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Three Tank Trail - Saguaro NP - 2 members in 18 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
18 triplogs
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18 Triplogs
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Jul 29 2021
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bridal and Ernie Falls, AZ 
Bridal and Ernie Falls, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2021
markthurman53
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,470 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.84 mph
1,470 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
Hiked to Bridal Wreath Falls since the recent rains should have it flowing. The couple times I have been to the falls it was just a trickle going over them. It was perfect this time, just enough water to get the effects of the falls without too much that makes accessing them difficult. Started early morning around 0700 with an overcast sky and an occasional drizzle. All the creeks along the trail were running and it was good to see the desert green again. You could almost hear the cactus cheering. Saw a Rattlesnake along the trail, Ginny's first while hiking, She's seen plenty in my back yard. This rattler held up the tradition of not rattling but then it didn't feel threatened, probably use to seeing people. A couple of others along the trail but for the most part it wasn't crowded. Above the falls is a cascade that looked pretty impressive, Looked like a Bridal Veil (but that's another falls in the Catalina's). It would be nice to check that out some time. After The Bridal Wreath Falls we decided to take a side trip to Ernie's Fall. This Falls is not as popular and is about .4 miles north of the Douglas Spring Trail just across from the Bridal Wreath Trail. The trail had no sign of traffic so we had this falls to ourselves. I actually think this falls is more impressive than the Bridal Wreath Falls. We took a short break here and took a dip before heading out. We headed back along the Three Tanks Trail to the Garwood Trail. The sun was coming out and the final 2 mile walk was really hot. With the temp in the low 90's and the high humidity I'm glad we only had a short distance to go. We kept thinking about the cool water up at Ernie's Falls. Really nice hike because the conditions were just right, Overcast sky with a saturated Desert.

Short video of the falls [ youtube video ]
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1 archive
Jan 04 2021
Charger55
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 562

42 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Bridal WreathTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2021
Charger55
Hiking12.40 Miles 1,121 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles
1,121 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
There's a whole mess of trails in this part of Saguaro NP so I just wandered around checking out various washes and watering holes on my way to and from Bridal Wreath Falls.
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"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
Dec 05 2020
fricknaley
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,001
 Triplogs 3,183

46 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Bridal Wreath Falls LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Dec 05 2020
fricknaley
Run/Jog12.00 Miles 1,663 AEG
Run/Jog12.00 Miles   2 Hrs   39 Mns   4.77 mph
1,663 ft AEG      8 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routes
linked together a bunch of trails in the rincon foothills and did a fun run. perfect morning. lot of cool trails out here. really need to get out this way more often.
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hi
Sep 02 2020
SpiderLegs
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 9
 Photos 42
 Triplogs 708

54 male
 Joined Jul 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Douglas Spring TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2020
SpiderLegs
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,050 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.60 mph
1,050 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Out for another social hike with the guys from S.A.R.A., seems the objective of these hikes is go back to where they had a rescue and figure out new and exciting ways to get in and out of an area. Big mistake not wearing pants today, lots of bushwhacking and off trail this morning.

Hiked up Douglas Springs for a bit before venturing off trail to dip into a large drainage and canyon just to the north of the main trail. This is where it gets tricky. Started off rock hopping up a wash until we came up to an area with some natural falls. Cliffed out, so made some detours around and continued to the next set of falls. Spent most of the morning either scrambling up slot canyons or figuring out how to get around them. One of those hikes where it took almost an hour to do one mile of bushwhacking. Did this until we got up to where the drainage intersects with Douglas Springs and got back on the trail. From there meandered our way back via Three Tank, Garwood and Carillo trail back to the main trailhead.
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See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
Dec 22 2019
lplade
avatar

 Triplogs 1

44 male
 Joined Nov 14 2015
 Tucson, AZ
Garwood Dam mishaps, AZ 
Garwood Dam mishaps, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2019
lplade
Hiking7.22 Miles 1,010 AEG
Hiking7.22 Miles   4 Hrs   33 Mns   2.20 mph
1,010 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break
no photosets
1st trip
I set out to do a shorter version of the Garwood Trail loop. I took some wrong turns along the way. I had a fine time, but I don't recommend retracing my steps for reasons I'll explain.

This is my first time hiking in this area. This is a well-used section of the park, and there's quite a network of trails connecting to one another. This isn't like backcountry hiking where you're not sure if you're still on the trail or not. You can't get lost that way. With so many trails here, the challenge is figuring out WHICH trail you should be on. There are parts with five-way intersections, and the NPS signs work differently than the Forest Service signs.

The first thing I realized is that I missed the turn for Garwood Trail and did the loop clockwise instead of counter-clockwise like I intended. There's nothing wrong with this, except the approach of some of the landmarks is a little less dramatic, and heading up the Douglas Springs Trail right away hits you with a bit of elevation gain right off the bat. If you take the right onto Garwood Trail, you'll stay in the cactus forest a bit longer before meeting a more gradual elevation gain.

After slogging up the Douglas Springs Trail, I considered heading to up the Bridal Wreath Falls, but a returning hiker tipped me off there was just a trickle in the falls that day, so I hooked a right onto the Carillo Trail to take the shorter loop I intended.

After hiking down this span of trail a little ways, you come into this weirdly serene valley. It's got a little ridge on one side blocking exposure to the foothills, and another little ridge heading up on the Rincon side. It was completely silent in this valley. No wind or rustling. No birds or insects. It was really strange and if not for the sound of my own feet I'd have worried I went deaf. You can spy some interesting looking canyons here too, all very inviting. (Please don't hike off-trail in Saguaro NP.) After making your way through this quiet zone, the terrain turns into a riparian section, with green grass, although I didn't see an open river. This section comes out over a little wash/canyon which had some water running through it on this day, and downstream from that is the Steel Tank.

The steel tank didn't have any water in in this day, but it's always pretty neat stumbling across a big manmade structure in the wilderness. It's here I made my next mis-step. I hooked a right and followed a few other hikers west down the prominent Three Tank Trail. Except, the trail that goes to Garwood Dam is the Carillo Trail, which is south of the tank and a little harder to spot.

Oh well. The Three Tank Trail is still a nice hike, with good vistas that overlook deep canyons and dropoffs, and at this point you're gently losing elevation. The next junction, for Wildhorse Trail, was particularly scenic, but I also failed to realize that was the next best route to Garwood Dam.

My phone (recording the GPS track) was running low on battery, but I was feeling pretty confident about the time I'm making as I decend back into the cactus forest, when I come to one of those 5-way intersections. This warrants pulling out my device to realize I completely missed the highlight of the hike, Garwood Dam!

So now my loop has gained an extra out-and-back spur down Garwood Trail. It's easy hiking... did I mention this trail system is shared with horses? So in addition to the usual challenges of putting your feet on stable ground and not putting your feet into sharp plants, there's a bonus challenge of not putting your feet on horse presents, which sometimes takes a little extra footwork. Anyway, this section of trail is easy except for jumping over not a few horse bombs. There's a particularly beautiful crested cactus along this span too, right at Bajada Wash.

You hook a right a the fork and follow that until it overlooks Wild Horse Canyon, and there it is up the canyon, the Garwood Dam. It predates this place's status as a National Park and it's not the hugest thing in the world but it's pretty impressive when you learn it was built by one guy to provide water to his house! There's this stone and rebar pad overlooking the canyon - this was where the house electrical generator sat - that provides a good viewing point for the dam and the canyon.

I hiked up the trail to the dam. There was some water flowing through the canyon today, although the old reservoir has silted up and turned into a verdant patch of mud, and the dam has holes in it so water runs through and not over. I took a lot of pictures from the outcropping on the near side of the dam, but heeded the posted warning sign about not scrambling across the top of the dam itself. That would be an unfortunate fall.

When I was satisfied at the dam, I backtracked back to the five way intersection. Like, there are actually two junctions, each with their own set of signs. I managed to set off on the wrong trail again before realizing the mistake, backtracking to the junction, and finally heading down the Garwood Trail back to the trailhead. My phone had completely died at this point.
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May 11 2019
TosaInu
avatar

 Routes 3
 Photos 31
 Triplogs 9

47 male
 Joined Jan 26 2019
 Tucson
Bridal Wreath Falls LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 11 2019
TosaInu
Hiking9.69 Miles 1,574 AEG
Hiking9.69 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   2.63 mph
1,574 ft AEG      1 Min Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Took a circuitous route to bridal wreath just to get more miles in. Now I am pooped.
7 archives
Jan 24 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop, AZ 
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2019
markthurman53
Hiking8.09 Miles 1,384 AEG
Hiking8.09 Miles   4 Hrs   41 Mns   2.30 mph
1,384 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
My visitor from Texas wanted to do something with a little more bite than the Rim Trail at the Grand Canyon but not as much as say Rincon Peak so I choose the Bridal Wreath Falls Hike. This hike has a fair amount of AEG and the trail is in good condition and To top it all off it has an interesting destination. There was a good flow over the falls or maybe I should say a heavy trickle. On the return route I chose the new Carrillo Trail (I guess it's not new now) to the three Tanks Trail then returned on the Wild horse Trail.

The GPS route along the Carrillo trail did something funny so the track isn't quite correct. Don't know what happened but when I left the Douglas Spring Trail onto the Carrillo Trail it went off on its own. It shows me climbing some hill before making a correction putting me back on the trail. Gremlins I guess.
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1 archive
Oct 20 2018
MandaBearPig
avatar

 Routes 12
 Photos 51
 Triplogs 13

33 female
 Joined Jul 11 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Douglas Spring TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2018
MandaBearPig
Hiking8.53 Miles 1,426 AEG
Hiking8.53 Miles   4 Hrs   16 Mns   2.07 mph
1,426 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Nice morning hike with a good friend. The weather was beautiful, cool and breezy. From Douglas Spring trailhead headed south on Garwood. Saw only one other hiker on this spur. The damn was neat. Thought about climbing down to explore the little nook but rocks were pretty slippery. Continued east on Carrillo/Three Tank until meets back up with Douglas Springs. Decided to take the spur to check out Bridal Wreath falls as Tucson has had quite a bit of rain lately. It was running strong with about 3 feet of water in the pool. Met quite a few hikers heading up to the falls as we descended back to the trailhead. Saguaro NP never disappoints!
Jul 13 2017
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Garwood Carrillo Three Tanks Loop, AZ 
Garwood Carrillo Three Tanks Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2017
markthurman53
Hiking10.70 Miles 1,618 AEG
Hiking10.70 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   2.97 mph
1,618 ft AEG      12 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Needed to get out and hike but had to stay close to home so I decided to do some trails in Saguaro National Park. I starting at the Douglas Spring Trail Head early in the morning to avoid the heat. Took the Garwood Trail to the Carrillo Trail and then the Deer Valley Trail to the Squeeze Pen Trail. Now that I am at the start of the Carrillo Trail I can start the Carrillo three Tanks Loop. After hiking in the Mazatzals and along the Mogollon Rim in Payson these trails had fairly moderate elevation gains and the trails are in excellent condition, had no problem keeping a pace of almost 3 miles an hour. The humidity was up since the monsoons arrived and the streams while not flowing had an accumulation of water in the pools. Very nice trails to hike early in the morning or later in the evening after a rain. This was the first time along the Three tanks Trail that I didn't run into a horde of Rattle snakes along the upper part of the trail near Aguila Tank. Only ran into one other person hiking until I was returning along the Garwood Trail where I ran into 3 others.
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Mar 25 2014
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bridal Wreath and Ernie Falls Loop, AZ 
Bridal Wreath and Ernie Falls Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 25 2014
markthurman53
Hiking9.30 Miles 1,630 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   4 Hrs   24 Mns   2.79 mph
1,630 ft AEG   1 Hour   4 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Nice loop hike on well maintained trails. The only advice is go when there is water flowing. These trails are pretty heavily traveled but you still have to watch for all the venomous creatures along the trail.
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Jan 03 2014
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 312
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,358

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Little Wild Horse Tank Loop, AZ 
Little Wild Horse Tank Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2014
GrottoGirl
Hiking7.70 Miles 1,441 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   2 Hrs   14 Mns   3.67 mph
1,441 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I was only planning to do about a 5 miles this morning but I forgot and took the wrong loop. Oh well...

The waterfall was running a bit at Little Wild Horse tank.
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Dec 21 2013
davidbwings
avatar

 Routes 5
 Photos 5
 Triplogs 6

55 male
 Joined Jun 29 2013
 Tucson, AZ
Bridal Wreath Falls LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2013
davidbwings
Hiking9.90 Miles 1,406 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.56 mph
1,406 ft AEG      53 Mns Break
 
1st trip
10 mile loop around Saguaro NP and up to Bridal Wreath Falls after the winter storm. Fair amount of water coming over the falls. Fresh snow on the mountain tops. Cool day and a little breezy.
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Nov 14 2013
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
SNP Wild Horse Three Tanks and Bajada Vista T, AZ 
SNP Wild Horse Three Tanks and Bajada Vista T, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2013
markthurman53
Hiking6.10 Miles 932 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   12 Mns   2.98 mph
932 ft AEG      9 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
From Speedway Trail head. Wildhorse Trail to Three Tanks Trail, Three Tanks to Carrillo Trail to The old abandon Bajada Vista Trail. Bajada Vista Trail to Wildhorse Trail and return to Douglas Spring Trail via the Converse Trail. These are excellent hikes for when you just want to get out for a short walk and don't want to drive too far (I live on East side of town). Not a recommended summer hike except in very early morning or late evening.
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Feb 12 2013
The_Dude
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 114
 Photos 1,367
 Triplogs 351

43 male
 Joined Jun 10 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Bridal Wreath Falls LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2013
The_Dude
Hiking7.29 Miles 1,698 AEG
Hiking7.29 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   3.42 mph
1,698 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
I had to spend the night in Tucson for work, so what better idea than to get in a good little hike? I did not have as much time as I hoped (i didn't get to the trailhead until 4:30) so this seemed like a good choice. All of the short trails right around the Douglas Springs trailhead are a bit confusing and overlapping, but certainly nothing too crazy. After I got about a mile in, I had the whole hike to myself and didn't see anyone else. Since we had some good rain (and even a little snow) the day before, i was hopeful to find some moisture at the falls, and I was not disappointed. There is a nice secluded grotto amongst some One-seed Junipers and Emory Oaks where there was a steady shower coming down from the falls. Great views of the Gaileyuro Mountains once I got a bit higher along the ridge. Well worth the trip!
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Feb 03 2013
Jeffshadows
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 Guides 28
 Routes 20
 Photos 672
 Triplogs 169

43 male
 Joined Jan 30 2008
 Old Pueblo
Three Tank Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2013
Jeffshadows
Hiking6.40 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
...Lookin' for a big kitty... ;)
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AD-AVGVSTA-PER-ANGVSTA
Feb 22 2012
leadhiker
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 39
 Photos 209
 Triplogs 118

81 male
 Joined Jul 05 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Three Tank Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2012
leadhiker
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   4 Hrs      1.73 mph
1,200 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Went to Bridal Wreath Falls on the Douglas Springs trail and then came out via the Three Tanks Trail to Wildhorse trail and Garwood trail back to TH. Nice sunny day.

NOTE: Since my first triplog on the "Three Tank Trail" the Park Service has re-built the first 0.3 miles east from the Wildhorse trail with several switchbacks and some very nice stone steps.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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1 archive
Jul 14 2011
keepmoving
avatar

 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,196
 Triplogs 590

35 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Douglas Spring Trail to Douglas Spring CGTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jul 14 2011
keepmoving
Run/Jog7.17 Miles 700 AEG
Run/Jog7.17 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   51 Secs4.74 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Middle of the day run while the thermometer read 99 degrees outside- I had the trailhead & the trails all to myself. Ran Douglas Spring Trail to Carrillo Trail, down Three Tanks, then followed Bajada Vista to Shantz Trail, backtracked to Creosote trail, and returned along the Stock Bypass.
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1 archive
Mar 02 2009
leadhiker
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 39
 Photos 209
 Triplogs 118

81 male
 Joined Jul 05 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Three Tank Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 02 2009
leadhiker
Hiking5.60 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   3 Hrs   10 Mns   1.77 mph
900 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
From the Douglas Springs TH to Garwood trail to Wildhorse Trail Then up the Three Tank Trail Past the Steel Tank, Mica Tank and the "DRY" Aguila Tank to Douglas Springs Trail and then back to the parking lot. NOTE: The Three Tank Trail from the Wildhorse Trail to Carrillo Trail is very washed out and lots of loose rock.
Flora
Flora
Dwarf Desertpeony
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average hiking speed 2.29 mph

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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