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Horseshoe Pass, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 9.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,570 feet
Elevation Gain 1,900 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19
Interest Historic & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2007-10-11 sumnergeo
4  2004-12-30 desertlavender
Author sumnergeo
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 1
Photos 44
Trips 24 map ( 195 miles )
Age 76 Male Gender
Location Houston, TX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:30am - 7:16pm
0 Alternative

high concentration of birders
by sumnergeo

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The Burro Trail starts in Maple Camp. The trail climbs south from the South Fork of Cave Creek to Horseshoe Pass. This is a view-filled climb of 1600 feet. To the south of the Pass, the trail leads to Burro Spring and drops into Horseshoe Canyon.

Maple Camp is 1.6 miles from the South Fork Trailhead on a beautifully maintained trail with an elevation gain of only 300 feet. The stretch to Maple Camp is birding country and you are likely to see more birders from more countries than anywhere else in Arizona. You may also see an elegant trogan and a painted redstart.

From Maple Camp, cross the creek to the south and start the switchbacks that lift you out of the canyon. Fifteen minutes of climb through silver leaf oak thickets brings you to the first of many spectacular views up and down the South Fork. The trail was well-used in 2005 and 2006 and there were no deadfalls or any problems with the tread to the Pass and down the other side to Burro Springs. This has always been a heavily used route by those avoiding the law - it is likely that the Powers Brothers came through here on their flight from the shootout in the Galiuros in the early 1900s.

A helipad site was cleared in the Pass during a fire in May 2006 resulting in excellent camp sites and views (but, the closest water is Burro Spring, about a mile and a half to the south).

It is possible to follow the Horseshoe Ridge Trail to the southwest toward Sentinel Peak and return to Maple Camp via the South Fork trail. This makes a ten mile loop. In 2007, the Horseshoe Ridge trail was fairly easy to follow but heavily overgrown and with many logs across the trail. The same can be said for the upper mile or two of the South Fork Trail below Sentinel Peak.

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2007-10-10 sumnergeo
    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.

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Tucson, drive east on I-10 to San Simon and take the road south to Portal, AZ. From Portal, drive up Cave Creek and turn left at the South Fork junction. The last two miles are dirt to the trailhead where there is parking, picnic tables, and a restroom but no water.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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