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Sutherland Trail #6 - 19 members in 133 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 01 2011
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Canada del Oro Trail #4Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 01 2011
sirena
Backpack21.40 Miles 1,694 AEG
Backpack21.40 Miles2 Days         
1,694 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Many times, I have looked into the deep wooded canyon of the Canada del Oro (CDO) or Canyon of Gold and wondered what it was like down there. It is a very large drainage on the less-visited north side of the Catalinas and can only be accessed by taking a series of trails from the top of Mount Lemmon or a long, tough 4WD road from the bottom. Unfortunately, the trail had not been rehabilitated after the 2003 Aspen fire and the only things I heard about the CDO went something like topohiker's triplog from June of last year: "... the canyon walls narrowed and the trail disappeared into a sea of deadfall and over growth. This must be the results of the 2003 fire. Our moving pace dropped down a quarter mile an hour. This was some serious bushwhacking and route finding. I had the AZT route loaded in my GPS, but that didn't help much. We just looked for the safest route that followed the creek bed. Every so often we would see a ribbon or a cairn, but that that only helped for about a 100 feet until the trail got swallowed up in deadfall."

I had read that mountain bikers from tucsonmtb.com had flagged and worked the trail this spring and that it was on the Forest Service schedule to be cleared by the end of the year. I had two days off back to back on November 1st and 2nd and someone to shuttle me to the top of Mount Lemmon. Laddie Cox dropped me off at 10 am on a perfect day for hiking down the mountain. We'd seen some fall color on the drive up which made me hopeful that I hadn't missed the show. I had forgotten my camera (horrors!) but Laddie saved the day by lending me his.

I took the Mount Lemmon Trail to the Sutherland Trail- there is a big metal Arizona Trail sign here as this used to be the official route of the Arizona Trail. It had since been rerouted down Oracle Ridge. As I turned the corner I saw a hillside of aspen and Cathedral Rock. Gorgeous. I was also at the right angle for light to be shining through The Window.

At the next junction I took the Samaniego Ridge Trail a short distance to the Canada Del Oro Trail. The trail descended below Samaniego Ridge toward Shovel Spring. I met two hikers here who had just climbed the steep switchbacks from the canyon floor. They were the crew leaders who were brought in by the Forest Service to clear the trail. A crew of 7 was coming out to work for 8 days and the crew leaders had just come from scouting water sources and flagging the route. I was happy to hear that there was water in the canyon- it had been such a dry summer.

The trail was heavily wooded and I only got a small glimpse of the expanse of the Canada del Oro below before descending to the canyon floor. The trees were gigantic and there was a massive tangle of brush and deadfall. I thanked the bikers as I followed a thin path cleared in the chaos. It was easy to tell when I got off-route because there would immediately be obstacles in the way.

The well-cairned trail crossed back and forth across the dry streambed which glowed with thick patches of golden sycamores. There was a deep stillness and quiet that made it feel very remote. The CDO is known to have a large population of bears, but the only thing I saw on my trip was a healthy pile of scat. I also saw many deer and several flocks of turkeys. About a mile after the junction, I heard running water and settled in for a break next to a small cascade.

I continued on after my break, crossing the creek and occasionally getting glimpses of the Corkscrew of Death cliff and the Mule Ears on the Samaniego Ridge Trail. There were tons of crunchy leaves underfoot- what a fantastic sound! Finally, the views opened up to reveal the Reef of Rock and Oracle Ridge around 5pm. I started to look for a campsite, but the area was covered in these waist to shoulder-high crunchy weeds, so I pushed on to the Red Ridge Trail junction. Just after the junction at 4800ft. there was a nice grove of alligator junipers with a view. Home for the night. I had a tasty dinner and boiled myself a hot water bottle to sleep with.

In the morning, I heard a rustling sound and opened my eyes to see a skunk bounding toward me, only 10 feet away! Thankfully, he just turned around when I opened my eyes and ran off without any unwanted emissions. I sat in camp and read Going Back to Bisbee by Richard Shelton. A delightful book that I can't believe I haven't come across before. Eventually it was time for me to start my hike out. I only had a mile and a half until I reached Forest Rd. 736 , and then a long roadwalk to the town of Catalina on the rough Charouleau Gap 4wd road. There were great views back toward the Reef of Rock and fall colors. Getting closer to the road, the trail was rocky and directly in the streambed. There was a small camp with an old spring bedframe at the junction.

I ran into a Forest Service group that was out doing a watershed survey for a series of controlled burns that are being planned. We chatted for a while and they gave me an icy Gatorade before I started the climb out to Charouleau Gap. The roadwalk out to the staging area in Catalina was nearly 10 miles long but quite scenic. I got quite a few strange looks from people on quads driving the road. One guy asked me where I'd come from. I told him I'd gotten dropped off on top of the mountain yesterday: "So you spent the night out there? Congratulations!" Yes. Congrats to me for choosing to spend the last two days out and about on the mountain. It was worth the lengthy roadwalk to where my husband came to collect me. Total descent was 6738 ft. Hopefully more people will use this trail after it has been cleared so that it does not get lost in the deadfall again.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Aug 27 2011
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,491
 Triplogs 2,070

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 27 2011
topohiker
Hiking25.84 Miles 7,473 AEG
Hiking25.84 Miles   12 Hrs   35 Mns   2.37 mph
7,473 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break31 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The family took a trip down to Tucson. Gin & Nate went to the Tucson zoo and I hiked Mt. Lemmon from the bottom to the top. I wanted to do a loop, so I picked the Sutherland trail up to MT. Lemmon trail, to the peak and down the Romero pools trail. I had Sirena's Sutherland GPS track loaded.

I knew it was going to be a hot one, so I packed 9 liters of fluids plus my filter. I somehow misplaced (or lost) the flexible tube, so I improvised and used an old camelback tube.
I started hiking at 8:10. There was a bunch of cars at the trail head. The sky was clear when I started. It started to warm-up when I got to the 50 year trail intersection. At 4,000 feet some shade trees started to appear and clouds started to block out the sun. A rattler warmed me to keep my distance, which I did. At about the 4,500 elevation mark, three hunters on ATVs went past me going down the old jeep road. I took a break at the 5,000 foot point and I saw something roaming at in the distance. I looked a little closer and realized it was a black bear climbing up a ravine :o ! I was amazed how fast the bear was moving at this warm elevation. I was jealous!

After every 500 foot elevation gain, I had to take a break under a tree to cool down. I had to use Sirena's track twice. Even though you're following an old jeep road, you'll hit a section that all covered in grass and there are spur trails going everywhere. It's probably from the hunters on the ATVs.

I took lunch at 7,000 feet. At about 8 miles in you hit the 'marked but not cleared' section of the trail. The Forest Service has flagged and cairned the raw forest. This is a guided bushwhack, for the most part there is no trail. You're hopping deadfall, pushing through thorny bushes and plants. There were a couple of times I had to stop and push back the vegetation to see the next flag/cairn. At least it's better than the Canada del Oro trail! I was so happy when I made to the power poles and the trail returned! I started to see people once I hit the Sutherland / MT. Lemmon intersection. I quickly went to the peak and then started the hike back down. I was pushing to be past the Romero Pools before nightfall. I ran out of water going down the Romero trail, but I was able to filter 3 liters soon after. It turned dark just as I hit the last water crossing and that took a couple of false attempts before I hit the correct path out. I saw a couple of kids coming in as I was heading out. In the last mile and 1/2, I saw a lighting storm over Tucson.

It was a hot day, but at least it there was cloud coverage for most of the day. I got about 5 minutes on drizzle on the way down.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Apr 03 2011
boydstowe
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 Routes 4
 Photos 76
 Triplogs 199

52 male
 Joined Mar 28 2011
 Oro Valley, Az
Romero to Sutherland Trails Loop, AZ 
Romero to Sutherland Trails Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2011
boydstowe
Hiking27.00 Miles 6,685 AEG
Hiking27.00 Miles   11 Hrs      2.70 mph
6,685 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I can't seem to get the linking to work as there was no planned route for this so I created my own in TrailDex. This is the actual route http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=10273

It was an awesome day for a hike, perfect weather until you got above 7000' then the wind was really howling...

The hike up to Romero Pass and then up the Mt. Lemmon Trail was as expected.The Sutherland trail is another matter....

This was the first time I'd tried this trail and I wanted to do it from the top down so that if anything went wrong I could just 'follow my nose' back to the trailhead. Once you reach the split with the Canyon del Oro Trail, the sutherland pretty much disappears. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRAIL WITHOUT SERIOUS BACKCOUNTRY EXPERIENCE OR REALLY GOOD GPS EQUIPMENT.

There has been NO maintenance on the Sutherland for many years and not many people use it. The entire length of Sutherland ridge is completely unmarked and so overgrown that you can't find the sporatic cairn that is there.

Fortunately, I had my new Garmin Oregon 450 with me and when I deviated significantly from the trail I was able to find my way back easily. :y:

There are few to no wild flowers up there (probably from the hard freeze we had this winter) but let me tell you, the ankle daggers are in FULL FORCE. I looked like a pin cushion by the time I got down off the ridge.

Fortunately, just below the ridge the trail picks up again and is easy enough to follow. Some lnatic has actually ridden a motorcycle up to there on the trail so it's easy to spot, even in the failing light :-)awesome hike, but the Sutherland needs serious work....
Fauna
Fauna
Horned Lizard
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Skype: boyd.stowe
email: boyd.stowe@gmail.com
Dec 24 2010
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 384
 Photos 3,912
 Triplogs 2,977

45 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
50 Year - Baby Jesus LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 24 2010
fricknaley
Hiking12.93 Miles 1,477 AEG
Hiking12.93 Miles   4 Hrs   3 Mns   3.19 mph
1,477 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Nice afternoon to sneak out and hit a few things out in Catalina SP i've been meaning to do. I took the bridle trail over to 50 year trail and cruised along that out into mesas. I've been meaning to hike the Sutherland Link Trail back to the sutherland trail from the 50 year trail, to scratch that off my catalina list.

the sutherland link trail is really a very rough jeep track that goes cross country from the 50 year trail to the sutherland trail coming down from cargodera canyon, and it roughly parallels the power lines coming down the mountain. nothing fancy about this trail, but an interesting first walk along it, nonetheless.

took the sutherland back and hit up the hidden falls on the way back for the first time in a few years...dry as a bone despite the recent rains. i've still yet to see these falls really going well despite several visits. i'll time it right one of these days. :oplz:

Finished it up with a quick loop on the birding trail to watch the sun go down.

oh yeah...i saw two bobcats at the end of the day as well :y: :o :DANCE:
_____________________
hi
Nov 17 2010
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Samaniego Ridge Trail #7Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 17 2010
sirena
Backpack20.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles2 Days         
2,200 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
In Northwest Tucson, where I live, the Catalina Mountains look a little differently than when viewed from central Tucson. The most prominent feature from my view is a long ridge sweeping north with several rocky points atop it- Samaniego Ridge. I hike often in the Catalina/Golder Ranch area and the Samaniego Ridge Trail looms tantalizingly above. Unfortunately for the Ridge Trail, it was badly burnt in 2003 and for the most part, the trail was abandoned because of fire damage and nasty, spiky growth that has proliferated since the burn. This spring, I heard of Forest Service crews working up from Charouleau Gap, at the Samaniego Ridge Trail's northern terminus, but nothing had been done to the upper part.

In June, I was reading one of my favorite blogs by a fellow Arizona Trail/Grand Enchantment Trail enthusiast, The Diary of Scott Morris http://www.topofusion.com/diary/, and I saw that he and his friend had ridden the Samaniego Ridge Trail in a 12-hour mountain biking epic feat of endurance that left them both exhausted and scratched. Here's a quote: "A small uphill chute, still clogged with vegetation and steep, seemed our only option. We fought back to the bikes. Louis sat on bushes while I handed him my bike, which he'd move past the bush. I would then hand him his, then pass myself, before we'd move onto the next section. I was happy to not be trying to get through here solo." This and the pictures convinced me that I should probably hold off on the Samaniego Ridge Trail for the time being. Bummer.

But then, this fall, something wonderful happened- some mountain bikers, including Scott and Louis, came together for several trail work events to reclaim the trail from the nasty briars, deadfall, and New Mexico Locust. Some bikepacked in and spent the weekend clearing brush, while others rode out to the work site, spent the day, and rode out the north end. All of these work events culminated with Scott and Chad Brown's 14-hour, 80 mile Samaniego Epic ride earlier this month where they first rode up Mount Lemmon (mostly on singletrack!), tackled the Samaniego Ridge Trail, then looped back around to their starting point. Speed like that makes my head dizzy, which is one of the reasons I enjoy Scott's blog so much. He does things that I could never imagine myself doing. For example, in 2005 he raced the Arizona Trail solo in just 7 days, even taking apart his bike and carrying it through the canyon!

So, even though I could see from the pictures that the trail was far from pristine, I knew that there had been a fair amount of trailwork and traffic through there. After e-mailing Scott and getting his GPS track and asking him a few questions about the route, I asked Laddie Cox, one of the guys on my Crazies trail crew, for a shuttle up the mountain.

Laddie was at my door at 5 am on November 17, and we talked about the Arizona Trail on the way up the mountain. In addition to being on the Crazies trail crew, he is also the leader of the Hit-and-Run crew, which goes into the more remote and damaged parts of the AZT. He finished the Arizona Trail when he was over 70 years old! An incredible guy, I feel lucky to know him. We reached the very chilly top of the mountain at 9100 ft. and I was bundled up and ready to go by 6:45 am.

I hiked out on the Mount Lemmon Trail just as the horizon started to glow orange. I took the Meadow Trail at the junction, then connected back with the Mount Lemmon Trail for a short distance before reaching the Sutherland Trail junction. This junction is currently signed as the Arizona Trail, but most hikers use the Wilderness of Rock over to Summerhaven and reconnect with the "official" AZT on Oracle Ridge. This will all be a moot point soon, as the alignment of the Arizona Trail will soon be moved over to the east side of the Catalina Highway, using the Bug Springs and Green Mountain trails to allow the mountain bikers to ride singletrack up the mountain instead of riding the highway.

I turned onto the Sutherland Trail, another trail recently reclaimed from fire damage that I'd hiked in May, and Samaniego Ridge finally came into view, capped by attractive Samaniego Peak. This part of the Sutherland Trail has expansive views of Cathedral Peak, Pusch Ridge, the Tucson Mountains, Babo and Kitt Peak out to the west, and views as far north as the 4 Peaks (northeast of Phoenix). This part was still in the shade, so I hurried along and got to the Samaniego Ridge Trail at 8:30 am. The sign said 8.4 miles to FR 736, the northern terminus of the trail located on a road so rough that my stock 4wd Jeep would not make it. So from the north end, I had another 6 miles to get out to the area that my husband was going to come pick me up the next day.

I love the feeling of anticipation that comes with a brand-new stretch of trail I've never seen before, especially one that I've looked up at so often. I passed the Canada Del Oro Trail junction, another trail that I've not done yet. Because I'm the kind of person who never met a list she didn't like, I am working my way toward hiking all the trails in the Catalina Mountains- so I'll be back for the CDO trail sometime.

The trail was in much better shape than I'd anticipated. There was broad, pine-needle covered tread with attractive gray boulder piles covered in patches of green lichen- classic Sky Island trail. I was practically skipping along, giddy with excitement. Samaniego Peak came in and out of view among the pine trees and alligator junipers. I could see as I got closer that it looked more like a giant, white boulder pile. I could see where the trees had been cut back and there was flagging and cairns along the route in addition to "little orange hiker guy" medallions on the trees. Even though I was in theory hiking downhill from the top of the mountain, I knew to expect some undulations as the trail rolled along the ridgeline.

It was really impressive all the work that the mountain bikers were able to do, and I thanked them every time I effortlessly glided through a passage that would have been a battle against briars and overgrown trees. The deer seemed to appreciate it too, as there were many heart-shaped footprints on top of the bike tracks. As I progressed along the ridge, closer to Samaniego Peak, I could see out to Oracle Ridge and Dan's Saddle, and trace the path of the Arizona Trail north. I could also see the Superstitions and Aravaipa, the Santa Teresas, and the Pinalenos along the Grand Enchantment Trail and where the AZT/GET diverge near Antelope Peak- the Arizona Trail continuing south to Mexico, and the Grand Enchantment Trail east to Albuquerque. Good stuff. I could also see Weaver's Needle in the Superstitions, a peak I have some designs on...

Walnut Spring to the east of Samaniego Peak was my one water source along the route. I reached it at a little after 11 am after many stops for picture taking and ogling the scenery. I settled in for a break and filled all my water containers from the sweet little flow behind the skanky tank with a log in it. I looked at Samaniego Peak, a giant bouldery brushy looking bushwhack and decided against it. I'll save it for another time when I can come spend the night at Walnut Spring and try a hiker route that goes down the long ridge coming off Samaniego Peak to the west toward the Baby Jesus Trail. (Scott has also ridden/dragged his bike on this route)

A video near the spring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvdZkNRzfYk

After a long break at the spring, I continued northward and it was apparent that this part of the trail was a little less worked, but still flagged and easy to follow. Sometimes the "trail" was nothing more than a thin line of briars that had been mashed down by the mountain bikers. I was feeling a touch lonely, so it was nice to see the tracks of the bikes from time to time. Soon I reached the "Corkscrew of Death". The trail reaches a cliff and the route around it corkscrews straight down the mountain, then regains the ridge via a scramble straight up a steep, sloping slab of rock. I would have hated to try this before the route was cut back, as it was I had to use my finest rompage (less delicately known as Butt-Hiking) techniques to control my slide down the loose soil to the traverse under the cliff. On my way up the slab of rock, I thought for the hundredth time this hike that I was glad I didn't have to drag a bike up this!

The view of the east side of the cliff was impressive and I could see back to the top of Mount Lemmon, where I'd started my hike. The trail climbed through boulder fields to the top of Mule Ears for some of the best views of the whole hike. I was now on the part of the trail that had been worked by the forest service earlier this year and there was more rolling along the ridge before the final drop down to Charouleau Gap. I'd timed my hike to get to the Gap a little before sunset, where I would camp. The descent was steep, but fun and I started to keep my eyes open for camping areas as I approached the Gap, but saw nothing suitable. I dropped my pack at the Gap and went scouting around. There was nothing but one nasty site with a fire ring and the whole hillside was covered in rocks and grass with horribly annoying seeds and a view of the lights and sprawl of Saddlebrooke.

Normally, I would have just stayed at the sub-par site and just dealt with it. However, in August, when I was making all sorts of grand plans for the hikes I was going to do in the fall, my husband set a limit of 15 nights that I could use however I wanted until the end of the year. Though I grumbled a bit when he suggested it, I acquiesced and planned my hikes accordingly. Well, tonight was the last of my nights, and I certainly wasn't going to spend it at this spot. I watched the sunset from Charouleau Gap, and decided to hike down the forest road for a bit and see if I could find something a little more attractive. FR 736 is frequented by off-road enthusiasts, which has left steep smoothly polished surfaces covered in tiny ball-bearing like gravel. I was getting a little grumpy at this point, but figured that I would find something once the road reached the valley below. I could feel every mile I'd hiked today and just wanted to be home for the night. I finally spotted a small spot with a fire ring by the side of the road at 6:30 pm. Almost 12 hours of hiking, albeit at a pretty leisurely pace with lots of stops. I'd dropped 4600 ft. from my start, but in reality quite a bit more when you figure in all the ups and downs throughout the day.

The next morning I was so pleased to see that the nondescript site that I'd chosen for my camp in the dark was actually much prettier than I had anticipated- under a giant sycamore with golden leaves. I saw my only person of the whole trip, a guy on a dirt bike that went up to the Gap and back. From my campsite, I planned on taking a route the mountain bikers call Cherry Tank to connect up with an area I was more familiar with. I checked my GPS with Scott's track loaded onto it only to realize that the track had been truncated. Thankfully I had the map of the route and was able to make the connection without incident. There is a dizzying network of trails, cowpaths, old two-tracks and roads that criss-cross this part of the mountain. My route now curved back underneath Samaniego Ridge and I was able to see many of the spots I'd been to yesterday, including the Corkscrew of Death. The trails in this area cater to mountain bikers, which means lots of swoopy ups and downs and the trails are somewhat rutted. But overall, it's very pretty and an area not often frequented by hikers, though it is quite close to the town of Catalina.

I connected up with trail I had been on last November through Sutherland Gap and then the trail wove in and out of Sutherland Wash with pockets of fall colors. I called my husband and told him I'd be arriving at our meeting place shortly. It's always so nice to see Brian when he comes to get me at the end of a trip.

Hiking an area that I have often looked at is always so invigorating to me- it fleshes out what I see and the landscape never looks the same again. Instead of just a feature of the mountain known as Samaniego Ridge, I now have memories and pictures from many spots along the route that I can think of when I see it when driving around town. I can look up at Samaniego Peak and know that despite the fact that it looks like a large white cliff from afar, it is really a mound of giant white boulders. Or know that the path of the trail goes up and over the Mule Ears for incredible views. This is why I want to hike all the trails in the Catalinas, because then I feel like I can begin to know this incredible Sky Island playground. Of course the trails are just the beginning- then there are all the subtle folds, ridges, canyons, and peaks that could keep me busy for a lifetime...

After my trip, I read that the mountain bikers went back for another work event. Instead of dragging their bikes down and up the Corkscrew of Death, they brought rope and zip-lined their bikes down and rappelled off the cliff!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Sep 08 2010
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Hidden Falls, AZ 
Hidden Falls, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2010
sirena
Hiking4.20 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   2 Hrs      2.10 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I found this trail description online about a 75' waterfall in Catalina SP and had to go check it out: http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to- ... on-a223269

I took the Canyon Loop to the Sutherland Trail to a junction with a bench and a brown carsonite Sutherland Trail marker about .4 miles from the Canyon Loop. At the bench, a trail branches off heading right (east), toward the unnamed canyon between Romero and Cargodera Canyons. This is an unofficial trail, but it is well worn and very easy to follow. After the trail goes into and climbs out of a wash, there is a split in the trail. The left fork goes up a little in elevation toward the foot of Hidden Falls, which were a big dud today. Barely a trickle. Interestingly, there were four Hohokam grinding holes right in one area. One rock had three of them, two circular and one elongated- an ancient grinding station. Thirty-three archeological sites have been discovered within Catalina SP. In 1940, a hiker stumbled upon a cavity about 3 miles from Romero Ruins that contained a treasure of Hohokam artifacts. The cache held an olla (ceramic jar) containing about 100,000 stone and shell beads, as well as 30 copper balls. This always kills me- could you imagine coming across something like that!

Even though the falls were dry, all was not lost, as the other fork took me into a beautiful little canyon with good pools and plenty of water. I went for a swim and enjoyed the fact that there would probably be no one else visiting this area of the park. Saw a ring-necked snake that was black on top, with a yellow band on its neck and colorful underside. There was a nice campsite just above the creek that would be great for a quick overnight getaway. The best part of the campsite was that there was a big ridge obscuring the view of town, giving it a secluded feel even though it is only 2.2 miles away from the trailhead. I'll have to come back and check out the falls when they are running.
Culture
Culture
Hohokam Mano and Metate
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
May 13 2010
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 13 2010
sirena
Hiking12.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.50 mph
7,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
When researching the Sutherland Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, I found very few triplogs from hikers. And the ones I found said that it went through some really beautiful areas, but that it was a tough, brushy, steep, sometimes hard-to-find 12 miles and 6300 feet of elevation gain to get from Catalina State Park to the parking area at the top of Mount Lemmon. Naturally, I was intrigued.

At an Arizona Trail Association meeting in February, I was talking to Rachael Hohl who works with the Forest Service. I asked her what trails were scheduled for maintenance this spring and she said the Sutherland and Samaniego Ridge Trails. I was excited to hear that they were going to be fixed. I recently called Rachael to get an update and she said that crews had gotten all but 1 1/2 miles done on the Sutherland Trail, and that the part they hadn't done was flagged. (Work is still being done on the Samaniego Ridge Trail, I can't remember how many miles they have left to go.) I contacted some of my Crazies trailbuilding crew that I volunteer with, and we decided to take advantage of the lower temps forecast for the middle of the week.

One of my favorite parts of the Catalinas is that you can drive up to the top and hike downhill. You start your hike in the pines at 9000ft, going through six different life zones, each with their own type of vegetation, until you come to the Sonoran Desert at the base. We dropped a car off at Catalina State Park and drove up to the parking area at the top of Mt. Lemmon. There were little patches of snow remaining at the highest elevations. We took the Mount Lemmon Trail (an old roadbed) downhill past some fantastic rock formations. There are great views along the upper ridgelines, partly because in 2003, the Aspen Fire burned 84,000 acres of the Catalinas. To some, the scorched stumps of trees might look unsightly, but personally I welcome the views that are a result of the burn. At a junction with a big, metal Arizona Trail sign, we took the Samaniego Ridge Trail a short distance to the junction with the Sutherland Trail.

The views just got better and better as we hiked steeply down a ridge, following flagging and cairns in the upper mile and a half of trail that the trail crews had not gotten to yet. There were a number of downed trees, not surprising given the strong windstorms that we had this winter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4XznIgvaPw

The mile and a half went pretty quickly, and soon we were walking on just-maintained trail that had been re-benched. Much thanks goes out to the trail crew, because we could see all the brush and deadfall that they had to hack through to clear up this trail. When we stopped for a break at a particularly scenic spot, we were amazed at how far we could see in almost every direction. The Superstition Ridgeline and Four Peaks, near Phoenix, were clearly visible. Amazingly enough, I could even pick out the spire of the Weaver's Needle- a volcanic spire that I hiked past on the first segment of the Grand Enchantment Trail. Also visible along the trail was The Window, a natural arch in the front range of the Catalinas. In general, views on the Sutherland were great because it uses the ridge rather than the canyon to travel downhill.

Once we were on the trail that had been worked on, the going was easier. We stayed in the tree cover for quite a while-there were lots of large pines and madrone trees on this part of the mountain that had escaped the fire of 2003. We crossed several drainages with running water and light pink flowering locust trees, and then came to an old metal sign.

The trail now followed a 4WD road that steeply lost elevation and we took a break for some shade and a snack at a very lovely spot with a great running stream and rocks to sit on. I would like to come back here to camp sometime. I would have rather done this hike as an overnighter, but my husband Brian asked me to take a month off of backpacking because he was tired of being left home alone all the time. So a long dayhike it is. I understand his position, but that doesn't mean that I am not counting the days till I am able to backpack again...

Eventually, at 4500 ft., the trail met up with some powerlines that we had seen earlier in the day, way up at 7700 ft. The road was rocky and steep and hard on the feet and knees, especially since we had already dropped 4500 ft. in elevation. I was happy that I had brought an elastic knee brace, because it alleviated the strain on my left knee, which began to ache around the middle of the hike. There were many wildflowers, and the ocotillo were still blooming at this elevation. The area started to look familiar as we descended toward the Baby Jesus Trail intersection.

I could see the Baby Jesus Ridge stretching out to the north- it is a beautiful stretch of trail with large rock outcroppings and giant forests of saguaros that I hiked in the fall. I was happy that there was only one short stretch of road left before we were back on singletrack toward Catalina State Park. We crossed Cargodera Canyon again before we headed into the park. I was really surprised at how much water there still was in the middle of May.

The singletrack was a definite relief after the stretch of rocky road. Once in Catalina State Park, the trail wove in and out of blooming cactus. My hiking companions were moving fast to get back to the car, as there was still a lot of driving to do at the end of the day to retrieve the car on top of the mountain. The trail was super-easy compared to what we'd been through all day, so the time flew by. There was water in every wash crossing all the way back to the parking lot. We kept waiting to run into the crowds that frequent the park, but amazingly made it all the way back without seeing a single soul for the whole eight hours, 12 miles, and over 6000 feet of elevation loss.

I was excited about finally having seen the Sutherland Trail. It was really scenic, and all the running water was a treat. It's always so interesting to hike through all the different types of vegetation in one day. After driving back to the base of the mountain to retrieve my car, I topped off a great day with a visit to El Charro for dinner.

This triplog also appears on my blog, with pictures of animals from my Wildlife Rehab Fundraiser: http://desertsirena.wordpress.com/2010/ ... and-trail/
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Mar 26 2010
BobP
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 Guides 2
 Routes 183
 Photos 3,861
 Triplogs 2,304

59 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2010
BobP
Hiking21.20 Miles 7,094 AEG
Hiking21.20 Miles
7,094 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Looooong day. Sunrise to sunset. Didn't see another soul until about a mile from the parking lot. Hiking and snowshoeing.

Video.... that is when I download a new free video editing program.
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https://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
Mar 12 2010
Lord Cain Yebng
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 Routes 2
 Triplogs 3

34 male
 Joined Apr 14 2008
 Tempe, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2010
Lord Cain Yebng
Hiking12.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
7,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
As part of 20 mile loop with Romero Canyon Trail, snow ranging from ankle to waist deep.
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Feb 13 2010
T Harris
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 Photos 130
 Triplogs 30

30 male
 Joined May 19 2009
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2010
T Harris
Hiking12.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I'm visiting family down in Tucson this weekend, and I decided to head down early to go hiking. I decided to take the Sutherland Trail, which I've hiked before, to some canyon i've wanted to explore. Once I finally got to the canyon, I headed about a mile back, without taking many photos. I did experiment with a neutral density filter I have, but haven't really used because it's for my old lens (First picture). The second picture is a little dissapointing, because I thought the white flowers would show up more than they do, but i'm still happy with it. The first time I hiked part of this trail, my cousin pointed out this seasonal, double waterfall. It was dry that time, but not this time. I was planning on waiting for the sunset to get this picture, and I had to climb up a mountain to get a good vantage point. I was sitting on a huge boulder that I just kept imagining falling down. I got to the spot about an hour before the sunset, which was kind of a drag but I was listening to the Fugees while watching the mountain turn colors. When I finally got to the bottom, it was just about dark, and like my last photoset, i'm still experimenting with astro photography. There was no moon, I was by myself, and my battery was dying, so I didn't put a lot of time into it. I took this photo (last one) and decided to leave afterwords, becaus I was so paranoid with every little noise :scared: . I think if I would have tried a little bit longer, the milky way would have shown better, but i'm still learning. I used a flashlight to light the saguaro for half of the 60 second exposure. I also put the saguaro at an angle so it looks like it's pointing to the stars.
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Oct 25 2008
tecdivr
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 Photos 88
 Triplogs 26

71 male
 Joined Oct 05 2008
 oro valley, az
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 25 2008
tecdivr
Hiking10.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   1.94 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike started out with good intentions. Uneventful very early morning start. The problem stated after connecting with the trail as it leaves the state park and enters the national forest. I did not realize it is hunting season. Hunters seemed to be everywhere having come up to the trail from the connecting spur through the BLM property. I only got up about a mile beyond the link and then decided to return via the fifty mile trail. I'm not sure whether the hunters can be in national forest but the fact is that there is no one to enforce them not being there. I heard a couple of shots and suddenly felt very self conscious as a potentially big target. I headed back down the trail crossing the big wash and coming back via the fifty mile trail. I've done this spur several times in the last few weeks and never found any litter. today I had half a bag, aluminum cans, spark plug, and snack packages. Did my good deed for the ecology today.
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Feb 05 2008
BrettVet
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 Guides 15
 Routes 40
 Photos 335
 Triplogs 48

71 male
 Joined Apr 23 2004
 Tucson, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 05 2008
BrettVet
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   3 Hrs      3.33 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Catalina State park is great this time of year. Did this mid week to
avoid the crowds. Water was running in the creeks. Started on up the Sutherland trail to where it intersected the power line 4 x4 road and went downhill for a couple of miles. Just after it crossed the CDO wash and right before the cattle guard and gate we made a left on an unnamed trail the led looped us back the park. Great trail. nice day without all the elevation change.

BrettVet
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Feb 13 2006
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 384
 Photos 3,912
 Triplogs 2,977

45 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sutherland Trail #6Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2006
fricknaley
Hiking14.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   1.93 mph
7,000 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ultimate Catalina hike, from floor to peak up Mt. Lemmon. Finished it off with a 2 mile walk back down the road to the ski lodge. Pictures do not do justice to this hike, partly because you hike into the sun most of the way.

Figured out today (the dreaded day after) that the cumulative elevation gain for this one was 7125 ft. Ouch.
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hi
average hiking speed 2.09 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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