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Old Baldy - Super Trail Loop
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mini location map2008-06-14
13 by photographer avatarJeffshadows
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Old Baldy - Super Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2008
Hiking12.40 Miles 4,210 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles   8 Hrs      1.55 mph
4,210 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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allen fraley
So, up and around Wrightson we went. It was a great day with a great group of guys; Joe and Preston braved the early hours and long drives to join myself and the indomitable Fraley boys. The traffic on Baldy was light for a Saturday morning, and the weather cooperated until we reached Baldy saddle.

Early on during this section of the hike Nick disappeared momentarily, only to come sprinting by and leave us in a cloud of dust and wasn't until the saddle that we saw him again as he threw pine cones down at us and called us names Monty Python would be proud to claim (Just kidding :D ).

Many of the springs I expected to see running were dry and others that are usually dry were running. Baldy was dry, as was Sprung; Bellows was running strong. After a short jaunt up the final switchbacks our glorious arrival at the summit was made unfortunate by a torrential army of gnats thereupon. These gnats are not to be underestimated; the appear to have some sway with the mountain gods as they were able to short-circuit the wind that usually blows strong up there. Our appreciation of the views the summit avails was short-lived under the heel of those terrible gnats.

The trip down took us through some of the fire damage from a few years back, and we were all happy to witness new growth retaking the meadows and valleys. What I remembered about the Super Trail from a previous visit once again reined true: It's long, gradual, and frequently exposed. We got a healthy dose of sun winding back around near Josephine Peak toward Hopkins until we dropped back over Josephine saddle. One cloud was kind enough to provide some respite from the solar onslaught, but this section of trail was hot to say the least.

The final descent was one of the best parts of the hike. This was the time for reflection and conversations about all things outdoors with a diverse and awesome group...that is until we approached the infamous outhouse near the trailhead. As we slowly descended that final, gentle grade toward the parking lot we were alive with the memories of the day; turning and admiring "Old Baldy", laughing and joking merrily. Our laughter quickly turned to choking and merriment to sheer terror when we caught the first wafts of what awaited our return just below. The distortion from the fumes rising from the exhaust stacks above the outhouse made it difficult to make out exactly where we had parked, and were were all forced to flee blindly into the parking lot to avoid being overtaken by the foul corruption that lay just beyond the door that read: "Men." Men indeed; many a man has probably been lost to this dreaded place. But none among us, we were all able to count ourselves among the fortunate few that have escaped the Old Baldy Outhouse's clutches. We arrived at the truck unscathed...the truck that was luckily parked upwind.

(That last part was a total dramatization, of course ;) )
Chihuahua Pine
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bellows Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
It's hard to estimate, but it was probably in excess of 2 GPM
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