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Upper Javelina Trail, AZ

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Guide 54 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
2.3 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,695 feet
Elevation Gain 495 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,302 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.51
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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22  2018-12-19
Tortolita Mountains Inner Loop
25  2018-12-17
Tortolita Mountains Super Loop
8  2017-03-28
Wild Burro/ Upper Javelina/ Wild Mustang loop
1  2015-11-18 fricknaley
5  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
13  2015-04-25
Tortolitas Superloop
24  2015-02-26
Tortolitas Superloop
7  2014-02-23
Tortolitas Superloop
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   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:23pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Believe it or not I actually did see a Javelina
by fricknaley

2013 Route Modification
Access is now from the Ritz.

This is a nice, easily accessible out and back hike on the western edge of the trails in the western section of the Tortolita Mountains. It makes for a quick jaunt with enough up and down elevation to get your heart rate up.

Start from the common Wild Burro Trailhead on the east side of Dove Mountain Blvd. used to access all these trails in the western Tortolias. The first stretch of this hike is the ubiquitous Wild Burro Wash walk of 1.35 into the interior of the Wild Burro Canyon. This is the same wash I've described for all the other hikes out here, so I won't go into detail again. You can follow the trail as it wanders along either side of the wash, or simply walk the wash. After passing the foolish Ritz Carlton and State Trust boundary you will come to the intersection of the Wild Burro Trail and several others at a signed intersection. This is about 1.35 miles from the trailhead. Hang a right onto the Upper Javelina Trail and start to almost immediately climb up the northern flanks of the Wild Burro Canyon walls. The trail heads back west somewhat as it climbs with views of the resort (lame). As it climbs it crosses over a small but fairly steep drainage heading south. Cross over this and switchback up it's western walls up higher onto the northern wall of the larger Wild Burro Canyon. Now the trail heads away from the canyon slight as it continues north onto the hilly ridgeline of the canyon. Just less than a mile from the intersection of the Wild Burro trail, the Upper Javelina will split at a signed intersection with the Wild Mustang Trail which heads right. Take the left fork onto the signed Upper Javelina trail. There is an unsigned trail intersection just before this, which is only indicated by a generic trail marker with the arrow pointing you right. I think the unsigned left here may take you down to the Ritz, but I'm not sure. In either event, look for the signed intersection of Upper Javelina and Wild Mustang, which is roughly 2.25 miles from the parking lot.

This next stretch of the upper Javelina trail will parallel the ridgeline of a small canyon spilling down west towards to north end of the resort and adjacent golf course, with nice views far out to the west. This minor canyon sits between the larger Wild Burro and Cochie Canyons. It initially climbs up the north wall of the ridgeline then crosses over to the south flank at the highpoint before slowly descending gradually back down to the desert floor. The descent is fairly gradual. Thought the resort view is annoying, the local scenery around you as you descend is very nice typical desert mountain terrain and flora. At about 3.75 miles from the trailhead the Upper Javelina trail comes to a gate at the boundary of the resort. You can pass through the gate and follow a path along the periphery of the resort, possibly all the way back to the mouth of Wild Burro Canyon, which I would not recommend due to the annoyance factor and I'm also not entirely sure the path goes all the way back. I would recommend going back up the way you came. You get to add some elevation again on the way back and the scenery is much, much better.

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.

2010-02-12 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
    Upper Javelina Trail
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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.
    Upper Javelina Trail
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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…
    Upper Javelina Trail
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    Wild Burro/ Upper Javelina/ Wild Mustang Loop
    Tuesday after-work special in the Tortolitas. The weather was great, just a little hot, but my unfortunate surprise for the day was the gnats! This ended up being the single worst bug hike I have ever done in Arizona, even worse than anything I have seen at the McDowell - Sonoran Preserve. I could swing my hand in front of my face and contact a good dozen+ gnats at basically any point along this hike. There is only a certain number of times that a man can forcefully eject an insect from one's nose and still consider the task at hand as enjoyable...apparently 6 is the number for this man. :D I had to stop for a few minutes to take a work call, and that would be my only break, I would have preferred to do without that one as well. The hike itself was good, managed to stay on trail this whole trip. Good elevation gain up Javelina and Mustang, took the Burro wash back to the van. Not a single other person sighted this trip. I sure hope the bugs calm down for my next trip out here...

    Wildflowers are pretty much done, a little color on Catclaw Acacia and some of the cholla.
    Upper Javelina Trail
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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.
    Upper Javelina Trail
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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
    Upper Javelina Trail
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    First trip into the Tortolitas, good enough to make me come back some time. I started out from the Ritz with plans of doing the Wild Mustang-Alamo Springs loop, but plans got changed slightly. First off, big kudos to the Town of Marana for the color trail map with topo, not the most in depth, but a fantastic free resource. I figured I would be fine without a pre-loaded GPS track, but the map certainly came in handy. Took the trail to the Upper Javelina trail, but I managed to get off trail in the first big drainage just past the hotel overlook. There must have been a trail I didn't see (I did not look very hard), after I had pulled myself up about the third large boulder I got the feeling that this was no longer trail. I think my off-trail adventure to Panther and Safford Peaks a few weeks ago rubbed off, rather than climb back down the drainage to find the trail, I forged on with the hopes of doing a cross-country to refind the trail higher up. I managed to do exactly that, after going through the drainage to the north and east a bit I did find the Wild Mustang trail again! My 'shortcut' might have saved a quarter mile, but it took quite a while to negotiate, with a few obligatory blood donations along the way. It was mostly bouldering, with a few spots I had to pull myself up through. Now back on trail, I picked up some speed and made it back to the intersection with the Wild Burro trail. I decided to skip the Alamo Springs portion, it would have added another almost 2 miles and I was already running short on time. This will give me a good excuse to come back again...Not much wildlife out this afternoon in the heat, and I didn't see any other hikers so that was great. Great views east to the Catalinas for good parts of the trip. I liked all the big boulders out here, the terrain reminds me a bit of the eastern part of the McDowells. Woo hoo!
    Upper Javelina Trail
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    Started out today to see if I could find a route for a superloop around the biggest swath of the Tortolitas as I could and hit some or all of every trail out there ... mission accomplished :y: The unofficial trail from the top of Cochie Spring to the top of Wild Mustang was a little uncertain at first but quickly proved very doable. Loved taking in the Torts from so many angles today. Especially loved the Cochie and Ridgeline segments of this loop! Take the time to do some looking around when you go to Wild Burro Tank, there is a lot more out there than you might realize.

    May re-do the official route I posted later, once the construction finishes on the Wild Burro Loop Trail portion, as I think that will put the first 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile after Wild Burro Tank on a much more defined trail.

    Started about 9am, out just after 4pm.
    Upper Javelina Trail
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    Hiked in the rain just to show Wally what he's dealing with... :lol:

    Cruised up to the junction with Cochie Canyon just to do it. Yay 20,000 feet for feb. Finally :y:

    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 Feb 12 2010 3:13 pm
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