|Rogers Rock-Kent Falls loop from Madera Canyon, AZ|
|Rogers Rock-Kent Falls loop from Madera Canyon, AZ|| |
Rogers Rock-Kent Falls loop from Madera Canyon, AZ
|1,175 ft AEG|
||no linked trail guides|
|Yesterday I joined a friend and her dog for my favorite short trek in Madera Canyon and perhaps the prettiest hike, especially in morning light. The loop includes some of the rec area's "back alleys" - unofficial trails but very well worn routes.
We began our hike on the Super Trail which we followed about halfway up to Josephine Saddle. From there we headed east on a route to Rogers Rock passing what was a nice little unofficial campsite just before crossing Fern Creek (aka south fork of Kent Creek). I say "was" because someone keeps vandalizing this campsite by breaking beer bottles into small pieces. Last year I spent several hours picking up glass here but that's another story. Obviously somebody is trying to discourage camping there.
We took a break on top of Rogers Rock and enjoyed the scenic view out the mouth of Madera Canyon toward Green Valley/Sahuarita and the pecan groves in the Santa Cruz Valley. There is also an magnificent view of the Santa Rita Crest. On top of the rock is a "cactus garden" with prickly pear, agave and hedgehog cacti which were in vibrant bloom. There is also an ponderosa pine on top which partially blocks an otherwise great view of Mt. Wrightson.
From Rogers Rock we retraced our steps back to Fern Creek and took the route down the canyon. Locals refer to this route as the Fern Trail because of an abundance of bracken fern this time of year. However it could just as easily been called the Columbine Trail on this day as we saw hundreds of yellow columbines in both Fern and Kent Canyons. The Fern Trail, under a canopy of tall pines and sycamores, is one of my favorite trail segments in the Santa Ritas. It ends at a creek crossing in Kent Canyon where support posts for a decommissioned water pipeline remain. An added bonus was the sound and sight of water flowing in both canyons, especially Kent. Often the creeks stop flowing in late Spring and early Summer.
Once in Kent Canyon we hiked down the Kent Spring Trail (essentially an old jeep road) to the lower creek crossing, and then bushwhacked up the creek about a 1,000 feet to Kent Falls which lies below the confluence of the north and south forks of the creek. Kent Falls, about 20 feet high, is a hidden gem in the Madera Canyon Recreation Area.
Back on the Kent Spring Trail we took a connector road up to the saddle between Kent and Madera Canyons, and headed down the Pipeline route to the Super Trail.
The My Track app on my partner's phone tracked our loop hike at nearly 7 miles, but this hike felt closer to 5 miles to me.
...just another crummy day in the Sonoran Desert