Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

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mzan
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City, State: Tucson, AZ

Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by mzan » Feb 27 2020 2:52 pm

Hi folks,

I'm planning a very simple two day backpacking trip with my wife who hasn't done any backpacking (yet!). I'm planning on ascending one of the canyons up to AZT #11, exploring the nearby peaks, spending the night, and heading back down another canyon. We'd like to do this sometime in April. I'm assuming it won't be too cold at night at that elevation or time of year, but I'd like to double-check. Anything else I should consider? We're traveling out from the east coast so a little more planning is warranted!

Thanks!

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joebartels
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by joebartels » Feb 27 2020 3:17 pm

@mzan
Hi, here is a helper to find out [ Historical Weather ]

Others might chime in with other considerations.
- joe

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DixieFlyer
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City, State: Fountain Hills, AZ

Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by DixieFlyer » Feb 27 2020 4:24 pm

@mzan
some of that area is closed to hikers until April 30 due to being in a bighorn sheep habitat protection area...within the restricted area you are supposed to stay on trails...info is available on the Coronado NF website
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.

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ShatteredArm
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Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by ShatteredArm » Feb 27 2020 9:24 pm

@DixieFlyer
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 670251.pdf
Camping is still allowed "in accordance to specifications", which basically means no pets or livestock, and no more than six people. Past years' closure orders specified within 400 feet of official trails...current one doesn't say that, but I'd assume you still have to camp near the trail.

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DixieFlyer
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Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by DixieFlyer » Feb 28 2020 6:38 am

ShatteredArm wrote:Past years' closure orders specified within 400 feet of official trails
Thanks for pointing that out -- I had not noticed that this was removed from the current order. So it sounds like it is even more restrictive this year.
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.

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mzan
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Joined: Mar 26 2010 3:11 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by mzan » Feb 28 2020 3:47 pm

@joebartels Thanks for the link! I've used HAZ website for many years but I'm always discovering new features.

@DixieFlyer Thanks for the reminder about the restricted area. Seems like to be in strict compliance, we should camp outside that zone, though we can use the trails themselves in the restricted area.

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chumley
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City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by chumley » Feb 28 2020 4:00 pm

@DixieFlyer
Despite it's explicitness, I've heard that what's written in the forest order isn't very straightforward and there are other sources for information out there that may result in guidelines that are more favorable to your personal hiking preferences.

@mzan
The HAZ weather link is a great resource. April weather can vary a lot in Arizona, from cold storms with snow above 6,000 feet, to warm high pressure systems that push the desert temps to 100. So the averages are a good guideline, but it's good to be prepared for the extremes too.
Profound observer

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ShatteredArm
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Catalina front range - April weather/etc?

Post by ShatteredArm » Feb 28 2020 4:30 pm

@mzan
The closure order allows for camping, it's just not as clear about how close to the trail you have to stay. I would assume existing campsites along the trail are ok.

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