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Ragged Top, AZ

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Guide 20 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
4.1 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,484 feet
Elevation Gain 1,400 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,900 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
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20  2018-03-03
Ragged Top - Prospectors - Silver Bell
12  2018-03-03
Ragged Top - Prospectors - Silver Bell
7  2017-02-25 johnlp
6  2017-02-25 chumley
4  2017-02-25 DallinW
21  2014-02-01 BobP
7  2010-11-28 Don Graydon
16  2010-04-24 cindyl
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Sun  6:11am - 6:30pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
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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.

Description taken 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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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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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
Ragged Top
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Ragged Top - Prospectors - Silver Bell
New territory for both of us.

We both noted that the dirt portion of Silver bell Road was a superhighway compared to the paved portion. We were able to drive in 1 mile closer to Ragged Top, saving 2 miles of RT road walking.

Ragged Top
The off trail path we took was riddled with pokey stuff. I was the lucky host of numerous Cholla. Going CCW we reached our UP, roughly following the Official Track. There was nothing fast about this up. We reached the saddle and the view opened up to the south. I gave the summit a try but got stopped a bit shy.

Prospectors Peak
We spooked a few Javelina on our way to this climb. On top Joe finally took my advice and flew a kite. Clear skies and big views from up here.

Silver Bell 4195
This one was easier than it looked from Prospector.
[ youtube video ]
It was the getting down part that took awhile.

We kicked up a Mule Deer on our way back to the truck.

Ragged Top
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Ragged Top - Prospectors - Silver Bell
Action Plan
One of my favorite accountants coined ragged inspiration with his 2014 Rags to Riches Loop. 2 weeks ago Fliver dusted Silver Bell. Ironwood Forest National Monument festered an itch that needed scratching so I whipped up the Billionaire Loop.

Ragged Top
Fun approach. Reminded me of my first love Brown's Peak. Like that first attempt, I'm not ready yet. Just above the saddle I suggested Bruce summit by himself. He got close before changing his vote to pro life.

North up to the saddle was fun. South down the flipside was a smidgen less sketchy steep. The descent included a trick area that made it possible. Nice geology.

Prospectors Peak 3810
The slow 1400 ft ascent put a fork in my masterpiece loop. Before summiting Bruce was already checked out mentally. Time was slipping away too. Worthy peak. If I had to choose, 4195 has better 360 views.

Silver Bell 4195
33 minutes after leaving 3810 we set foot on 4195. That along with real live fliver dust raised our spirits!

Sloth Dragstrip
Logic and spirit pulled the reins on the Billionaire Loop. Descending back to the desert floor sucker punched my three hours of sleep and lack of nutrition. Keeping up with the old geezer was misery. Ragged-Wolcott saddle didn't appeal to either of us. The bajada shuffle around Wolcott felt more like a whipping than a positive trade off.

As figured it was all slow travel. Bruce doesn't love ascents. I'm slow as molasses descending. Tired was the name of the game. This moderate-difficult all off trail hike turned into when will it be over. Bruce unsuccessfully tried to convince me on the drive home that in some parts of the country people call tater tots hushpuppies. He's never wrong so I'm sure as I type he's in Georgia handing out hushtotts.

a few sad examples of chuparosa
Ragged Top
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I had a short window for a Saturday hike, and this one has been knocking for a while.

We did the full loop in much less time than I had planned for based on some of the previous triplogs that had been posted. (Could have easily made it back in time for a ballgame :sweat: ).

The mileage isn't long and the terrain doesn't slow you down too much either. Views from up top were nice. If I return here, I'll plan to explore more of the ragged ridgeline or some of the other peaks nearby as BobP once did.

Having never been in the area before, one surprising highlight is how beautiful the surrounding desert is. The drive both to and from was remarkable. Ironwood National Monument is a winner! :)
Ragged Top
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Well I went on down to the Silver Bells to have some fun and boy did I. Went for a triple peak header today doing Silver Bell Peak in the morning and then on to Wolcott Peak and then Ragged Top. Started off on the eastern side which I made more of a trek than I should have, but traversed the side to Wolcott Peak and made my way up to this little summit that hardly sees any people on it for some reason. Wolcott will need a new register up top if anyone wants to venture up there soon. Scouted the southern side of Ragged Top and thought it would be very good to make my way up. Well besides running into a few vertical walls, I was able to find a great route with some good class 4 climbs and made my way up top from the seldom seen southern side. Great views and I wasn't the only one up top today as I saw someone on top from Wolcott and then of course looking in the register confirmed it. Went down the eastern side which cliffed me out once and I had to make a scary down climb in one section right into a thick brushy area where everything growing had thorns on it to tear me up. I was starting to have Iron Mt. flashbacks in this section and was glad to finally get out of it and down the mountain. Would love to climb other sides of Ragged Top, this has to be one of my new favorites now. Great day.

*Silver Bell Peak hike was 7.05 miles in 3hr 45min before this hike*

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Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Take the Marana Exit 236 from I-10 and go west. Turn left on Sandario and make a right onto Trico/Marana Rd. Take this to Silverbell Rd. and turn right. Silverbell will turn into a good dirt road. Take this past a gas pipeline and after crossing a cattle guard, look for the turnoff at 32.46756 N, 111.47487 W. If you have a high-clearance vehicle, you can take a left at this spot and continue 1.1 miles to a parking area near a fenceline. If not, add 2.2 miles onto the roundtrip distance.

2010-11-28 Don Graydon writes This is just a refinement of the directions above. Coming from Tucson, take the I-10 Marana exit 236 (about 15 miles northwest of Tucson). At bottom of offramp turn left (this is Sandario Road), drive under the freeway, then turn right (just before the Circle K) onto Marana Road. Take Marana for 5.7 miles to Silverbell and turn right. Stay on Silverbell for 7.7 miles, where it becomes a dirt road. Stay on Silverbell for another 3.3 miles (just past a cattle guard). Turn left on a rough dirt road (should use a high-clearance vehicle) for 1.2 miles and park next to a fence (beneath the east face of Ragged Top).
page created by sirena on Jan 08 2010 9:00 am
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