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mini location map2015-12-15
11 by photographer avatarMountain_Rat
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Newman Peak TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2015
Hiking5.57 Miles 2,737 AEG
Hiking5.57 Miles   5 Hrs   37 Mns   1.34 mph
2,737 ft AEG   1 Hour   27 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
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I met up with Jim this morning and we headed down some dirt roads to our launching pad. I had driven past and looked at the Picacho Mountains a thousand times in my life, but never before so closely. It’s rare that a mountain can bring me to doubt, but this one had before we had even reached the parking area. It’s a brutally steep field of boulders which has somehow managed to support enough vegetation to put a mild hurt on any who would pass here (though I did far less bleeding today than usual).

The first 7/10 mile was pretty easy and seemed to follow the remains of an old two track of some sort, leading to an old mine site. The following 1.2ish miles was a bit more of a climb and would show itself off and on as trail snippets, but in any absence of actual trail, there were always cairns nearby (fantastic system of cairns the entire way). At about 1.9 miles in, we turned north-northwest and the climb began. This is the bulk of the hike. We stared straight up a 1/2+ mile chute that is loose and very steep. This is where we started making some elevation gain. The GeePuS was erratic as the walls closed in, but there was really little variance possible in a 30 foot wide slot. It’s not like we could have gotten lost in the middle of this section. At the top of the chute, we made a turn back east again for the final 1/4ish mile to the peak. The final approach was pretty straight forward and I felt like I could hit it with a rock, though in reality, No! We did finally make the peak and as close as I can tell, in 2 hours, 42 minutes which included one 15ish minute break (so about 2-1/2 hours up).

Our break at the top was nearly an hour. Now getting toward mid-afternoon, the warm clothes were going back on. As it seems to go at the peaks; cool, breezy and I may be wrong, but we may have at a higher elevation than the sun :? I know we were looking down on Picacho Peak. Anywho, we set out on our return, slipping, sliding, getting off track as on the way up, but at a much better pace, finishing in about 2 hours and a couple of minutes. Nice run. Once down, we made a hasty charge toward the real roads to beat darkness, a couple of miles away, making it out just as my fenix3 buzzed sundown (and it was dead on).

I didn’t even pay any attention to this range before Jim suggested it a week or two ago. It never made my list before being checked off, but this one, and it’s neighbors could well rate return trips.

Thanks Jim. Good call and we shall hike together again soon.
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