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Crest Trail #144 - Santa Rita Mtns
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mini location map2022-06-04
13 by photographer avatarJim_H
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Crest Trail #144 - Santa Rita MtnsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking11.00 Miles 4,100 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   1.69 mph
4,100 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break10 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Mike was unable to make this, so Brian and I did a loop which is fairly popular and uses the Old Baldy Trail to Baldy Saddle, the Crest Trail, Four Springs Trail, Bog Springs, and then the Pipeline unofficial Trail/ Route. We also made a side excursion to Rice Peak, or 9109'. That diversion added 120' and .2 miles, but I just rounded down to 11 miles. I kept the 4100', as I'm like that. If skipping Rice Peak, it's basically 3980' and 10.85 miles, and the aspen grove along the Crest Trail and below Mt Ian makes a great rest/lunch spot.

Excellent hike, one I recommend for those looking for diversity and higher elevation hiking from Madera Canyon, and also water, some riparian shade, abundant birds, expansive views, and potentially bears. We were fortunate to see a bear as we were approaching Armor Spring, and there is a lot of trail digging and rooting from bear(s) on the Crest Trail and Four Springs Trails. Like Yosemite Valley climbers, bears are elusive, peripheral, and fleeting. Also, because Brian observed one 2 weeks ago, we heard (but could not see due to vegetation) an Elegant Trogon between Sylvester Springs and where we met the Pipeline Trail. It was basically at the Pipeline junction. Cornell Ornithology Bird Lab audio confirmed this for me, this morning.

Riparian Shade was particularly nice from Kent to Sylvester Springs, and there is flowing water in the creek closer to Kent. Sylvester Spring box has much water in it. The Bog-Kent Springs loop should be a great hike, too, as that entire area was very enjoyable. I really liked this hike, and even in June it was not too hot on the exposed south facing slopes of the Four Springs Trail. This could change when another 10 or so degrees are added to higher temperatures. It was only 101 for my location's high. I think this hike is probably really nice when some rain greens it up, and clouds cast shade during the coming Summer Thunderstorm Season. I reckon I'll repeat this.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sylvester Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Armour Spring Dripping Dripping
not usable

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Kent Spring Dry Dry
Didn't see any water in the spring box, but the adjacent creek had flowing water with pools.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sylvester Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Huge box full of pretty clear water.

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