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Hot Springs Canyon
6 Photosets

mini location map2022-05-08
15 by photographer avatarmikemcg
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Hot Springs CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking9.20 Miles 371 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   5 Hrs   17 Mns   2.10 mph
371 ft AEG      54 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We didn't find any hot springs. But we did see at least 15 deer, 30 cattle, 3 turkeys, 100 squirrels, and a few thousand other birds.

The last 18 miles of the drive are on a dirt road which was easy for my low-clearance vehicle. Muleshoe Ranch is closed but the trails are open to hikers. There is a small parking lot for hikers, but the entrance is not obvious - we had to look carefully and read the small print on the sign to access the lot, then walk up the road a little bit to reach the trail.

The trail begins as a wide dirt road, which gradually narrows as it enters the canyon. There was moderate vegetation, which became thicker as we progressed, and soon turned into a beautiful riparian environment. There was no water for the first 1.5 miles, then there were a few pools up to 15 inches deep filled with tadpoles.

The flowing water began about 2.5 miles in and was continuous from there. It was typically 3-6 inches deep, but up to 3 feet deep in a couple spots. Beautiful and peaceful. There were numerous small (3-12 inches) fish in the water. There were a few cascades and one 2-foot waterfall. There was an interesting juxtaposition of thick green vegetation immediately around the creek with the desert environment visible just 50 feet away at the top of the canyon. There were multiple deer and thousands of birds. There were several turkeys that trotted across the open space but disappeared into the vegetation before we could get a photo. We were hoping to see some coatis based on previous triplogs but didn't see any. We stopped numerous times to take in the beauty and peace of this area. There were no other humans in the canyon, and no other vehicles in the parking lot. We eventually turned around and headed back. We will definitely return and explore this area further.

On the way out, a gang of cattle blocked the road for a while, but eventually let us through.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bass Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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