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Tortilla Mountains - GET #4, AZ

no permit
3 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Superior S
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 27.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,784 feet
Elevation Gain 2,219 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,518 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-3 days
Kokopelli Seeds 42.66
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2016-03-19
Gila River Canyons - AZT #16
3  2013-03-02 johnlp
Author blisterfree
author avatar Guides 24
Routes 37
Photos 5
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location lithosphere
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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GET Segment 4 overview

The remote Tortilla Mountains extend south from the Gila River toward the distant Santa Catalina sky island range, and we follow their lead in this segment, winding among Sonoran desert foothills and mesquite-lined washes, and encountering few if any people. Except for the first 8 miles or so, the terrain here is fairly mellow. Navigation is also relatively straightforward, though the Arizona Trail route that you'll follow changes surfaces frequently - from singletrack to 4WD road and back - so be alert at junctions and look for cairns, posts, and flagging leading the way ahead. As of late 2011, trailbuilding progress on this stretch of the AZT was essentially complete, with several miles of recently-built tread assisting passage through this interesting rolling country. You'll likely find some water in the first half of this segment, (other than the generally polluted Gila River), and in springtime a public water cache maintained for AZ Trail hikers is sometimes encountered at the very end. Otherwise the terrain is likely to be dry.

A detailed, mile-by-mile description of this segment is available in the official GET guidebook. See

This segment of the GET forms part of a longer trip option between resupply locations, as described below:

GET Segments 3 - 5, Superior to Mammoth

Continuing southbound along the route of the Arizona Trail (and sometimes apart from it), the GET follows a combination of maintained singletrack and primitive foot trail into the little-known White Canyon Wilderness (BLM), a small but superlative landscape of remnant volcanic peaks and colorful ash-flow sedimentary cliffs. The Sonoran desert here is in fine form, with dense stands of saguaro cacti among a panoply of unique desert flora on display. After a challenging hike along rugged drainages and old mining roads south of the wilderness area, the route rejoins the Arizona Trail alongside the tree-lined banks of the Gila River where it seeks out a bridged crossing upstream. Beyond, the terrain gradually mellows and long-range views highlight the distant Sky Island range of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. Here the route continues to follow an adventurous web of singletrack trail and connecting dirt roads as it seeks out lone Antelope Peak, a low volcanic outlier of the Tortilla Mountains. Eventually the GET and AZT part ways for good, as our route turns east along the wide sandy course of Putnam Wash in the company of dark basalt cliffs, then along the gentle San Pedro River in a rare desert riparian oasis, to reach AZ Hwy 77 ten miles north of the small village of Mammoth AZ.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2013-08-09 blisterfree

    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
    Tortilla Mountains - GET #4
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The frickman and I did another segment W-E while the Phoenix boys went E-W. For a nearly 30-mile day, we knocked it out in pretty good order. Back when I did the AZT, I and the guys missed the trail for the north part of this, so technically today I finally finished seeing the whole AZT :D

    We started out at Kelvin bridge to a temp of 32 degrees at 6:30, finished up with a temp of 82 degrees around 4pm.

    The northern end for the first couple of miles had some nice poppies, and through the rest of the day several big jackrabbits. This is jackrabbit central...and the piles and piles of hairy coyote poop proved it!

    Best part of the day: at one point about 3/4 of the way during the day, I was able to see Four Peaks, the Supes ridgeline, the Catalinas, Guilleros and the Pinalenos all at one time. Sweet!

    After talking with frick about slurpies all day, we made our way to Mammoth to get one...44 oz, 79 cents...mmmm...

    poppies on the far north (or west) end of the trail
    Tortilla Mountains - GET #4
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Another GET hike with JuanJaimeiii, doing the car swap with Nick and Dave. I hadn't done AZT 15 so I got two for one today. :) Had a nice visit and lunch when John and I crossed paths with the Tucson boys. Soon after, we missed a turn with a two and a half foot cairn. I think Nick put something in our koolaid during lunch. Wildflowers are appearing a little stronger each week, maybe just a late season. Thanks John and Nick for driving. Good times.
    Tortilla Mountains - GET #4
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Started before sunup. The drive into the south trailhead out of Dudleyville was great except for one spot just before we got onto Freeman Road, where there is a stream running. It wasn't too deep, we got our cars through it and had to drive pretty slow on the

    One of the coldest morning starts on the AZT!...cold, overcast and windy. First half of the trail was pretty flat, but in the second half we were in the Tortillas and the scenery was pretty nice! Loved seeing the Mineral Mountains, amazingly beautiful. At places on the trail we could see the Catalinas, the Superstitions, the Pinals and the Four Peaks all at once. We weren't prepared for the elevation, we were expecting a pretty flat day. We didn't do a lot of AEG, though, in the end. During the day we were able to see a couple of big jackrabbits, and several deer (mule deer, I'm suspecting) in one spot later in the day.

    So nice to be back out on the AZT, after a 2-month hiatus. Sorry Nick couldn't make it, hope you get to feeling better!

    35 segments done, 8 to go ... 3 in the south, and the 5-segment stretch from the North Rim to Utah. Will be done as soon as we can get up north after the snow melt, in May. I'm gonna be excited to be done, but will miss the good times :D

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Florence-Kelvin Road at Kelvin-Riverside bridge:

    Take AZ 177 south from Superior or north from Winkelman. Turn off at sign for the village of Kelvin onto Florence-Kelvin Road. Follow this paved 2-lane road 1.3 miles, through Kelvin (no services) to Kelvin-Riverside bridge over the Gila River. A dirt turnout is south of the bridge at a junction with Riverside Rd on the left. Alternate parking: For longer term parking, instead continue south on Florence-Kelvin Road for ~2mi to a large Arizona Trail parking lot on the left. The AZT / GET crosses the parking lot here, at MP 2.0 along the GET in Segment 4.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 09 2013 6:36 pm
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