. From the high saddle, work east a little before climbing a steep ravine towards the summit. Near the top, there is a section of 2nd and 3rd class rock scrambling. On the descent, back at the high saddle, complete the loop by dropping down the steep and brushy North Gully, finally using game trails to contour east around the base of Ragged Top back to the car.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a moderately difficult hike.
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