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Bellota Trail #15, AZ

Guide 45 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.3 of 5 
171 45 0
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,286 feet
Elevation Gain 1,300 feet
Avg Time One Way 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.33
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author BrettVet
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 40
Photos 335
Trips 48 map ( 525 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:37am - 7:21pm
Official Route
8 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bighorn Fire119.5k
🔥 2017 Burro Fire27.2k
🔥 2003 Aspen Fire87.7 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

City Slickers section AZT
by BrettVet

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The trail travels from Molino Basin, up over a saddle into rolling grassland hills with rock formations and ends at Redington road. The Italian springs trail continues on the other side of Redington road. The hike can be started from either end and is great as a two party hike starting form both ends and exchanging car keys in the middle. The Molino Basin end starts from the restroom at Molino basin between milepost 5 and 6 on the Catalina Highway. The trail crosses the road and parallels the creek for a short distance then crosses the creek and begins the ascent up the saddle to the east. . At the saddle you go through a gate and enter Bellota Ranch. The trail drops down into a valley with the Rincon mountains in the distance and Aqua Caliente summit in view. At the bottom of the hill is the West Spring that is a cement solar powered cattle trough. From here the trail follows FR36 which is an overgrown 4x4 road. After about a mile it intersects an unsigned, but cairned trail to the south that goes up a side canyon. This is the Meligrosa canyon trail that goes down between the Melagrosa and Agua Caliente canyons and ends at Snyder road in Tucson. (Another great hike for another time) The trail takes off to the right after another mile or so and is marked with AZ trail markers. Follow the trail and don't be tempted to go up the road to the left, even though the topo map says to. This is a ranch road and is more traveled. The trail then becomes a single track trough rock formations to the south of Bellota ranch., Bellota ranch is dude ranch owned by Tanque Verde Guest Ranch and people pay big bucks to stay there to get the same hike your getting for FREE. The road to Bellota Ranch is intersected right after a pond. Go to the left up the hill on the road to find the trail continuation. From here the trail climbs out of the valley with more scenic views and a few deer. Reddington Road is a sight for sore eyes with the trailhead parking across the road. Form Tucson this trailhead is 12.5 after Redington road turns to dirt.

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.

2007-02-14 BrettVet

    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.

    Permit $$
    Visit this link for full details.
    2021 - FAQ
    $8 per vehicle per day
    $10 per vehicle per week
    $40 per vehicle per year (valid for one year from date of purchase)

    There are four specific day use areas that require a Coronado Recreational Pass or a National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass.
    1) Sabino Canyon - located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District (520)749-8700
    2) Madera Canyon - located on the Nogales Ranger District (520)281-2296
    3) Cave Creek - located on the Douglas Ranger District (520)364-3468
    4) Mt. Lemmon at 11 day-use sites.

    2021 Catalina State Park
    Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
    Individual/bicycle: $3.00

    2021 Sabino Canyon Tram is $12 extra. [ website ]

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

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Molino Basin Trailhead
    1. From I-10 & Grant: Head east on W Grant Rd 8.4 mi 20 mins
    2. Turn left at E Tanque Verde Rd 3.2 mi 6 mins
    3. Turn left at E Catalina Hwy 6.0 mi 9 mins

    In addition to the trailhead this is a large, popular campground and day use area. Parking for day use is immediately after turning into the Molino Basin. The trailhead is signed and takes off out of the day use area.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 131 mi - about 2 hours 25 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 21.7 mi - about 49 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 275 mi - about 4 hours 31 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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