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Oracle Ridge Trail #1
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mini location map2018-02-18
21 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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Oracle Ridge Trail #1Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2018
DarthStiller
Hiking15.60 Miles 3,781 AEG
Hiking15.60 Miles   7 Hrs   58 Mns   2.09 mph
3,781 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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joebartels
wallyfrack
This hike is in the 100 Classic Hikes in AZ book, and it's suggested as a downhill shuttle, which would mean more driving time than hiking time for an entire day hike from Phoenix. I've decided to tackle it in 2 sections, one half from the bottom, one half from the top. Rice Peak seemed to be the reasonable midway spot to pick, plus there's a road that you can follow to the peak to make an official peak bag. Today we started from the bottom, i.e. Oracle.

We parked at the spacious lot at the intersection of Cody Loop and Durant Roads, next to the water tower. This is the official beginning of the Oracle Trail #1. The sun hit us early on once we started to gain some elevation. At one point I even put my hood up on my thinner hiking shirt for sun protection. By the time we reached Rice Peak, however, the clouds had rolled in and the temps had dropped a bit. Just enough to make everything comfortable. There were some briefs periods of sun breaking through, but every time I looked up at Mt. Lemmon, it was pretty dark and cloudy up there.

On our way up we had two trail runners go past us, about 10 min apart. Along the way also was a dog that from what the runners told us, follows them up every day. Not sure how far up they went, but it must have been close to our destination of Rice Peak.

The road last section of the trail was the dirt road. That part was the steepest part of the hike, and I'm glad it was on a dirt road instead of a regular trail. It was still very difficult from a cardiovascular standpoint, but the wide road made for an easier way to walk on smoother ground as opposed to loose rock. the last section up to Rice Peak from the trail/road was a bear. At least a few hundred extra feet of AEG on rip rap. The hike back down from the peak was harder than the hike up.

On our way back, Joe and Wally were talking and missed a few turn offs onto the trail from the dirt roads, and then ended up making more wrong turns on the dirt roads. They ended up hiking an extra 2.5 miles more than I did. I noticed them behind me with just about 2 miles left on my hike, which confused me. The last time I saw them they were at least a half mile ahead of me. Everyone made it back ok with sore muscles, joints, etc. Saw a few other hikers, but not many. Also saw a group of horse riders, but they weren't even riding when we saw them. Sat there for several minutes.
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