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Sutherland - Romero Loop
6 Photosets

mini location map2019-10-26
4 by photographer avatarShatteredArm
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Sutherland - Romero LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Oct 26 2019
Run/Jog22.27 Miles 6,800 AEG
Run/Jog22.27 Miles   8 Hrs   34 Mns   2.65 mph
6,800 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
1st trip
This is a loop that has been on my list for awhile... Up Romero Canyon Trail to Romero Pass, then up to the junction with Sutherland/Samaniego Ridges, and finally back down via Sutherland Trail. Started out in the morning, which temperatures still below 40 degrees at CSP. Warmed up nicely once we started jogging, and the shade turned out to be quite nice on the way up.

I had only been up Romero Canyon Trail once prior to this; it was last December right after one of the winter storms, and the trail was covered in snow from about 4 miles in, with about 18" at the pass (might be a fun one from the backlog to write up a report on). Suffice it to say, it was a little easier going in the upper part of the canyon this time.

The pools are stagnant right now, although there is a trickle near the upper end.

Didn't feel so good heading up Lemmon Trail; might be a combination of the altitude up there and some lingering issues from a bout of allergies earlier in the week. So I was excited to reach the junction with Samaniego Trail.

There is a nice thicket of aspen trees on the way down the ridge, and it was in full bright yellow glory. I'd say Mount Lemmon foliage is peaking now.

At the Sutherland/Samaniego junction, I suggested we might take a side trip down to Shovel Spring for water, but we decided against it, thinking it was only like 9 miles back to CSP. This turned out to be a mistake.

Sutherland Trail was new for me, and I've heard some people have turned back because they can't find the trail. It is definitely hard to find in places, but having a map on the GPS watch helped (at the very least, it informed us that we should not be heading down the north side of the ridge yet). Once the trail starts descending in earnest, it's pretty easy to follow, though still overgrown in places.

By the time we hit the Jeep road, I knew water was becoming an issue, with the sun warming us up a little and about five miles to go. Looks like this would be my almost-monthly running-out-of-water-on-the-trail! A half mile or so before reaching the singletrack, and with just a few drops of water left in my pack, some guys with side-by-sides saved the day by giving us some nice cold water that got me within a mile of the parking lot. Yay! (I don't usually like having to share the trail with vehicles, but I will admit, it has its positives.)

This adventure was certainly more than a struggle than expected, and I would definitely recommend doing this loop in the other direction. Coming down that rocky Jeep road sucks, and you lose a lot more time trying to route find on the way down the ridge.
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Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme
Bright yellow clumps of aspens on the north-facing slopes of Mt Lemmon
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