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Rincon Mountains - AZT #9
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mini location map2015-04-04
30 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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Rincon Mountains - AZT #9Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2015
BiFrost
Hiking27.50 Miles 6,942 AEG
Hiking27.50 Miles   12 Hrs   22 Mns   2.59 mph
6,942 ft AEG   1 Hour   46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
The original plan was to do Rincon AZT #9 as a backpack with overnight at Manning Camp. But due to some logistics we changed it to the long day hike option. Amy (Uphill Junkie) joined us for the hike. A friend dropped us off at Loma Alta TH at 630 for the start and hiked with us for the first 2.3 miles to the Quilter Trail turnoff. Quilter starts out gradual to a creek crossing where we found some good water to filter if needed. From there the trail gets steeper with switch backs around 800 foot climb before leveling off over to the Madrona turnoff. About 1 mile up the trail from Madrona we found another nice creek crossing with good pools before the trail kicks up again to Grass Shack. Grass Shack had plenty of water and was the best source all day other than Manning. Took a break here and then started the longest climb of the day about 2200 feet in 3.5 miles up to the Devils Bathtub trail turnoff. Nice section of trail despite the continuous elevation gain. From Devils Bathtub junction it's short 1 mile to Manning Camp where we filtered water and had lunch. Despite all the elevation gain of over 6,000 feet the trail never got really steep...just long gradual climb all the way to Manning.

After lunch we headed up the last 600 feet of climb to Mica Mountain. We went to the summit which is only .1 mile off the AZT before starting the long descent to Italian Spring. There was some water at Italian Spring but not the best quality although we didn't look around that much so possible there are better sources nearby. We continued the descent to the Park Boundary enjoying the views as you drop off the north side of Mica Mountain. The drop is definitely more dramatic and severe on the north side than the Loma Alta-Madrona side. Eventually we made the Wilderness Boundary at a creek crossing which had some decent flow and pools. From there it was just 2.5 miles to Italian Trap and the end of this section AZT. Unfortunately our pick up was at Redington Road so we hiked the extra 2.3 miles to the road. Although the signs at Italian Trap say 2.8 miles to Redington Road it's really only 2.3. Finally made the car right at sunset to enjoy some cold beverages and snacks. Long day but great to get this tough section of AZT done. Definitely have to return as a backpack to spend more time enjoying the top of the Rincons!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
poppies, owl clover, globe mallow, blue bells, verbena, brittlebush, mariposa, fairy duster, penstemon

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Grass Shack Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
lots of water with many pools and water flowing in and around the drainage at Grass Shack CG

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Italian Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
one pool at the spring but not the best quality of water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Manning Camp Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
lost of water flowing and many pools in the drainage just below the Manning main building
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