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mini location map2010-12-11
15 by photographer avatarGrottoGirl
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Buster MountainTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2010
Hiking5.35 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking5.35 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Baja Arizona Hiking
We hiked from the parking lot at Catalina State Park about a 1/4 mile on the Birding Trail. From there we left the trail went up the south side of Montrose Wash to a ridge. We were hoping to find a route that is described in "The Santa Catalina Mountains - A Guide to the Trails and Routes" but we didn't have any luck finding it. We followed the ridge - which was VERY BRUSHY - around to a saddle. The saddle had some Mexican Blue Oaks that appeared to have provided shade to animals quite recently. On the east side of the saddle we went into the drainage and found Buster Spring. It had been rebuilt in 1993 by the Arizona Game Commission. There was no water at the spring at this time. We did find some trash in the drainage below the spring - a sleeping bag, tarp, two buckets, and a few beer cans. Too much trash for me to think about carrying it out. From the spring, we headed southwest over to another saddle and then climbed up to the top of Buster Mountain. From the top of Buster Mountain you can see into Alamo Canyon. You, also, can see the backsides of many of the Front Range peaks. It was very picturesque even though we were not able to get the best view due to the positioning of the sun. We had a snack on the top and browsed through the peak register. It had entries for the Southern Arizona Hiking Club from 1986. There was also notes from someone who had been doing a Bighorn Sheep survey. He never saw any sheep but he did see lots of deer and javalina - wish we had!

On our way off the mountain we decided to check out the bedrock in the drainage that we could see as we approached the mountain. It was definitely worth checking out. However, the drainage was too steep and slick to go down. We contoured around the side of the ridge we had gone up until we met up with our footprints. From there we continued until we saw some cairns. We decided to follow them to see if it was any less brushy. It wasn't. We did finally meet up with the route that we had intended to take when we had started out.

I'd recommend to take this in the early afternoon on a cold day to get a better view of Alamo Canyon.

Overall, great hike even though it is very brushy!
Named place
Named place
Alamo Canyon Buster Mountain

dry Buster Spring Dry Dry
HAZ Member
439 Photosets

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