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2017-05-08  
Charouleau Gap Samaniego Ridge, AZ
mini location map2017-05-08
16 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Charouleau Gap Samaniego Ridge, AZ 
Charouleau Gap Samaniego Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2017
markthurman53
Hiking14.80 Miles 4,256 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   7 Hrs   51 Mns   2.41 mph
4,256 ft AEG   1 Hour   43 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
About a year ago I hiked the Samaniego Ridge trail from Mount Lemmon to just south of Mule Ear Peak and this hike will be from the North to the Same point. I started the trail from the Charouleau Gap Jeep Trail at Canada Del Oro Wash. My plan was to drive the jeep trail as far as I dared along the Jeep trail to shorten the hiking distance. I got in about 2 miles where the road became a bit more of a challenge than I wanted to take and where it starts to climb the hills. The hike to Charouleau Gap is along this jeep trail and at times a bit steep. The worst part is the loose gravel on top of granite can make your footing a bit unsteady, going down was the worst. Once up at Charouleau Gap (about 4.5 miles), the Samaniego Ridge Trail starts. I thought this would be easier but I was wrong, The trail starts out climbing to the ridge and it is steep. Once on the ridge the trail continues to climb but at a little less aggressively. The trail is really overgrown in many places but easy enough to follow thanks to the rock cairns along the way. Long pants and shirt are recommended because everything along the trail wants to take a piece of you. Views from along the ridge are great both to the East over Canada Del Oro and Mount Lemmon and also to the West over Oro Valley. I made it to the peak just north of Mule Ears Peak and due to time constraints had to turn around here. I was about .8 miles short of my turn around point of last years hike, I could see my destination but opted to call it close enough. I was suppose to start the hike at 6:00 in the morning but due to spending so much time trying to figure out how to get to the trail head, I didn't start until 7:15. It appears you get here through Saddlebrooke Estates (names of the roads on Google earth don't match the actual names). From the south it appears North Lago Del Oro Parkway will get you here too. Great hike and thanks to the short spurt of cool weather I was able to finish Samaniego Ridge Trail, at least all but a small piece in the middle. There was no water along this trail at the time I went and being a ridge trail I doubt there is ever much water along this trail except in the winter months from snow melt.
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