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Rogers Ridge, AZ
mini location map2017-05-20
14 by photographer avatarPrestonSands
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Rogers Ridge, AZ 
Rogers Ridge, AZ
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,755 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
1,755 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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With a weekend of relatively cool temperatures as encouragement, I left Tucson late on Friday night, and slept in the bed of my truck beneath a palo verde tree in Hewitt Canyon. I awoke to an epic sunrise view of Roblas Butte, got my pack ready, and was on the road to Rogers Trough. HAZ reports were true; the road to Rogers was in great condition, including the switchback. I set off on foot, my goal being to follow Carlson and Stewart's "Silver Chief Trail" route to the Silver Chief Mine site.

The first half mile to butte 5169' and Rogers Ridge was an easy off trail jaunt through grass, mild brush, and some catclaw. Beyond there, the route became rougher. An daunting, unbroken carpet of six foot high manzanita lay before me, under a cloudless sky and 80-something temps. For the next couple of miles, I fought my way through the manzanita and catclaw, trying to follow the path of least resistance, occasionally finding isolated stretches of what seemed like a trail for a hundred yards or so. Blood and profanity poured forth like a waterfall, and I stopped a few times to reconsider my objective in the shade-less thickets. I decided to continue, as I never wanted to attempt this hike again.

After several hours on the ridgeline, I descended through even worse brush and catclaw to the Silver Chief Mine site. I say site, because the mine is completely collapsed, and there is really nothing to see here, except a bit of weathered junk from illegal mining in the 1990's, such as a mattress and rotten clothes. Still, it felt like an accomplishment, to relive frontier Arizona history, having recently enjoyed the book "Jacob's Trail". I located a tiny patch of shade under a small pinyon, and sat down to cool off, rest, and have lunch. I had decided to bushwhack down the ravine and over a saddle to reach the Rogers Canyon Trail, rather than go back through Manzanita Hell.

I bushwhacked, crawled and smashed my way down the ravine at a tediously slow pace of a half mile per hour, backtracking a few times when the route became ridiculous. Stopped to check out the old stone cabin foundations along the way. As I fought my way over the final saddle, audibly cursing the brush like a madman, I could see the inviting trees of Rogers Canyon below. Not long after I literally stumbled onto Rogers Creek at a trail crossing, and partook of the cool water there. It was a euphoric moment to find water and an established trail! I washed the blood and dirt off of my shredded legs, and said hello to a passing trail runner (a HAZ guy, I think).

I made the pleasant stroll up the Rogers Canyon Trail in the late afternoon light, stopping to soak in a tinaja along the way. I hiked past an almost deserted Rogers Trough Trailhead to my truck to resupply my water, and then hiked back to Rogers Spring to see the old Feldman "treasure trove" dig site of 2005. The spring was in a lush, wooded area, where I paused to consider the history of the site.

Returning to my truck at dusk, I climbed inside to enjoy chips and salsa and consider where to camp, but just sat there for several hours, too tired to move. By 10 pm I rallied and made the drive back to Superior for Circle K pizza and some much needed sleep at my favorite Silver King Road camp site. I drifted off to sleep considering my hike options for Sunday.

My review of the Rogers Ridge hike: Not a hike that I would want to do again. Unless you're a history nut like me, there is little reward for the amount of bushwhacking torture on Rogers Ridge. Probably the nastiest off trail hike I've ever done.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Roger's Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Gentle flow, small pools in places, dry in others.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Rogers Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Steady flow in the pipe
"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
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