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Heartbreak Ridge Trail - 8 members in 21 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 05 2019
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Rincon Backpack, AZ 
Rincon Backpack, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 05 2019
BiFrost
Backpack35.20 Miles 10,146 AEG
Backpack35.20 Miles3 Days         
10,146 ft AEG
 
1st trip
We did 3 day backpack in the Rincons which John put together. He got permits for first night at Happy Valley campground so we drove up from Phoenix early and started hiking around 9am. Took us only 2 hours to make it to Happy Valley where we setup up camp. Then headed up Rincon Peak for the afternoon. Nice hike with decent trail and carrying day packs made it easier. Took about 20 minute break on the summit which would have been longer except the strong winds kept it short. Hiked back to camp and then enjoyed a relaxing night around the fire.

Next day we backpacked over to Happy Valley Lookout on Heartbreak Ridge trail. The lookout is still very much intact and was open for us to check it out. Cool spot and glad we took the extra 20 minutes to check it out. The eventual goal was to camp at Manning Camp but from there we stopped by Devils Bathtub first to check it out. Good water at Devils Bathtub with some cascades and some pools. Water was the theme of the weekend as we had no issue finding water at any point. From Devils Bathtub we headed to Manning Camp and had some hail and rain but nothing too bad. Arrived at Manning Camp and setup camp around noon.

In the afternoon it was off to day hike the top. There are many trails on top so we made a loop hitting Spud Rock first and then Mica Mountain. Great views on Spud Rock but Mica is just a high point but no views. A few patches of snow lingering on the north facing slopes. Next stop was Reef Rock which is on the east side facing the Galiuro's with great views and the sun came out so we took a fairly long break there. Then it was back to Manning Camp for the night. It was bit colder at Manning which is 8,000 feet as opposed to Happy Valley which is 6,200 feet. Still relaxing night around camp and there were several other groups in the campground.

Last day we hiked out Turkey Creek trail to make it a loop. Turkey Creek trail is steep but it gets the job done and we were at the bottom in 3 hours. However, to make it a loop hike we did have to walk some road past the Turkey trail head and connect with the Miller Creek trail head. Regardless it went fast and we were at the vehicle before noon. Great weekend in the Rincon's and thanks to John for getting the permits!!
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2 archives
Apr 02 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Turkey Creek & Misc Trails, AZ 
Turkey Creek & Misc Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2019
markthurman53
Hiking17.30 Miles 5,049 AEG
Hiking17.30 Miles   9 Hrs      2.26 mph
5,049 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Did a trail closer to home this time. Headed over to Happy Valley to do the Turkey Creek Trail and various other trails on the east slopes of the Rincons. I have been up in the Rincons many times from the 60's to the present but have never been on a majority of these trails I was on this time. I took the jeep road up to the trail head. This road is definitely a High clearance 4WD road. 4WD is not really required on most of this road but there is one section that definitely requires 4WD, don't know if you could just power up this anymore. Getting to the trail head cuts off 2 miles (4 miles round trip) from this hike making it only 17.3 miles instead of 21 miles and 400 feet less elevation gain.

The first 1.8 miles before the Saguaro National Park Boundary are in National Forest. Nice easy walking along a grassy and sparse juniper tree ridge. Once in the park the trail is very nicely constructed at least for the first half mile, this is to lure you in, then it becomes more like a typical trail in the Catalina and Rincon Mountains, steep and rocky. Some places along this trail the manzanita has encroached on the trail but nothing closely like the Rock Creek Trail in the Mazatzal mountains. The trail does get a little vague in places on the upper end in the pine forests but nothing that should cause a concern if you keep a sharp eye. Definitely not a heavily traveled trail and just coming out of the winter season doesn't help. Mud spring was running lightly and no mud. The sign that says 1 mile from Mud Spring to Deerhead Spring is wrong, someone scratched it out and put 1.2 but it is actually more like 1.4. But what's a couple tenths of a mile here and there, A big deal if it's all uphill.

At the junction with the Deerhead Spring Trail I headed north to the Spud Rock Campground and the East Slope Trail. Deerhead Spring had a light flow or more like an area ground seep, the stream below the creek was running slightly. Aspen trees at the campground still haven't produced leaves yet. Still had some climbing to do and took the Switchback Trail up to the Heartbreak ridge Trail. This is a short .4 mile connector trail. I have not been on the Heartbreak Ridge Trail in over 50 years and it is no longer the super highway it use to be. This use to be one of the main trails up to Manning camp when the X9 ranch was still allowing passage. I took the Heartbreak Ridge Trail to the Fireline Trail and returned on this trail to just below the Devil's Bathtub Trail (I have another hike planned to finish this trail as a loop on the Turkey and Miller Canyon Trails). Did not go to Manning camp since I have been there and done that many times before. Near the summit of the trail there are good views to the south with Rincon Peak being the obvious landmark. There are occasional views to the east from certain sections along the Heartbreak Ridge Trail. Water was still flowing in a couple of the creek crossings on the upper portion of this trail.

Devil's Bathtuib trail is yet another of the trails I have never been on. This is a fairly level trail between the Manning Camp Trail and Heartbreak Ridge Trail. In the middle is Devil's Bathtub. Light flow at the tub and falls. Took my lunch there at 5 hours in. Still a little snow in patches on the sections that don't get much sun, none on the trail. Returned the same way and headed down the East Slope Trail. This is a short .7 mile fairly level trail that will connect up with the Deerhead Springs trail at the Spud Rock Campground. From the Campground it is a long downhill trek back to the trail head.

Great hike and a real good workout. Will probably take me a couple days to recover. Probably good for another couple weeks before it gets too hot and the water stops flowing in the streams. Not sure how permanent any of the springs are.
Named place
Named place
Mud Hole Spring - Mica

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Head Spring Dripping Dripping
more of a ground seep but the creek below was running at about a quart per minute.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Devils Bathtub Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Dripping Dripping
More than a drip and less than a quart. Not muddy

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sycamore Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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Nov 11 2018
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking16.00 Miles 4,775 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   7 Hrs   56 Mns   2.42 mph
4,775 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Rincon Peak had been on my target list for a while, and today was the day to finally do this hike.

This was an out-and-back hike that began and ended at the Miller Creek TH. The dirt road into the TH was in good shape, although there were 5-6 creek crossings with water in them, so I would definitely recommend an high clearance vehicle.

This was one of the more enjoyable hikes that I have done, although it was one of the tougher day hikes that you will do. The trail gets pretty steep the last half mile or so, but the views at the top are worth the effort that it takes to get there.

On the way back we saw a couple of coatimundis, but that was the extent of the wildlife on the trail. On the drive back on the dirt road, we saw several large wild turkeys in a field. The turkeys apparently didn't realize that Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away.
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Mar 17 2018
LindaAnn
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 Guides 22
 Routes 359
 Photos 2,325
 Triplogs 948

39 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2018
LindaAnn
Hiking20.50 Miles 5,970 AEG
Hiking20.50 Miles   9 Hrs   53 Mns   2.35 mph
5,970 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
chumley
Since I didn't know of any Irish people to hand out with on St Paddy's Day, I went with the Norwegian option. They drink beer too. After I managed to offend the donut lady at 5:30 in the morning (I don't think she ever likes me, I stop in there all the time), we made good time to the trailhead, starting our hike before 8:00. Great temps to start with, a little cool, but we quickly warmed up as we made our way uphill.

The walk through Happy Valley is one of my favorite parts of this hike, nice scenery, and a good reprieve before the uphill starts again. We ran into two hikers about a mile from the top, chatted with them for a moment, then I started my whining for that last mile. Chumley stayed far enough ahead to where he didn't have to hear most of it. Views from the summit were great, very clear day, but it was windy. After a few minutes up there, we retreated back down a little to eat lunch out of the wind.

Once back at Happy Valley, we looked at the campground, then decided to head over to the Happy Valley Lookout. I was originally told that it was an additional 900' of aeg, but was later informed that it was really more like 1100'. Either way, it wasn't bad, as that trail was in great shape, with lots of steps built in to the rocks. It was windy up there too, with no place to find escape from it. Sitting in the sun was the best choice to warm up, windbreakers were actually helpful for a couple of miles even though most of the day had been comfortable in just a short sleeved shirt.

The hike back down was easy and uneventful. There was plenty of water in the creeks and drainages on almost the entire hike, but that water will likely be mostly gone before too long. Great day, and a great hike, which felt easier than what the stats would imply. I posted my route, which was from Route Scout, but used Chumley's stats, since the Route Scout on his phone always seems to be more accurate than mine.
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Mar 17 2018
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,221
 Triplogs 1,421

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Rinconaissance, AZ 
Rinconaissance, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2018
chumley
Hiking20.50 Miles 5,970 AEG
Hiking20.50 Miles   9 Hrs   53 Mns   2.33 mph
5,970 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
For some reason, I'd never previously set foot anywhere in this sky island, nor anywhere in Saguaro National Park. Spoiler Alert: Not a single Saguaro was seen the entire day! ](*,)

Miller Creek #28
This trail starts off with an easy warmup mile along the creek before the climb begins near the NPS boundary. The climb is steady and switchbacks frequently through bouldery terrain. The highlight of this trail is the half mile in the oak woodlands along Miller Creek below the junction with Heartbreak Ridge.

Heartbreak Ridge
The half mile between Miller Creek and Rincon Peak trails is fantastic. This area is called Happy Valley, and it's amazing. I kept thinking that this is what all the sky islands used to look like before catastrophic wildfire. There are enormous old growth ponderosa and fir along with sporadic desert scrub, nicely spaced and overall just healthy looking. Though not reliable, there was water flowing intermittently in the sandy drainage along the trail.

Rincon Peak Trail
The first mile of this one continues the pleasantness of Happy Valley, with a bit more climb. It passes through a couple of drainages that were lightly flowing with winter runoff. There's a tiny flat spot near the map marked point at 7330 where a sign indicates the end of stock use. From here the trail steepens significantly pushing the final 1100 feet to the summit. If I were to guess, this point was actually the end of the original built trail, with the resulting climb having been pieced together over time from use. It just doesn't seem to be a professionally planned or built route. Very odd actually. Nonetheless, despite it's steepness, I really enjoyed this final climb. A bit below the summit there's an affixed register box. It's in need of a new notebook as there is a single sheet of paper that is completely full of writing.

The summit features excellent views in all directions, including the largest summit cairn I think I've ever seen. Another oddity for this peak! The winds today were strong on the exposed summit so we dropped back down a bit to shelter for lunch, before heading back down to Happy Valley.

Happy Valley Campground
I was curious about this "campground" marked on the map and with a sign along the trail. It's really quite nice. Three sites with bear boxes and fire rings, and even a pit toilet! One site was occupied and the backpackers there reminded me that this is a national park, so camping there requires a permit and $8 nightly fee. Unfortunately, there is not a reliable source of water here, though there was still some running in this mid-March.

Happy Valley Lookout
Since I was feeling great, I suggested we continue north on the Heartbreak Ridge Trail, instead of heading directly back down. This was a 4-mile addition to the day and featured outstanding views and the best NPS-quality trail construction I've seen south of Grand Canyon! The lower part eases through shaded oak forest and other desert scrub before climbing into an old burn area and a steady climb. Near the peak, the trail exits the burn area that again reminded me how nice all the sky islands must have once been. We took the spur trail up to the old lookout but the cabin was boarded up and locked, providing no break from the wind which had now picked up even more. After a quick snack, we headed back down to Happy Valley and the return trip on Miller Creek to the trailhead.

This was a great intro to the Rincons and I'll definitely be back. :y:
Drive time to the trailhead was a little over 2 hours, and I think we counted 7 other people all day. My kind of crowds! :) Though the wind on the summits was a bit chilly, the temperature overall was ideal. Sadly no wildlife sightings, save for the loose heifers near the trailhead.
Named place
Named place
Happy Valley Fire Lookout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Light flow Light flow
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Profound observer
1 archive
Apr 29 2017
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,185
 Triplogs 790

45 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2017
azdesertfather
Hiking14.79 Miles 4,651 AEG
Hiking14.79 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   2.40 mph
4,651 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners 8 partners
DallinW
friendofThundergod
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
LindaAnn
The_N
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
Second time up Rincon, doesn't disappoint. Nice, beautiful day, still pretty windy as before. Great hanging out with a few regulars, meet some new faces. 3:28 up, 2:42 down. Long day, only rucked an added 10 lbs of weight this time.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Dec 24 2016
Swan
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 Triplogs 2

43 male
 Joined Dec 18 2016
 Tucson, Arizona
Miller Creek Trail #28Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Dec 24 2016
Swan
Run/Jog23.00 Miles 6,394 AEG
Run/Jog23.00 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   3.97 mph
6,394 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Headed over to Happy Valley on Christmas Eve to get up in the high country ahead of the big weather system that was predicted to dump a bunch of snow. No cars at Miller Creek, perfect clear cold weather. Miller Creek trail in good condition, a little confusing in a spot or two as it crosses some drainages. Headed up Heartbreak Ridge, my first time on that trail - wasn't sure what to expect as I figured it didn't get much traffic. Trail in excellent condition, surprised to see tons of steps build on a trail so far in the backcountry - a total contrast to the brushy thrash-fests on all the trails on the "back side" of the Santa Catalinas (like Samaniego Ridge or CDO). I guess the National Parks have a much larger budget for trail maintenance... Lots of water along the way to Devil's Bathtub, which I had never visited, which was also flowing strong. Headed up to Manning Cabin, nobody there either except for a few deer, think I had the whole mountain to myself. (Plenty of water at Manning, as always...)

Ran up to Spud Rock, and the weather started changing fast, was suddenly in a windy cloud with the temps dropping fast and smoky wisps of fog blowing through the forest. Put on some layers (tights, windshirt, buff), ran up to the summit and didn't even stop, and bailed down the Bonita trail, and by the time I hit Heartbreak, I was beneath the cloud ceiling that was enveloping Micah and back in the sun, but the temp kept dropping. Crazy wind along the ridge, literally pushed me off the trail a few times, lots of birds flitting around, couldn't figure out how they don't get blown off the mountain. Made time to run up to the Lookout on the way out, another first - incredible views of Rincon and San Pedro Valley, worth the side trip.

Tried to keep a strong pace coming down Miller, but that is one steep, boulder-filled descent. Returned to the truck in a total time a bit under six hours for 23mi and 6400aev, and cracked a beer just as the sky went black and that huge weather system hit, exciting drive back to Tucson rocking down the freeway in the old 4x4 truck with high winds, sideways precip, and wrecks here and there...
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2 archives
Sep 17 2016
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Rincon Manning Camp Turkey Creek, AZ 
Rincon Manning Camp Turkey Creek, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 17 2016
BiFrost
Backpack28.91 Miles 7,443 AEG
Backpack28.91 Miles3 Days         
7,443 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Long weekend 3 day backpack in the Rincon Mountains exploring the top of the range. Angela invited us on this trip with Wendy and so we headed out early Saturday morning for Turkey Creek TH. The actual trailhead is near the campground but the road continues on 4wd track another 1.5 miles to where the road stops. We parked there and started about an hour behind Angela and Wendy as we headed up Turkey Creek Trail #34. First 2 miles is along a ridgeline until we hit the Saguaro National Park boundary and shortly after that a register. At this point the trail is pretty much all up gaining about 1100 feet in the next 1.2 miles to Mud Hole Spring. The spring had water but very little to get a filter going. As we took a break we heard voices which would later turn out to be Angela and Wendy and we caught up 3/4 mile above Mud Hole Spring. Above the spring the trees get much thicker with Ponderosa and Oak providing ample shade up to Deerhead Spring. After Deerhead we went by Spud Rock Campground and checked out the spring which had good pool before continuing on to Manning Camp. Once at Manning we were surprised to find no one in the entire camp site and didn't see anyone for the 3 days on the mountain.

Next day we had the whole day to explore the top area....Kathy and I headed out towards Helen's Dome and made it up to the part where rock climbing gear is required. Then we continued on to Spud Rock and took a break enjoying the views....probably the best views of the Catalinas! Next up we hit Mica Mountain which of course is bit of let down from the great views on Spud but it's still the high point. Then we headed down to Mica Meadow Trail which is really nice stroll through the Ponderosa pines and ferns. The trail eventually reaches Reef Rock area so we arrived on the Reef and had lunch with another great view.

From Reef Rock we continued on to Manhead which is right along the trail but requires climbing gear to make the top. Then went over to Duckbill which was a rock scramble to make the top but nice views. And finally the highlight of the day we hiked down to Devils Bathtub to relax the afternoon away. Really nice spot to hang out and next time I think we will wander down canyon further. After hour and half at Devils Bathtub we headed back to Manning Camp for another night around the fire! Interesting note was the amount of water we encountered all weekend. Once on top it seemed like even the smallest drainages had some water in them from all the summer rain. Definitely the most water I've ever seen in the Rincons :)

Next morning we took our time hiking back out Turkey Creek Trail to the vehicles. Very nice weekend...thanks for the invite Angela!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Head Spring Dripping Dripping
just enough water to filter

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Devils Bathtub Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
good flow in the bathtub pool and plenty of water for filtering or any filter system

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Manning Camp Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
really strong flow in the creek with large pools for filtering

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Dripping Dripping
small amount near the source...maybe just enough to filter

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Spud Rock Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
nice large pool at the spring source...plenty of water to pump or dip sawyer bag
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3 archives
Mar 15 2016
writelots
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 Guides 19
 Routes 39
 Photos 5,577
 Triplogs 337

46 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Happy Valley Lookout, AZ 
Happy Valley Lookout, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2016
writelots
Hiking12.82 Miles 3,409 AEG
Hiking12.82 Miles   9 Hrs   10 Mns   1.79 mph
3,409 ft AEG   2 Hrs   1 Min Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wanted a challenging day hike in the Rincons, but my hiking buddy wasn't quite at the Rincon Peak level yet...so we picked something that was just a touch easier. Happy Valley Lookout from Miller Creek is still not a walk in the park, but what a beautiful hike in the National Park it is! Lovely views from just about every step of the way and plenty of elevation to get your heart pumping. Not a bad Tuesday!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Still early at the higher elevations, but we were seeing some early paintbrush.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Nov 14 2015
mdfabbrini
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 Guides 1
 Routes 34
 Photos 312
 Triplogs 386

61 male
 Joined May 25 2014
 Mount Shasta, CA
Devil's Bathtub Trail - Coronado NFTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2015
mdfabbrini
Hiking4.11 Miles 890 AEG
Hiking4.11 Miles   3 Hrs   26 Mns   2.09 mph
890 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A day hike to and from our camp at Spud Rock Spring to get water and to explore the area. The overall backpack trip is described at [ triplog ] .

Coming out of the Spud Rock Spring campsite, we weren't clear on whether to head back towards Deer Head Spring or up the Switchback Trail to catch the trail to Devil's Bathtub. It ended up we took the "wrong trail" or the Deer Head Spring Trail, causing us to drop about 500 feet. This trail, like the Turkey Trail, hasn't got much use or maintenance. But it was pretty, and at the end of the day, created a loop for us. We met the Heartbreak Ridge Trail, headed north for .5 miles until we got to Four Corners, then headed 20 minutes west to Devils Bathtub.

Water was plentiful here. After lunching and napping for an hour and a half, we headed back to Spud Rock Spring via the Devil's Bathtub, East Slope, and Switchback Trails.
Named place
Named place
Devils Bathtub

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Devils Bathtub Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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3 archives
Aug 29 2015
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2015
BiFrost
Hiking15.23 Miles 4,743 AEG
Hiking15.23 Miles   10 Hrs   10 Mns   1.86 mph
4,743 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
We were looking for some AEG with a cool peak summit so Rincon Peak was a good destination. Miller Canyon Trail in the lower section is rough and rocky as it switchbacks towards Happy Valley Saddle. About 1/3 mile below the saddle there was water in the canyon just off the trail which would be good source if camping at Happy Valley Saddle Campground. We took a break at the campground before heading for the summit. Steep climb of about 800 feet the last half mile to the summit but once on top it really is a worthy effort. Aside from Mt Wrightson the views on the summit are the best you will find of the Sky Island summits. We enjoyed a nice break on top but it was cut a little short by thunder storm that developed right over the summit. Some impressive close lightning convinced us to vacate the area quickly and headed back down. We passed by the campground again and took another short break. Just below Happy Valley Saddle we passed a group of backpackers headed for the campground. We chatted briefly as the thunderstorms were building again and they were trying to beat the rain. Unfortunately I think they were caught in the rain but luckily we were able to take refuge under some boulders to wait out the storm. We sat underneath the boulders for some 45 minutes watching the lightning flash and the crazy thunder cracks. Normally I would get off the mountain soon as possible but the boulders were a nice shelter and the closeness of the lightning convinced us to wait it out. As the thunder cracks became further away we ventured out to finish the hike and were fortunate to see some really nice waterfalls that filled once dry washes from the downpour. Finally reached the vehicle after an eventful ascent and enjoyed some tasty beverages :D
Meteorology
Meteorology
Rain Rainbow
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2 archives
Aug 29 2015
slowandsteady
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 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking15.23 Miles 4,743 AEG
Hiking15.23 Miles   10 Hrs   10 Mns   1.86 mph
4,743 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
Rincon Peak has been on the list for awhile.

The first mile to the park boundary was lush with greenery. Miles two and three felt steeper since you had to maneuver up and over boulders. Then you sort of stroll into Happy Valley Campground which is an awesome place for a break. From there the next mile just warms you up for the final three going up to the peak.

Coming back down, I could take in the views and really appreciate the area.
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May 23 2015
jrousoshammond
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 Routes 25
 Triplogs 120

31 male
 Joined May 15 2015
 Tucson
Rincon Mountains, AZ 
Rincon Mountains, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 23 2015
jrousoshammond
Backpack
Backpack3 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Day 1: Parked at Turkey Creek TH (not at the actual TH, just where the road gets bad), walked to Miller Creek TH, hiked up to Happy Valley, dropped our heavy stuff, and headed up Rincon Peak.

Day 2: HBR trail up to Spud Rock Campground via the Deerhead Spring Trail, again dropped stuff off, then waddled up the rest of the way to see Mica Mtn, Spud Rock, Manning Camp, and all sorts of other goodies I hadn't seen before. Everything up there was amazing and well worth the schlep...

Day 3: Down Turkey Creek Trail. It was a much nicer trail than I was expecting, but it's not something I would want to do during typical May weather given how exposed it is.

No issues aside from a few scary looking clouds the second afternoon and lots of very excited (but non-threatening) bees on the Heartbreak Ridge Trail on the way up to Happy Valley Lookout. The Manzanitas were blossoming and there was a constantly disconcerting buzz the entire time... :scared: Otherwise it's a fantastic trail.
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2 archives
Apr 15 2015
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Mica Mountain Southeast Trails, AZ 
Mica Mountain Southeast Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2015
markthurman53
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,169 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   2.39 mph
1,169 ft AEG      54 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This is the second half of day 2 of a 4 day hike in the Rincon Mountains. The afternoon was spent hiking the Southeast trails on Mica Mountain. Some of the trails include; Mica Mountain Trail, Fire Loop Trail, Bonita Trail, Mica Meadow trail and reef Rock Trail. Mica Mountain has a maze of trails that criss-cross each other and cover most of the top of the Mountain. None of these trails are very long with the exception of the Fire Loop Trail which encircles all of them. This hike included only the South and East portion of the Fire Loop Trail. Great views were encountered on the Reef Rock Trail to the South of Rincon Peak. All these trails are easy walking and any of them would be a good way to spend the evening after dinner and before sack time.
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1 archive
Mar 24 2015
Jim_H
avatar

 Guides 55
 Routes 46
 Photos 7,718
 Triplogs 1,626

40 male
 Joined Sep 08 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Rincon Loop, AZ 
Rincon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2015
Jim_H
Hiking16.40 Miles 4,500 AEG
Hiking16.40 Miles   8 Hrs   10 Mns   2.14 mph
4,500 ft AEG      30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Wanting to return to the Rincons since last fall, today was to be a great hike in the main body of the range, though without the Mica MT area. I was really pleased that my car got me to the four wheel drive trailhead, as I took it up the 2 track and started from there, instead of lower down. This gave me more time higher up, and I was able to visit Manning Camp, as a result. The 4WD road was less about clearance, than actual 4WD, and beefy tires would make a difference. However, a fictional AWD civic never would have made it.

The hike was better than expected and I was up in the pines in under 3 hours. I really just hiked through the Deer Head fire area and was less impressed with it than I hoped. This is no central Gila Wilderness. Most of the affects seem to be top killing brush and oaks, and needle cast consumption, but there was less grass than hoped for. I did hike up a ridge (not GPSed) and look at some old growth pines, still with some grass under them. I found the area around Manning Camp to be highly reminiscent of some of the low spots in the WOR, specifically around the nice camping spot with the massive pines. This is because it is almost all pine litter, little grass, and a dense stand of tall poles, with some larger orange barkers, but nothing characteristic of the way it would have been 120 years ago.

The Fire Loop is one of the nicer areas, and the granite domes are fun to look at, and climb on if you chose. In that regard, the Rincons have a Yosemite feel to them. Manning Camp itself is OK, but it just feels like a NPS camp area, nothing that special, save for the water and weather station. The Manning Camp trail south of the camp does have great canyons, falling water, and westward views to the Tucson Mountains. The Devil's Bathtub trail and area is really nice, and if flowing when warm might be a nice place to hangout, but I expect it is dry when warm. Heartbreak Ridge has great views, and as always looking east is fantastic.

With the current appearance of the east slopes, the species composition, and the fire affects, I would almost prefer it had not burned, since the oaks and other brush will coppice, some younger pines were killed, a lot of soil will and has eroded post fire, and it isn't going to return to pine, or mixed oaks over grass anytime soon. The grassy and pine covered areas do look better, and at least fuel loads are reduced. Still, the top of the mountain would benefit from something it will never get: mechanical thinning. The current composition of this area seems to have been influenced by (the Manning's?) grazing a lot more than Mica Mountain proper, but there appears to be slightly more soil here, too.

Overall, a great hike, my longest of the year, and with some serious AEG. It was nice down low, and cool, but tolerable while constantly switching between a sweater and t-shirt up higher. It was also breezy, but that created some lenticular clouds. I think it is still early in the higher terrain, as despite the above normal temps, it is still only late March, and there were fewer bird calls than expected. I did see some mountain quail, I think, or some other birds with flight sounds like a quail. Most of the life is still below 6,000'.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Lenticular Cloud
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Devils Bathtub Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Manning Camp Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Quart per minute Quart per minute
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Society's constraints are stifling! The only way to hike is fully nude!
Oct 03 2014
Mountain_Rat
avatar

 Guides 10
 Routes 93
 Photos 562
 Triplogs 193

56 male
 Joined Jul 14 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Heartbreak Ridge TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2014
Mountain_Rat
Hiking16.92 Miles 4,086 AEG
Hiking16.92 Miles   10 Hrs   6 Mns   1.81 mph
4,086 ft AEG      45 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Had a day off and was passing by Mescal, so I whipped it over to Happy Valley for a Rincon Mountain traverse. Not much to report, but with zero negative issues, it was as perfect as this day could get. Headed up the Turkey Creek trail, hit Spud Rock campsite, took the East Slope to Heartbreak Ridge, over to Happy Valley campsite, down the Miller Creek trail and back to the Exploder. Pretty much a sunup to sundown stroll :)
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Matt
Feb 16 2014
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking14.44 Miles 4,742 AEG
Hiking14.44 Miles   5 Hrs   58 Mns   2.56 mph
4,742 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
johnlp
Well Dr. Frick has been singing the Rincon Praises for some time now. I am super fond of Mt. Wrightson and the Frickster says both Window Peak and Rincon Peak are better. That's a tall order in my book so I had to go see for myself.

I hit up JohnLP to see if he was up to make the trip and sure enough he was in. We headed out of town Saturday afternoon. Made a Taco stop in Tucson and then made our way to the Miller Creek Trailhead. There we found a perfect place to park and it even came equipped with a fire ring. In no time John had a fire blazing and I set up for a night in Hotel Del Cherokee. He made his bed spot near by testing out some Tyvek as a base.

This morning we got up at day break. John made coffee and I packed things up. We were on the trail by 8:00am and it was brisk. A little over a mile into the hike we hit the SNP borderline and strangely enough outside temperature seemed to jump 10 degrees as we started to gain elevation. The hike and the surrounding area is beautiful the whole way up. The trail is easy to follow although we passed one junction that had an Arizona Trail sign on it. Pretty sure the AZT no longer goes anywhere near the area we were in.

The final push to the top was a steep one and we spotted a few light patches of snow. Up top there is a Forest Service Register. It showed 9 visitors were there on Valentines Day.

The summit views were spectacular. We spent 10 or 15 minutes soaking it in and then headed back down. All in all I give this hike a double thumbs up.

For me personally Mount Wrightson has an edge but it's like a pair of shoes. Sometimes one pair just feels a little better. Great hike and great company.
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Feb 16 2014
johnlp
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,157
 Triplogs 3,231

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Rincon PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2014
johnlp
Hiking14.44 Miles 4,742 AEG
Hiking14.44 Miles   5 Hrs   58 Mns   2.56 mph
4,742 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
Juan Jaimeiii invited me to join him for an overnighter hiking to the peak in the morning. I have hiked the AZT through the Rincons, so I knew this would be a very nice hike at worst.

After having to return to my house to get my pack (thought I had everything for once) and searching the east valley for firewood we hit I-10 towards our destination via exit 297. The road in is mostly dirt/gravel and is in passenger car shape. Similar to Peralta Road after it has been graded.

We ran into some cows driving in that didn't want to get out of the road. It took a couple minutes and a butchers knife to convince them to move along. By now it was dark but we had no trouble finding the trailhead and a place to car camp.

We got a nice fire going, set up camp, and I had some micro refreshments. It was a warm night for mid-February, but still got nippy by morning at 4200 ft. Breakfast served, camp broken down, fresh roasted and brewed Brazilian coffee in us, and we were ready to roll.

The hike is varied and scenic pretty much the whole way to Rincon Peak. Running water through large oaks and blooming manzanita, gives way to grassy hills, and eventually junipers then pines. We saw 8-10 other hikers all day.

Views from the summit are spectacular like most sky island peaks. It's fun to try to name the distant landmarks. JJ checked out the summit register, I had a snack, then we were off to retrace our steps back down the mountain.

Awesome hike! Like Nick, I think this one edges out Wrightson. Thanks for driving and the tasty Mexican dinner John. You rock and so does HAZ! :)
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
May 26 2012
hikeaz
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 Guides 5
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 214

63 male
 Joined May 13 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Manning Camp TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 26 2012
hikeaz
Backpack7.70 Miles 3,000 AEG
Backpack7.70 Miles3 Days         
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I did not see Mudhole Spring (on the Turkey Creek Trail) in the list for 'spring reports'. Mudhole IS flowing and the water is good. Flowing may-be a quart a minute at most.

This was a backpack that encompassed all of the linked trails as well as Deer Head and the whole myriad of trails surrounding Mica Mountain: Mica Meadow, Mica Mountain, Bonita, Fire Loop, etc. We visited: Mica Mountain summit, Spud Rock (Much better views that Mica Mountain), Manhead, Duckbill, Reef Rock and others.
This area is wonderful! Where else could one go to a cool, 8000'+ area on Memorial Day W/E and see but 2 people. The trails are in awesome shape (with the exception of the Miller Creek) and the terrain and views from around Mica Mountain are awesome.
Flora
Flora
Coral Bean
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Deer Head Spring Dry Dry
Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Devils Bathtub Quart per minute Quart per minute
Slight flow - nice water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Manning Camp Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Decent flow, but less than years past.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Quart per minute Quart per minute
flowing maybe a quart a minute, water is good

dry Spud Rock Spring Dry Dry
Dry as a bone
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kurt
Nov 23 2011
Mountain_Rat
avatar

 Guides 10
 Routes 93
 Photos 562
 Triplogs 193

56 male
 Joined Jul 14 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Miller Creek Trail #28Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 23 2011
Mountain_Rat
Backpack31.20 Miles 8,188 AEG
Backpack31.20 Miles3 Days         
8,188 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Friends in town who wanted to hit the Rincons

Day 1) Breezy but warm. I'm out of shape at this point, trying to keep up with Lynn and Teri up the Miller Creek trail. We dropped our packs at HV camp, headed up to Rincon Peak and back down to the camp to call it a day.

Day 2) NICE day. We headed out to Manning Camp via Devil's Bathtub, took some time to rest, then headed up the Fire Loop trail/s to Spud Rock, Mica and Reef Rock. I had not been to Mica or Spud Rock before. The Spud Rock views are unbelievable. Mica Mountain, though quite pretty, doesn't offer much for views. After our stop at Reef Rock, we headed down to Spud Rock Camp to settle in. I was beat by this point, but Lynn and Teri still had energy to explore the area. We started getting spurts of rain in the early evening, and the sky opened up a few times through the night (of course it always sounds worse when you're in a tent).

Day 3) It was quite a bit colder and pretty windy with not much for sun shine. Now worried about the threat of more rain, we hurriedly packed and headed out down the Turkey Creek trail. We made it back to the car by early afternoon just before the next round of rain hit.
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Matt
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.2 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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