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Santa Rita Crest Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-08-06
7 by photographer avatarLJW
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Santa Rita Crest Loop, AZ 
Santa Rita Crest Loop, AZ
Hiking15.57 Miles 5,017 AEG
Hiking15.57 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.92 mph
5,017 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Slimmed down a hike I did last year that looped around the crest of the Santa Rita Mountains. Cut McCleary Peak off the route and went counterclockwise. Stuck with Wrightson, Ian, and 88 Mac. Started somewhere round 5am, third car in the parking lot.

Old Baldy to Super instead of Super to Pipeline. Super lengthens the trip up Wrightson, but the hike's better for it. Passed a hiker below Josephine Saddle who I saw at Baldy Saddle after coming down from the summit. Shady and cool until around to the east side of the mountain on Super and from there it was sunny and warm until crossing back over the crest.

Nobody on the summit when I got there, and the views were hazy. Seen it twice, seen it a thousand times, unless it's one of those late autumn mornings after a storm drops an inch of snow on the mountain in the night and the clouds settle below Baldy Saddle and stretch out all the way to the horizon. It was not one of those mornings.

From Wrightson to Ian. Left Crest Trail and climbed up the ridge. Last time I had thought it a better idea to follow the crest itself rather than the Crest Trail from Ian/Mac, but I wanted to get in on the forest below. Crest trail is in pretty good shape, overgrown in some spots.

Mac's an easy summit. From the ridge, it looks like a big hill of rock. But it's a nice open ridge walk with big views of Madera Canyon and the Southern/Southeastern ranges. Went back the way I came and headed down to crest.

Swung around and back over the crest with Four Springs. Shady oaks and open pine forest. I cut away from Four Springs and headed down Kent Springs. I think it's shorter than switchbacking down Super, plus there's water. Sylvester Spring was a blessing with the temperatures reaching into the nineties. Cold, clear water flowing from the spring box.

From Sylvester Spring to the trailhead only saw two more hikers. Trailhead was surprisingly empty considering the Catalina closures.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

dry Armour Spring Dry Dry

dry Baldy Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Kent Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Basing off water in the creek, plenty there

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Sylvester Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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