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Redington Pass - AZT #10, AZ

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Guide 47 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson
3.5 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 15.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,994 feet
Elevation Gain 1,060 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,150 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 25.85
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
6  2019-05-05 GrottoGirl
28  2019-03-30
Santa Catalina Mountains - AZT #11
3  2018-11-17 toddak
39  2018-03-17 tibber
1  2017-03-19
Molino Basin to Peak 5005
5  2017-03-16 zephyr2u
14  2017-03-04
AZT: I-10 to Summerhaven
34  2017-03-04
AZT Spring Break 2017
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar
Sun  6:07am - 6:26pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Overview: From the Arizona Trail sign at Italian Trap the trail climbs steadily, turns to the west and then drops down to Redington Road. From here the trail heads northeast, then turns west and then reaches the Bellota Ranch Road. Just beyond the road crossing is The Lake Trailhead. From here the route follows the Bellota Trail (#15). It crosses Caliente Creek, goes through several gates and then climbs up to the pass above Molino Basin. From an elevation of 4,860 feet the trail descends rapidly down to the Catalina Highway. After passing around the Molino Basin Campground the trail climbs steadily westward until it reaches the Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead.

Southern Trailhead: Italian Trap TH - FR 37

Northern Trailhead: Gordon Hirabayashi TH - Catalina Hwy

Note: This page is open to authors. Hike must be listed South to North as one-way. Do not include an overview as the above is permanent.

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.

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
  • sub-region related

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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We originally had a different plan but nite time temps and not wanting to spend 12 hours in a tent, inspired us to pick a Plan B. Tracy came up with this one and though the shuttle is brutal we got 'er done. It took us 4 hours to set up the shuttle on Redington Road and Molino Basin parking. Traveling that rough and tough Redington Road coming and going in the AM made us think we were all ready tired and beat up and we hadn't even set foot to the trail.

The hike up the hill out of Molino Basin is actually pretty nice as they throw in a couple switchbacks altho I thot it would send us to the right but we ended up veering left to that saddle. I was feeling the oats as they say so I headed on up and was able to look back and get pictures of the others. The views from the saddle looking both ways is pretty sweet with the two sky islands, Santa Catalina and The Rincons. Off in the distance to the east I thot I could see two silos. We would later see that they were two Italian Cypress trees at the Bellota Ranch.

Down from the saddle we headed south and east. It takes awhile to get down so we were happy that we had made the choice to hike it from this side first. We would have another hill on the other side but it was a lot more gradual and not quite as steep. We encountered two other couples and another single hiker as we made our way down to West Spring which you can't miss for the two brightly colored cottonwoods and the big tank. At the big tank I was surprised to see a little moat constructed around a portion of it. Very interesting.

We would continue on a bit of a road for awhile admiring the tall hills and mountains on either side and behind us. It was pleasant walking as the trail was in very good shape. There was also plenty of water around; I assume from last week's rains. We were surprised at how much water we would see. We had our lunch in Agua Caliente drainage on the beach. We didn't take too much time before we were on the trail again. About 1/2 hour later we would get our first view of the Galiuros to compliment the Rincons on our other side and the Catalinas behind.

I remarked we would be coming on The Lake pretty soon and Shawn said to not get my hopes up. As we passed by it was more like a big pond. We came upon a nice Arizona Trail sign where Shawn could trim some of the tree that was obstructing the view. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted what looked like water so Tracy and I went to check it out. THERE was the real The Lake. It was very photogenic and after admiring it for awhile we came back to re-join Ambika and Shawn at the trail.

About a mile later we ran into some hikers on the other side of the gate (about the 1/2 way point). One was a thru hiker who was in need of some shoe repair so we offered our electronic suggestions. He had also written a haiku about his experience with a coati the nite before. The other two hikers were section hiking the AZT coming from Redington Road. One of the gals took our picture. As we got a little higher above the drainage we spotted the ranch and that's where I saw the two silos, I mean Italian Cypresses, earlier from the saddle above Molino Basin. It seemed surprising how far we had come even though it was only about 5 miles from that saddle.

We had a couple more miles before we would start our little climb and continued to enjoy our views. We took a break at about the 7 1/2 mile mark and in a little over a mile we would begin the slight climb. You could see where the fire had eaten some of the wood stair blocks and along the way you could also see the burnt trees and cactus as we came out of a drainage. ( ... pass-road/) Earlier in the day we had seen a dozer cut over by West Spring. If it was all the same fire it was the 23,000 acre Burro Fire. The 600 foot climb had a very nice grade with a switchback here and there. The temps were nice so I was able to make good time and once again be able to shoot back at my fellow hikers coming my way.

Once we got to a saddle we contoured along the side of the mountain where we stopped for about 5 minutes before completing the rest of our journey. As we topped out we enjoyed views of all the mountains once again as we made our way on the trail between the golden grass. Soon we would see White Tank and then spot the truck. From here it was downhill to the gate and we could relish the last of our hike... even though I had no beer to cheer me on :( .

We piled into the truck and headed down the rough and rugged Redington Road with a big awh for the second time of the day when we hit pavement. We did go by a couple areas where there were quite a few vehicles so I assume there is some easy hiking in the vicinity. The shooting area was a mess of plastic bags. However, the sun was shining nicely on the leafed-out ocotillos so we did enjoy that. We picked up our other vehicle and headed down the Catalina Highway to Taco Giro where we enjoyed a most excellent meal except for the apparently non-tequila peach margarita. It was pretty but no tequila means no margarita.

Videos are in production. Having to work with my laptop as my brother is working on my over-loaded computer.
from Molino to almost West Spring: [ youtube video ]
from above West Spring to just past Agua Caliente drainage: [ youtube video ]
about 1/2 way, we found THE Lake [ youtube video ]
finishing the last big climb to Redington Road [ youtube video ]
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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AZT: I-10 to Summerhaven
Day 1: I decided to join Dallin on a portion of his Spring Break AZT dash. We were dropped off at Gabe Zimmerman TH on Saturday a.m. and started the trek at segment #8. It was a sunny, beautiful day. The trail is mostly flat and winds through a scenic desert. Saguaros dominate, Rincon Peak looms and neat geology surrounds. The smell of spring Creosote wafted through the air. Plenty of mountain bikers on this stretch. We breaked at Rincon Creek and enjoyed a brief soak. Heading up and into the mountains we would cross many flowing drainages and even saw a distant waterfall. After some climbing, we both hit a wall and stopped for camp on a rock slab 2 miles short of Grass Shack. Worst campsite ever. We were joined at camp by Anna, a solo backpacker on the 2nd night of her maiden voyage, who we'd been leap frogging in those last 6 miles.

Day 2: We woke up refreshed and determined to make up some milage. We started our climb up Mica Mountain. The ever changing terrain kept me in awe. Unlike anything I'd seen in AZ. The Juniper grasslands gave way to pines. The trail was beautiful and easy to follow. The creek at Grass Shack was flowing good. Temps dropped as we climbed and we didn't see any sunshine all day. Our nutrition / water break at Manning Camp was fairly chilly. We reached the top shortly after and enjoyed the stunning views. We hit a few snow patches on the north face of Mica. Nothing too bad but the slow melt made the trail loose and slick. We made our way down through the oak and manzanita forest before a nice afternoon/evening stroll over the rolling grasslands. Winds were ripping, deer were grazing and we both nearly stepped on a very lethargic baby rattler. After an impressive sunset and 1.5 hours of night hiking, we settled on another lousy camp site, but made it work.

Day 3: Didn't start well at all. I woke up with a screaming IT band and a serious case of pumpkin chaffe with a 25 mile day ahead. I threw an elastic knee brace on and went commando to help combat the chaffe (it helps). Needless to say, it took some warming up before I could move. I limped my way up the pass and down to Molino Basin. Dallin informed me that this was one of my last bail out options, but encouraged me to keep going, so I did. Once we topped out and I saw the views down into Sabino Canyon, my spirits were instantly lifted. I pushed on through the pain and was grateful I did. Wouldn't want to miss this canyon. We made our way back down into Saguaros and a lush riparian zone. The entire canyon and every drainage was raging. Quite a few day hikers and a few backpackers along this stretch. I can see why, Sabino is a showstopper. Despite my ailments, we were cruising along the canyon and making great time. Romero Pass put an end to that. I could barely lift my right leg at this point but we pushed on. Eventually we topped out and down into Wilderness of Rocks. More snow patches in this area. Some icy, but no additional gear is needed, just a careful step. The snow melt fueled good flowing water everywhere. We had about 5 miles left and I was hurting, completely drained and flat out delirious. Spending another night wasn't an option. Temps dropped quickly and darkness fell. We had a couple hours of night hiking with some interesting route finding along snowy creeks. It took some teamwork but we made it out and to our ride after road walking up from Marshall Gulch TH. Temps were already in the mid 30's. Burritos and beverages saved the day. Overall, an amazing and epic trip. We knocked out a good amount of trail with big climbs but I also got my pumpkin handed to me a few times throughout. Well worth it.

Brittles and poppies mostly. Still too early.
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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AZT: Vail to Oracle
March 24th
Miles: 17.46
AEG: 5,520 ft

We flew through the first couple of miles to X9 Ranch Road, where we left off the last time we got off the AZT in this area.

Back on the AZT!

Soon we reached the Saguaro National Park boundary. Up until this point the wildflowers were sparse and withered, but from here there were plenty of great looking blooms for the next couple of miles. After taking a short break at the Quilter Trail water crossing, we passed our first thru-hiker of the trip and started the long climb to the top of Mica Mountain.

As we climbed the environment slowly transitioned from saguaros and ocotillos, to shrubs and century plants, then oak grasslands, and finally pinion-oak as we rolled into the Grass Shack Campground. Here we met 3 other thru-hikers. One was on her first thru-hike, and the other two (No Trace & Unbreakable) are triple crowners (those who have completed the PCT, AT, and CDT). We stopped to eat lunch and enjoy the company at the campground. It's always fun to pick the brains of triple crowners.

After finishing up lunch, we filled our bottles at the spring and continued on the trail up to Manning Camp. From Grass Shack, the environment transitions to a hearty ponderosa pine forest. At the campground there was one other person staying the night, a section hiker from Canada who had picked up the trail at Grass Shack and was planning on continuing to Superior.

By the time we were going to bed I was feeling pretty crappy. Extremely soar throat and congested. Before starting the trip I was still getting over a chest cold, and apparently I wasn't better yet. We expected it to be very cold at 8000ft, but surprisingly we both kept pretty warm the entire night.

March 25th
Miles: 21.97
AEG: 2,910 ft

Today was our "long day", with minimal AEG. Our goal was to make it to Molino Basin Campground. I woke up feeling slightly better.

After packing up camp and getting some more water at the spring, we headed up the trail for the top of Mica Mountain. Along the way we passed No Trace and Unbreakable again. The pine forest on top of Mica is quite impressive. Once we topped out and started down the other side, views of the basin below and Mt. Lemmon open up. Italian Spring had drinkable water but lots of algae on top.

We started the long descent into the basin below, and then the traverse across the hills to the base of Lemmon. Beautiful grasslands! By now the mistake of wearing newish shoes for this hike had caught up with me and my right foot had been rubbed raw on the back. I tried fixing things up with some mole skin and some bandaids.

Just before the Lake, we caught up to the section hiker from Canada who was going to stop at the next drainage. We stopped with him at the drainage to get some water for the last hump into the campground.

Once we got to the campground we greeted the camp host to get a spot. We asked him if there was any water around, he claimed "there is no water, it's dry out here." We were both surprised a little considering how much water we had seen getting to this point. He kindly offered us a liter each to make it through the night, and gave us a spot which was right next to the AZT. We didn't quite believe him about the water situation, so once we set up camp we dropped into creek bed below the campground and sure enough there were spots that had running water (not even 200 yards away from the camp host, I might add...)

March 26th
Miles: 17.25
AEG: 5,133 ft

I woke up feeling terrible, super congested, coughing up lots of phlegm, and running a small fever. I thought about bailing at the Highway next to the campground, but decided to try a few miles before making the decision. The going was extremely slow, probably less than 2mph.

We reached Shreve Saddle and took a quick break, I popped some Tylenol for the fever. I knew after this point I was going to be committed for some serious uphill either going forward or turning back. I decided to keep going.

We saw lots of people along this stretch going to Hutch's Pool. It was cool to see Saguaros again near the bottom, because at the end of the day we would be back up in the Pines. I'm a sucker for "transition hikes." Once we reached the bottom, we took another break in Sabino Canyon where there was flowing water. This was the point where I was either going to commit all the way to Summerhaven or go back. I nearly turned back here, but there was just too much planning that went into this and I wasn't sure I would be able to come back to finish this up for a long time.

We passed the junction to Hutch's Pool and started the long climb up through the west fork of Sabino Canyon. This place is stunning. With every foot of elevation gain the views got better. The trail itself is graded extremely well so the climbing felt almost effortless. Once again we got to see the transitions from saguaros, to sparse pines on Romero Pass. There were plenty of pools and spots with running water in the canyon.

I was starting to feel a bit better after we took a 30-45 minute break at the pass. It was a good thing too, because this is where the real climbing starts. You aren't graced with very many switch back after this point, it's just straight up. About half way through huffing and puffing, I looked at my Arizona Trail app to see how much further we had to climb and let out a little snicker. My cousin asked "what's up?" and I told him "do you really want to know?", he said "yes", I told him "it gets steeper." We both laughed and continued up the mountain.

After topping out and taking a break, we joined the Wilderness of Rocks trail. This was by far my favorite part of the hike. This is one of those places that feel really special, a feeling of reverence overcame me. We meandered through the beautiful giant boulders and trees, before reaching an awesome spot to camp right next to Lemmon Creek.

By the time we were going to bed I felt great, except for my feet. I used some alcohol wipes, and anti-septic wipes before reapplying a few bandaids.

As we drifted to sleep I heard a series of bangs/explosions in the distance, which culminated into a bunch of bangs/explosions at once. Fireworks in Tucson?

March 27th
Miles: 18.8
AEG: 2,609 ft

We got up excited for a real meal in Summerhaven. It was actually warm enough during the night that I started sweating in my quilt. After eating a quick breakfast and filling our bottles with water out of Lemmon Creek, we started the gradual 1000ft climb to where we would meet the Marshall's Gultch Trail. I was still awe struck by beauty and grandeur of the Wilderness of Rock. We made our way to the paved road we would walk into town on.

After satisfying a soda and candy craving at the General Store, we ate some breakfast at the Sawmill Run restraunt. The manager or owner (not sure which) came out to talk to us and asked if we were on our way to Utah. We told him we were ending this segment in Oracle.

Oracle Ridge was hot. On the way down we met a 3 time triple crowner "One Gallon", who was taking a siesta in the shade of some cedars. We talked with him for about 45 minutes. Another very interesting person.

We reached the American Flag TH about an hour before the sun set.

This now puts us at just over 50% of AZT miles completed, and we have now connected a foot path all the way from the border to Roosevelt. Woo hoo!
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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This hike almost didn’t happen

My plan was to hike the AZT 10 from where Redington RD intersects the AZT. My ETA to the TH was 8:45. There was an accident on I-10 and that brought traffic to a standstill. This delayed me 45 minutes. After getting past the accident I continued on to Redinton RD. About10 miles from the intersection there was a sheriff and a road closed sign!! I then came up with plan B. Start at the northern end of the AZT 10. I when doubled-back to the Catalina highway and drove up to the Molino Basin campground.

My 8:45 ETA turned into a 10:15 arrival.

The Hike:
I went north on Bellota trail to the Prison Camp and checked it out. Then I headed south to the Italian trap TH. There was water everywhere! The creeks and washes were flowing heavy and fast. A good portion of the trail had water flowing down it. The Agua Caliente Wash was about 2 feet deep and 5 feet wide. I just bite the bullet and walked through it. I got to the Italian trap TH at dusk. FR4424 was a running creek.

On the way back, the valley was so cold I could see my breath.
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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This turned out to be another "much better than anticipated" segment.

Although one of the shorter segments we all seemed to suffer a tad from the lack of great expectations. Several segments didn't allow us to break for lunch until 15 or 16 miles yet here it seemed a task to accomplish less than half of the notably difficult segments.

As we get closer to that goal thing it's a trade off with sadness that it will eventually be over :( This annoying(entertaining ;) ) guy is going to miss the big guy, the skinny guy and the old guy.

Some sort of vervain or verbena was scattered about in areas. It wasn't very apparent being so small and low to the ground. Isolated doesn't seem to fit so I'm going with light.

Pop rocks!
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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Short AZT hike today, we had already done the first 3 miles or so of it from Italian Trap to Reddington Road (why they start this segment 3 miles down a 4WD road instead of right off Reddington Road when there is even a parking area there, I have no clue...we still keep scratching our heads on that one). Met the guys at Gordon Hirabayashi TH to set up the shuttle, watched the sunrise while they took the "scenic route" before getting there ;)

Nice hike. Not a lot of long-distance views on this one...couldn't even see Lemmon really. Did have views of Mica Mountain for most of the first half. Climbed up to Molino Saddle for lunch, watched the view down below on the Catalina Highway and at Molino Basin Campground.

There was a bike race out there today, using a good chunk of this segment of the AZT, but thankfully we were ahead of them and only had a few of bikes go past us. The guys were being their crazy selves all day ... one of the highlights was when Joe and Bruce started arguing about which one of them had the bigger ego, and asked Denny and I to decide. The winner? Well, too close to call ... it depends upon the day. :lol:

Dropped down into Molino Basin and up around toward Gordon Hirabayashi, and ran into a Japanese couple who were hiking around the old POW prison camp, where one of their relatives had been during WWII.

Excited to fill in this little segment ... this puts us completing everything from the top of Mt. Lemmon to the Mexican border. Two segments to go north of Mt. Lemmon before we will have everything done from Mexico to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. :y: Getting close!
Redington Pass - AZT #10
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Finally got out and hiked the length of the Bellota trail and back, from Molino Basin to Redington Road. Along the way there were millions of flowers, constant views of the Agua Caliente Hill and snowy Mica Mountain, and endless rolling grassy hills. This hike far exceeded my expectations. I guess spring is the time to hit it, when the grass is green, the flowers are abundant and the temps are just perfect. The 900 foot wall up to Molino Saddle 19+ miles into the hike at the end is a total steel-toed kick in the crotch...

Wonderful day of peace on a nice, long trail. Can you beat that? :y:

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Map Drive

To Italian Spring Trailhead
From anywhere in Tucson, get to Grant road. Follow Grant east and turn left on Tanque Verde Road. Stay on Tanque Verde until it eventually turns into Redington Road. After a few miles, Redington becomes well graded dirt and climbs up into the hills. Watch the side of the road for green mile marker signs, which are posted every 2 miles. Drive 0.5 miles past mile marker 12 and turn right onto Forest Road #37 (which is rough and requires 4WD). Less than a tenth of a mile in on FR #37, you'll come to what looks like a 4-way intersection - stay straight heading down a rough hill. At the 1.5 mile point you'll pass right branching Forest Road #4424 - stay straight on FR #37. At the 2.2 mile point you'll pass through a barbed wire fence. After another 0.3 miles the road comes to an intersection with FR #95 and FR #4484, take FR #95 heading due west(due east according to the treadmill queen) and pass through a gate in the fence. Shortly afterwards (at 2.7 miles) the road drops into Tanque Verde wash. The Italian Spring Trail begins on the other side of the wash and is marked by a plastic sign. Do not enter the wash if there have been recent rains or it is running. Park under the big tree on the right.

It is impossible to overstate the need for a 4WD vehicle operated by an experienced driver to reach the Italian Spring trailhead. FR #37 can and will wash out after heavy rains and provides plenty of opportunities for an inexperienced driver to severely damage a vehicle, even a well-built one. Carry basic recovery gear and know how to get yourself out of trouble should the need arise.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 138 mi - about 2 hours 55 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 28.6 mi - about 1 hour 19 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 282 mi - about 5 hours 0 mins
page created by joebartels on Jan 09 2010 12:41 am
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