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mini location map2023-04-23
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Tanque Verde PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking21.70 Miles 4,804 AEG
Hiking21.70 Miles   9 Hrs   42 Mns   3.32 mph
4,804 ft AEG   3 Hrs   10 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been wanting to get at least 1 summit of the 3 major Rincon mountain range peaks for a few years now. Brian and I finally decided to try it today. This would be his second time at Tanque Verde peak, but 1st time for the both of us doing the long loop up Tanque Verde Ridge and down the Douglas Spring Trail. It was the longest hike of my life in terms of distance, but not the most exhausting. The trail was very good and easy to follow almost the entire way. There were many signs along the way with distances posted so we knew how much further we had and also how far we traveled. GPS distances were slightly different but pretty close. There may have been only 1 or 2 places where we almost got off the trail, but there were many cairns to help us. I believe this hike was similar in AEG to the Grand Canyon South Kaibab to Bright Angel trail, but it was about 4 miles longer in terms of distance! This was definitely a lot of hiking for a single day. It's going to take about 4 days to fully recover from this one!

Animals seen: birds, beetles, lizards, 1 rattlesnake, ants, 1 toad, 1 deer

Plants & Trees seen: pink penstemon, juniper, oak, manzanita, fairy dusters, agave, yucca, prickly pear, white mariposa lily, silver puff, pin cushion cactus, saguaro, 1 crested saguaro, brittlebush, goldeneye, indian paintbrush, thistle, delphinium, prairie clover, scorpion weed

6:40 am - started hike at Tanque Verde Ridge trailhead
8:45 am - walked a few hundred feet off the trail to admire and photograph and huge field of pink penstemon flowers (15 min break)
9 am - resumed hiking up the trail
9:06 am - took a snack break in a shaded area (18 min break)
9:24 am - resumed hiking up the trail
10:40 am - arrived at Juniper Basin. Took a water and snack break. Noticed a flow of water in the stream (35 min break)
11:15 am - resumed hiking up the trail
12:40 am - arrived at Tanque Verde Peak, had lunch, admired views, took many photos and videos

---- Ascent total moving time was 4 hrs 52 mins over 9.5 miles = 1.95 MPH on avg ----

2:00 pm - started longer descent heading down to Cow Head Saddle
3:08 pm - arrived at Cow Head Saddle. Noticed trail junction going toward Manning camp, Helen's Dome, AZT, Mica Mountain, etc. (7 minute break)
3:15 pm - continued descent
4:28 pm - arrived at Douglas Spring Campground. I was here before in Jan 2022. (16 min break)
4:44 pm - continued descent
5:30 pm - saw a rattlesnake which rattled late when I was probably only 6 feet away (5 min break)
7:29 pm - arrived at Douglas Spring Trailhead
(we probably took another 10 minutes total in water breaks along the way)

---- Descent total moving time was 4 hrs 50 mins over 12.2 miles = 2.52 MPH on avg ----

Note: Strava said our told moving time was 9 hrs 21 mins. That figure seemed about 20 minutes shorter than my timeline calculation, but perhaps Strava was more exact.

21.7 miles roundtrip, 4,804 AEG
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
pink penstemon, fairy dusters, white mariposa lily, silver puff, brittlebush, goldeneye, indian paintbrush, thistle, delphinium, prairie clover, scorpion weed
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