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Rattlesnake Peak - 3 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
6 triplogs
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6 Triplogs
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Dec 30 2018
jajohnson11
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Photos 17
 Triplogs 25

29 male
 Joined Feb 01 2013
 Tucson, AZ
Rattlesnake PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2018
jajohnson11
Hiking10.00 Miles 4,290 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.43 mph
4,290 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to bag one more Catalina peak before the new year and Rattlesnake seemed the perfect choice!
Not too difficult until the final ridge. Wish I would have read the triplog better because I followed the final ridge the whole way up instead of dropping down and had some difficult PUD's that were completely unnecessary. Didn't make the same mistake coming back though which saved quite a bit of time and energy.
Also decided to go right over the summit of peak 5085 on the way up. There did not seem to be a safe way off this mini summit so I backtracked a hundred feet or so and got back to business.
The summit: wow. Just wow. One of my favorite views in the Catalinas so far. Up close views of cathedral, window and Kimball were the best. Snow all around, which made some of the approach to the summit a little more difficult than without. Almost slipped on some ice at one point!
There were two summit registers: a jar from the SAHC 2014 summit which was hidden under a rock. And an ammo can put up recently on the high point next to some Cairns. I took the liberty of consolidating these registers :)
Next in the area will definitely be McCragg Falls.
Thanks as always for the tracks HAZ.
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2 archives
Jan 21 2018
jladderud
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 6
 Photos 17
 Triplogs 38

29 male
 Joined Oct 05 2017
 Tucson, AZ
Rattlesnake Peak - Hutch's Pool Loop, AZ 
Rattlesnake Peak - Hutch's Pool Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2018
jladderud
Hiking15.90 Miles 4,454 AEG
Hiking15.90 Miles   6 Hrs   38 Mns   2.70 mph
4,454 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Summitting Rattlesnake Peak has been on my to-do list ever since I noticed it whilst hiking near Hutch's Pool a couple of years ago. "So", I thought to myself, "Why don't I link the two together?" I generally prefer loops to out-and-backs, and looking at the topo it seemed feasible. I followed the route description and GPS file posted here to gain the summit. I came prepared with leather boots and gaiters; but, surprisingly, neither seemed necessary. The bush whacking out of Pima Canyon (e.g. Table Mountain, Prominent Point) is way more heinous. The descent northward to Hutch's Pool was uncharted territory for me. Hoping I wouldn't get cliffed out, I used a topo map to try and keep my path from getting too steep. Fortunately I didn't encounter anything more technical than easy Class 3 (a conservative categorization). It took me 3 hours to reach the summit, and an hour to descend to Hutch's Pool. From there it was smooth sailing on the West Fork and Sabino Canyon trails, followed by another few miles on the tram road (I skipped the Phoneline Trail due to time constraints).

P.S. If someone tells me how, I can upload my GPS track for this loop

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hutch's Pool 76-100% full 76-100% full
Lots of water in this area
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3 archives
Mar 03 2017
rvcarter
avatar

 Guides 33
 Routes 304
 Photos 2,146
 Triplogs 236

73 male
 Joined Mar 27 2008
 tucson, az
Rattlesnake PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2017
rvcarter
Hiking10.63 Miles 4,154 AEG
Hiking10.63 Miles   9 Hrs   27 Mns   1.28 mph
4,154 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We saw a mountain lion!!!

Frank and I tried this three years back but didn't make it to the top due to an error on my part (tried to navigate around the east side of the last knob about 1000 feet below the peak). We kind of backed into trying this one again when some other plans fell through, and we couldn't come up with anything interesting. Niel fell in with us, even with my dire description of this peak's difficulty. Got an early start and were blessed with cool temps and a cloud cover.

We saw the mountain lion about 1/3 of the way down from the peak, bounding up the slope and visible for about 10 seconds. We earlier flushed a white tail deer and wondered if that was enough to bring him out into the open. This was our first sighting after hiking the Catalinas, a lot of it off trail, for 10+ years. Also saw a red tailed hawk.

Of the 10 miles, less than 4 are on trail. The rest is up the ridge through a mix of desert cacti, scrub oak, and grass. Luckily, no snakes or bees. There is actually a faint trail at a few points, likely game routes (we saw a wildlife camera at one choke point). Scrambling is necessary at a few places, but nothing above class 3. All in all, this is a very difficult day, but the views at the top are outstanding in every direction. From the north side of the peak, you can view right down into the East Fork, West Fork and nearly see Romero Pass. Check out Grottogirl's description. She had it right when she recommended a full meal the night before.

If you're interested in more pix and some video, I posted a video on my Youtube channel "roy v carter".

You won't run into ANY people after leaving the Esperero Trail. WE SAW A MOUNTAIN LION!!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Not much yet, but look out in a week or two.
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Check out my Instagram posts at "cartershift", and my Youtubes at my channel "roy v carter".
1 archive
Dec 26 2015
AZHiker456
avatar

 Guides 28
 Routes 197
 Photos 7,418
 Triplogs 184

38 female
 Joined Nov 07 2015
 
Rattlesnake PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2015
AZHiker456
Hiking11.91 Miles 4,290 AEG
Hiking11.91 Miles   8 Hrs   56 Mns   1.47 mph
4,290 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I bagged this peak today with two other hardcore hikers from TLC. It's an epic, Southern AZ style bushwhack to say the least; and, [taking off right from Sabino Canyon without even needing to ride the tram], I'm surprised it hasn't received more attention. For anyone who's conquered The Cleaver [or similar] – AND had fun in the process – I would highly recommend Rattlesnake Peak. Being further in the mountains than The Cleaver, I found the views to be far more beautiful; and, [thanks to following a sweet ridgeline for almost 4 miles before reaching the peak], you get to enjoy awesome views for most of the hike; not just while on the summit.

As for the difficulty, it was much less brushy/thorny compared to The Cleaver; [then again, I didn't find The Cleaver to be particularly difficult and really enjoyed it!]. Relative to other bushwhacks I've done, Rattlesnake Peak had a huge margin for error in terms of getting over / around the brush/thorns. The footing was also very good for the most; though there were a few hillsides where I had to watch it on the downhill due to TALL grass that proved to be rather slick. However, with hiking poles and great gripping shoes [Five Tens], simply slowing the pace a notch was all I had to do to prevent feeling like I might take a spill. Finally in terms of the terrain, there were some places where scrambling / boulder-hopping skills definitely come in useful. For me, nothing proved too difficult… but I'm not always the best to go by since boulder-hopping is my forte. Often times, I'll look at some rocks that need to be negotiated and think, 'Oh hell yeah…!' when my hiking partner is thinking, 'No pumpkin way..!'

Overall, the terrain / brush factor were not particularly difficult. However, at 4,290' AEG, 12 miles RT, and 9 hrs on the trails, [nearly 8 miles / 7+ hrs. of which were bushwhacking], the adventure to Rattlesnake Peak definitely beat the crap of me far worse than more technical but much shorter bushwhacks I've done; and I found it to be just as rewarding if not more so.
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Jan 30 2011
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,998
 Triplogs 1,254

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Rattlesnake PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2011
GrottoGirl
Hiking10.19 Miles 4,092 AEG
Hiking10.19 Miles   8 Hrs      1.27 mph
4,092 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
Baja Arizona Hiking
RedwallNHops
Great bushwhack from Sabino Canyon VC - only 4 of the 10 miles were on trail.

We started out on the road going into Sabino Canyon. After a half mile we turned north onto the Esperero Trail. Almost two miles into the journey we hit the ridge between Rattlesnake and Bird canyons. We followed a route/cairns up to the top of the ridge at point 3490. This part of the trek involved dodging a lot of bushes and cactus.

One we got on the top of the ridge, there was less vegetation for us to battle. From there we followed the ridge going northeast basically staying on top of the ridge until the ridge turned to go more north. At that point, we avoided the higher part of the ridge by contouring on the west side of the ridge.

The nearer we got to the peak, the steeper the route became. We had to do a bit of navigating around some big rocks and bushes. As the route was getting steeper, we found ourselves more on the east side of the ridge. The Santa Catalina Mountains, A Guide to the Trails and Routes puts it all into perspective saying, "This is the hardest part but not because it is steep and roucky. The difficulty is finding routes through the thickets of manzanita and oack. Staying on the crest is no good. Most hikers drop down 50 feet or so on the east side and thrash their way to the top."

The top was a treat. We found we weren't the only ones who were enjoying the Peak - the lady bugs had beat us to the top. There are many rocks in which to hang out on and explore around. We had our lunch and a photo session. The views are outstanding in all 360 degrees!

We then came back the way we came. I found the journey down a bit rough as my right knee was killing me from the activities the day before. However, we made it out and were able hit Risky's for some after hiking refreshments.

Yay! I hiked over 100 miles for the month! That makes two months in a row :)
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
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Jan 30 2011
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 947

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Rattlesnake PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2011
RedwallNHops
Hiking10.19 Miles 4,092 AEG
Hiking10.19 Miles
4,092 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Baja Arizona Hiking
GrottoGirl
Wow, this one really kicked my butt. This is a long bushwhack with about 4 miles of off trail climbing via the ridge separating Bird and Rattlesnake canyons. The last .5 miles to the top was one of the hardest stretches of hiking I've done. I would not recommend doing this the day after a 20 mile hike! It is a great peak with spectacular views and a fun ridgeline to bushwhack. It will be a couple years before I do this again!
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average hiking speed 1.63 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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