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Sutherland - Romero Loop
6 Photosets

mini location map2019-01-05
10 by photographer avatarvivisectvi
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Sutherland - Romero LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2019
Hiking21.40 Miles 6,801 AEG
Hiking21.40 Miles
6,801 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Sarah and I decided to venture out on this route as a day hike / run this past Saturday Jan 5th. Snow from the 1st of the year was still visible from the desert floor so we knew we would have to contend with some powdery stuff. We didn't concern ourselves too much since we could always turn around. Based on a review of the topo we were pretty certain we knew which slopes would hold thick snow and we were moderately certain we would be able to complete the loop with only a few miles of deep stuff.

We started the day late... Driving from Gilbert we arrived at Catalina State Part at 10:00 AM. We were able to "run" until about mile six of Romero Canyon, just short of Romero Pass. At that point the terrain steepened and the snow deepened. From this point until about halfway down Sutherland Trail we were consistently trudging through untracked snow. We encountered a party of 4 going the opposite direction (clockwise) just below the high point on Lemmon #5. The path up Romero and Lemmon #5 was easy enough to follow, even without blazes or cairns, until we began the descent of Sutherland.

I would not advise descending Sutherland in the snow without route finding and wilderness navigation experience. Cairns and markers are dubiously placed, obscured by snow and overgrowth. Without the footsteps of the group moving in the opposite direction our descent would have been next to impossible and we would have had to retreat back over the pass and down Romero Canyon. Even following the footsteps of the ascending party we struggled through the dense overgrowth to follow the convoluted route back to the trailhead.

The final 5 or 6 miles the snow finally eased and the trail down Sutherland transitioned to a jeep track. This enabled us to jog into the finish at 7:30PM.
HAZ - Hike HAZard
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