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Rincon Double Feature, AZ
mini location map2021-04-10
8 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
photographer avatar
 
Rincon Double Feature, AZ 
Rincon Double Feature, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking31.88 Miles 7,927 AEG
Hiking31.88 Miles   15 Hrs   29 Mns   2.59 mph
7,927 ft AEG   3 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Been curious (jealous) of all the fun trips in the Rincons, so headed down there and was absolutely blown away. This range is fantastical.

Turkey Creek Trail
Parked at Miller Creek Trailhead (46F, brr) and walked the roads in the dark, passing a half-dozen RVs along 4408 and reaching the trail in time to turn off my headlamp. Trail construction is fantastic (a common theme for the day) and I made quick work of the foothills, rounding 5220' and starting the meat of the climb with the rising sun. Temps were perfect - the steep slope worked up a healthy sweat, and I only had to pause for a few minutes for the cool air to chill me down. Anyways, reached Mudhole before 7AM and had decent shade for the rest of the climb, and I enjoyed the views of Reef Rock and the relentless uphill.

Deerhead / Switchback / Heartbreak
Deerhead was... a trail? After so much uphill this mostly flat route passed in a blink. Poked around Spud Rock campground, checking in on the spring. Quick break, then strode up Switchback, which was more memorable because it had (well-built) switchbacks. Heartbreak dragged, mostly because I was looking forward to topping Reef Rock. The marked drainage below Man Head had a trickle of water.

Fire Loop
Quick haul up to Man Head, during which my legs briefly thought about cramping, and then easy going under tall pines, with a soft breeze rustling underneath. The views from Reef Rock are fantastic, especially after gazing up at it all morning. There are a few lovely meadows to pass through, a handful of annoying drainages to roller-coaster through, overall this is a fun loop. Continued up to the summit of Mica Mountain, which offered no grand vista, just the remains of a fire tower.

Heading down was neat, with Spud Rock and Helen's Dome to check out, plus some good views north to Santa Catalinas. Spent some time gazing at Mount Lemmon, trying to retrace my visit last year and guess which flanks were hit hard with the fire. Eventually turned south and headed into Manning Camp (which was only manned by deer) and tanked up on water.

Manning Camp / Devil's Bathtub
Long, busy lunch break, and then headed down and quickly passed a few backpackers on their way up. Turned and headed east, where the burn damage picked up some. Didn't enjoy Devil's Bathtub as much, even with the big views - the day's heat was picking up and there's a lot of rocky exposure. Spring was trickling enough to almost be called a waterfall.

Heartbreak Ridge
I missed the tall pines of Mica Mountain quickly. There are views and interesting flora, and the trail is well-maintained, it just felt rather toasty in the afternoon sun. Made the quick haul up to the lookout, was neat to be halfway between the two peaks and have such a great view. Then there is that sudden, beautifully built set of switchbacks (boy was I happy to be going down them) and I was finally at the saddle.

Rincon Peak
Time for the "burnout". First mile is flat, and I used plenty of words to describe the rest of it, and flat was not one of them. Some overgrowth, some deadfall, and that last half mile had some confusing tread. Part of me enjoyed this trail, and I can see it being a fun standalone summit from Miller Creek. Doing it at the end of a long day was painful. When I reached the top I gazed at the panorama, swam in the vertigo, and then zoomed back down, ready to be done. Going downhill wasn't quite as tough as I thought it would be, and there were even a few sections that I jogged along.

Miller Creek
Not sure if I loved or hated this one. The trail construction is creative, and for as much elevation as it covers, there are a lot of flat switchbacks winding around the huge boulders. Had to turn on the headlamp about two miles in and navigate a few confusing twists. Last mile through the creek dragged. Think I need to do this again in the light to fully appreciate it.

Maybe a dozen people on the trail, along Manning Camp and Heartbreak.
Named place
Named place
Mud Hole Spring - Mica


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Devils Bathtub Quart per minute Quart per minute
Large pool above rock falls, dripping flow over the lip.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Manning Camp Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Amazing.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A few sad, scummy pools at the bottom.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Dripping Dripping
A few pools deep enough to scoop from.

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