username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Shovel Springs Loop - 7 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 3.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
12 triplogs
login for filter options
Aug 17 2018
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 5
 Photos 656
 Triplogs 512

44 male
 Joined Jul 20 2007
 Gilbert, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2018
jtaylorTriplogs 512
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
1,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
PrestonSands
What a great heat-beating hike with my man Preston! Crashed at his place Thursday night after some beers and catching up. We started on the trail around 11:15 when it was still in the upper 60s. This trail doesn't disappoint with great views and flora right from the start. We did it as an out-and-back vs a loop. I'd say my favorite was the "Ponderosa Farm" (as Preston called it) there above the spring. Preston - thanks for being my guide. It's always great to catch up with you and Shauna!
_____________________
“...wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”
-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
Jul 26 2018
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 389
 Photos 4,131
 Triplogs 3,394

47 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2018
fricknaleyTriplogs 3,394
Hiking8.16 Miles 2,371 AEG
Hiking8.16 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   2.51 mph
2,371 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been wanting to revisit this loop. Certainly as nice as i remembered. samamiego is getting overgrown again, not surprisingly, in spots but it is still pretty easy to follow. great pockets of pines and some big views.

only saw people on lemmon and meadow trails, which is to be expected. i'd have been shocked to see anyone out on the loop.
_____________________
hi
Jun 05 2018
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 2
 Triplogs 7

66 male
 Joined Sep 11 2011
 Tucson, az
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2018
pmstirlingTriplogs 7
Hiking9.20 Miles 2,750 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.42 mph
2,750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
9 of us did this route on Tuesday Jun 5, 2018. It was over 100 in Tucson but got up to "only" around 80 on the trail. But, at 9,000' up the sun beats down even more than in Tucson, so be prepared! The other initial note is that I clocked just over 9 miles on my GPS, with about 2750 AEG, this is more than the description says. That said, this is a beautiful, not much used, loop from the very top of Mt Lemmon. We took the following route, from the Picnic area at the top end of Ski Run Rd:
- Lemmon Trail, with a small side strip to the lookout cabin (which was closed as this is fire season)
- Sutherland Trail
- Samaniego Ridge trail
- Canada del Oro trail
- CDO shortcut trail (cuts over to Samaniego Ridge trail)
- Samaniego Ridge trail
- Sutherland, Lemmon trails
- Meadow trail

All trails but CDO Shortcut are well maintained and easy to follow. CDO shortcut looked little used but wasn't overgrown and fairly easy to follow as long as you're paying attention! All of the trail junctions are signposted, so it's hard to take a wrong turn. However, the sign at the junction of CDO and CDO Shortcut has been defaced. The title is fine ("CDO Shortcut Tr. #4A") is fine, but the top line, directing you to turn left for Samaniego Ridge trail, has been completely scratched out. Given the unused looking state of the trail, at first I thought this was intentional and that the FS had discontinued that trail - not realising what it was. If you continue on, the CDO trail heads down hill and was obviously not what we wanted. You need to take a left at the defaced sign and follow the faint trail for about 0.3 miles over to Samaniego Ridge trail. The sign at that end is fine. Turn left again (uphill) and follow the trail back to the CDO junction. This section of the trail is also not well maintained, so pay attention not to get sucked off onto an animal track.
The other signpost that's a bit confusing is the junction of Sutherland and Samaniego Ridge trails. The Sutherland trail here looks unused and faint. The sign, which is a few feet on from the junction, is titled "Samaniego Ridge Tr. #7", and the only indication for the Sutherland trail is a line saying "Catalina State Park Bndry. 7.3".
To quote the Grand Canyon warnings, "Down is optional, Up is mandatory" - this loop drops about 2000' from its high point at the parking area (just over 9100') to a low point of about 7180' near Shovel Spring, which is near the junction of CDO and CDO Shortcut trails). There are a couple of up-and-down sections, so the AEG is greater. There are a few steep, rocky sections with no shade, overall this is a pretty tough hike, deceptively so as it starts out downhill.
There are a couple of stands of New Mexico Locust trees on the route, in flower for us - as the book says, the showiest flowers on the mountain! I also found a Yellow Salsify gone to seed - a puffball like a giant dandelion, very cool.
On the way back we took Meadow Trail, which I think is much nicer than Lemmon trail, winding through a nice stand of pines. The well known huge one fell over a few years back, and the trail now switchbacks around the fallen trunk.
Overall this is a lovely 9 mile double loop, with a good cardio workout getting back - I can't believe I waited five years to do it for the second time! We started hiking around 7:30am and finished about 1:45, and even though the temperature wasn't that high, it felt really warm on the exposed sections - bring more water than you think you need! Shade and a cool breeze really helps, but at that elevation the sun beats down ferociously.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Sep 09 2016
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Catalina Mts Samaniego Ridge, AZ 
Catalina Mts Samaniego Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2016
markthurman53Triplogs 662
Hiking14.20 Miles 3,787 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles   8 Hrs   39 Mns   2.25 mph
3,787 ft AEG   2 Hrs   21 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Mount Lemmon Trail #5 at Mount Lemmon Summit to Sutherland Trail #6 to Samaniego Ridge Trail #7. Return route is Via Canada Del Oro Short cut Trail to CDO Trail #4 back to Samaniego Ridge Trail. All Trails are well marked and easy to follow with the exception of a couple of sections along the Samaniego Ridge Trail near Walnut Spring. With a GPS or Map it isn't difficult to find the trail again. This is a nice trail to take after the Monsoons. Watch out for lightning if during summer or early fall.
_____________________
1 archive
May 12 2013
avatar

 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 12 2013
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles
2,412 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice day, with it heating up down in Tucson it was a dream to step out of the car and be cold! Did this with my friend Traci - we ran many of the downs/flats and walked a lot of the uphills. A Western Tanager, great views and great company. Nice view of the post fire landscape and regrowth - http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/8734130170/in/photostream.
_____________________
May 04 2013
avatar

 Guides 64
 Routes 68
 Photos 8,882
 Triplogs 2,008

43 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Marana, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 04 2013
Jim_HTriplogs 2,008
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles   6 Hrs      1.57 mph
2,412 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
I was planning on the CSP2ML hike, but it didn't work out. Actually, I was fine with that, and liked this easier loop. Hardly a huge challenge, but one of the most scenic hikes in the Catalina Mountains. Still very hazy, and it was only near dusk that the Santa Ritas started to become visible. Even the Pusch Ridge was hazy. I took lots of pics, but they don't totally do this hike justice. How can they?

Stopped for a little while under some oaks and enjoyed the birds in the trees. Totally different feel to this hike.

dry Shovel Spring Dry Dry
No flowing water found.
_____________________
Jul 14 2012
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 389
 Photos 4,131
 Triplogs 3,394

47 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2012
fricknaleyTriplogs 3,394
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles
2,412 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
probably in my top 5 catalina hikes. nice flowers going up high. a lot of the return leg was hiked in the clouds :)
_____________________
hi
Jun 09 2012
avatar

 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2012
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles
2,412 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike! I had never done this before - great fun, amazing views and climbing back up was a workout! Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157630091274490/
_____________________
3 archives
Oct 15 2011
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 685
 Triplogs 93

42 female
 Joined May 14 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2011
SaraeTriplogs 93
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles   4 Hrs      1.96 mph
2,412 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A great dayhike to take the pup on. The sun was intense on the exposed slopes. The areas untouched by fire are lovely, and I can easily see taking a quick overnight trip along this ridgeline. There are lots of places to hang a hammock! Met a couple who were confused about how the trails got back up to the summit and I convinced them that they didn't want to hike all the way over to the control road to get back up to Mt. Lemmon :scared: They followed me back up to the top. The route was decently clear to follow with only a couple of spots on the CDO that are truly overgrown. Lindy and I made quick work of the hike, enjoying the fall color along the way.

Shovel spring was dripping, but the water was clear enough in the tank. There's some dog slobber in there now though :D The campsite below the spring looks like a nice overnight spot, too, with places for tents and hammocks.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Dog
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Shovel Spring
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Shovel Spring Dripping Dripping
Dripping steadily. Water was clear with just a couple of bees doing the backstroke.
_____________________
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir
Jul 16 2011
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 2,756
 Triplogs 243

50 female
 Joined May 15 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 16 2011
cindylTriplogs 243
Backpack7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Backpack7.84 Miles1 Day         
2,412 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
DaveRincon
Did this one as a quick overnight backpack. We stayed at the spring - very nice campsite there. In the morning, before I had my coffee and before my hiking partner got up, I hiked the rest of the way down to the trail junction, just to see what was out there. Some nice views! We got rained on just a little on the hike out. I wanted to stop by and see the lookout, but there was a message on the gate not to disturb him because of the fire. But what fire? I don't know. The rain really started to come down once we got back to the car. Yay for rain! :y:
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Wild Turkey
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Shovel Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Shovel Spring Dripping Dripping
The tub was full of good looking water. A few bugs, but not many. Very clear.
_____________________
There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...
May 22 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 316
 Photos 11,812
 Triplogs 1,452

47 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Samaniego PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2011
GrottoGirlTriplogs 1,452
Hiking12.60 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking12.60 Miles   8 Hrs   8 Mns   2.20 mph
3,400 ft AEG   2 Hrs   24 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
This hike is a lot easier than it used to be. But it's still pretty darn hard! The trail has been cleared and it is very easy to follow - which was not the case when we did it in May 2008. It's funny that Joel and I did this hike on my birthday 3 years ago. I knew we had done the hike, I just hadn't realized it was on my birthday.

There are great views from the ridge line of the front range of the Catalinas. You can see Cathedral, Window Peak, the Window, Little Kimball, Mt. Kimball and more. In the aftetnoon you can actually see light through the Window. The views from the peak are wonderful. Well worth the pain caused by some of the bushes on the way up.

We checked out Walnut Spring, which surprisingly had water. We also took the Cut-off Trail to check out Shovel Spring, which also had water. For our last push back up to the top of Mt. Lemmon we took the Meadow Trail which is really nice compared to the old road.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Shovel Spring Dripping Dripping
It's probably a bit more than dripping. The plastic trough has water in it that looks like it's in pretty good condition. No water in the drainage.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Dripping Dripping
It's probably between dripping and a quart per minute. The catchment has water in it with all kinds of bugs swimming around. There is also water in the drainage.
_____________________
Oct 30 2010
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 389
 Photos 4,131
 Triplogs 3,394

47 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Shovel Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2010
fricknaleyTriplogs 3,394
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,412 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles
2,412 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
allen fraley
After years of thinking about this hike i finally went out and hiked it...what a novel idea! This area of the range is fantastic, rarely visited and wild. The trails are mostly in great shape and likely recently reworked. the views are absolutely splendid and totally unlike anything i've seen thus far in my catalina wanderings. an excellent hike indeed :y:
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
_____________________
hi
average hiking speed 1.98 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.

helpcommentissue

end of page marker