Despite working for a trail organization, I sometimes get stuck behind my computer and an endless stream of emails and phone calls. I needed to get away for a quick overnighter and realized I hadn't hiked the new Tortolita Ridgeline Trail. I worked until 4 and got hiking by 5 on the Tortolitas Superloop. Made it onto the Cochie Canyon Trail for a great sunset- I almost missed the best part of it cause I thought it was over and started hiking again. Found a spot after hiking with my headlamp for a bit that had the only flat real estate around and set up camp. Had an enjoyable evening with a beautiful halo around the moon for photography.
The next morning, I hiked to the old windmill and got on the connector trail over to Wild Mustang. When I reached the saddle, I explored a well-cairned route that seems to go back under the rocky peak and toward Wild Burro Wash. Something to check out next time. There were great views of the Catalinas and Picacho Peak from the saddle. You go past a crested saguaro that has seen better times- a victim of the frost of 2010. I stabbed my little toe trying to sidestep a small saguaro. Those spines have some sort of poison that hurts beyond just the usual jab. Dug out a good-sized piece once I got home.
I made it to the Wild Mustang and took it to the new-to-me Wild Burro Tank/Goat Corral trail. This trail meanders through the desert until it reaches Wild Burro Tank, a solar windmill with a big metal tank and a wildlife tank with a covered float. I had brought all my water for the two days but took on an emergency liter from the tank just in case. Such a desert hiker.
After exploring the Goat Corral area I started up the Ridgeline Trail lazy switchbacks up to the ridgecrest. The trail construction in the Tortolitas is amazing! The new Ridgeline is a delight! It contours around, swooping this way and that to stay on the ridgeline and offers incredible views down into the Tortolitas as well as views of the Catalinas, Santa Ritas, and Picacho Peak. All of this and wildflowers too, many varieties including some fragrant ceanothus. I was super-excited to be on such a sweet fresh piece of trail so close to my home.
The Wild Burro Tank/Ridgeline loop eventually drops you back at Wild Burro just a little ways down from where you started the loop. It's a great tour of the interior of the Torts. I took the Wild Burro Trail all the way and made it back to my car with out seeing anyone for the entire time I was out
A great little 24-hour adventure.Wildflowers
Moderate in areas- brittlebush blooming near the TH, patches of other flowers along the loop.