Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

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pjhikes
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Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by pjhikes » May 06 2015 4:54 pm

I am planning to do passage 11 and 12 at the end of May and was looking at my datasheets and see that there is now an option of doing the 11.7 miles on passage 11 or doing the Pusch Ridge Wilderness bypass that takes a different route and ties back into passage 12 at Oracle Ridge Trailhead. Does anyone know which route is the best (and for me I'm thinking easier is best - ha. But scenery is important too) Any advise? And we may only do that distance instead of all of passage 12 - need to see how much time we will have. Thanks for any feedback on these passages.

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Jim_H
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by Jim_H » May 06 2015 7:56 pm

I'm not an expert on the AZT, but given that I have seen an AZT trail sign at the start of the Incinerator Ridge Trail, I think the bypass runs on the ridge largely parallel to the Catalina Highway's upper part. Water might be lacking, but the views are fantastic up there, there are camping spots, and it will be nowhere near as hot as the official AZT running through the Pusch Wilderness below 5,000' or even 6,000'.
Rocks!!

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blisterfree
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by blisterfree » May 08 2015 12:48 am

The bicycle route adjacent the busy highway misses Wilderness of Rocks. Nuff said?

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rcorfman
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by rcorfman » May 08 2015 9:05 am

blisterfree wrote:The bicycle route adjacent the busy highway misses Wilderness of Rocks. Nuff said?
That was my thoughts too. I really enjoyed passage 11, especially after Shreve Saddle (where you enter the wilderness). The climb from Hutch's pool to Romero pass was enjoyable. The first 1.5 miles of passage 12 from Romero pass up to the Wilderness of Rocks is hard but the views are fantastic.

One note, the datasheet says it's a quarter mile from the trail to Hutch's pool but it's really only 150 yards or so.
Go find a LonelyCache

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pjhikes
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by pjhikes » May 08 2015 12:47 pm

So it sounds like the "official" route is the way to go for less people and better scenery? Is that what you are saying? Since I'm not familiar with that area I'm not sure what the bike route implies. . . but I'd rather not have a bunch of mountain bikers zooming past. And Wilderness of the Rocks area and Hutch's Pool look cool. . . so just wanted to make sure those of you familiar could guide me on these options:) Thanks for the replies! Pam

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blisterfree
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by blisterfree » May 08 2015 1:06 pm

It's great to have the additional connections made possible by the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass. And yes, the views off the east side of the Catalinas are grand indeed, at least from what I've seen of the Incinerator Ridge area. But I would tend to think the original "main" AZT would be more appealing overall to hikers. One way or another you're climbing several thousand feet from the desert to the pines. The main route just seems to hit more of the sweet spots that hikers enjoy, and does it well away from the sights and sounds of modern life. Better water availability too, yes?

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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by Sredfield » May 08 2015 7:39 pm

. . . and the "main" AZT between Romero Pass and Marshall Gulch has just been cleared of deadfall and brush, and is looking better than it has in decades!
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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rcorfman
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by rcorfman » May 08 2015 8:54 pm

pjhikes wrote:...but I'd rather not have a bunch of mountain bikers zooming past.
I camped at West Spring with another hiker I met on the trail the night before I camped at Hutch's Pool. It was dark and I was starting dinner when some cyclists stopped where we were camped (next to the tank) for a simple repair. We got to talking and one cyclist asked if we needed anything. One of us jokingly said a cold beer would be nice. Well, like magic, that cyclist pulled a cold pint of ale out of his pack and gave it to us!
Go find a LonelyCache

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pjhikes
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Re: Passage 11 - Santa Catalina or Pusch Ridge Bypass

Post by pjhikes » May 09 2015 8:19 am

rcorfman wrote:one cyclist asked if we needed anything. One of us jokingly said a cold beer would be nice. Well, like magic, that cyclist pulled a cold pint of ale out of his pack and gave it to us!

Well, THAT settles it then. I take back my comment about cyclist. Bring em on ;) And I also do mountain biking so I mean nothing bad with my comment (and happily share the trail with all - I just don't like hiking in really popular and busy biking sections). So, great views, cleared recently (THANK YOU),sweet spots, more remote, better water (yes?), and the potential of a wandering biker with a cold beer? I'm convinced the main/official route is the way to go, and just hope the temps aren't too hot (in which case we jump in hutch's pool to cool off I guess). Thanks for all the guidance.

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