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Charouleau Gap - 3 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jan 28 2018
Mountain_Rat
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 Guides 11
 Routes 104
 Photos 676
 Triplogs 219

57 male
 Joined Jul 14 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Charouleau GapTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2018
Mountain_Rat
Hiking14.30 Miles 2,716 AEG
Hiking14.30 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.36 mph
2,716 ft AEG      12 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Still on the trail to recovery. Picked this as a higher mile : lower elevation hike to see how my speed is doing. Not very impressive. Weather was great and I caught a quick glimpse of a fox. Downed a quart of Tart Cherry juice afterward, and feel pretty good. Another week or 2 might see me back in the game, but peak performance is still in the distance.
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Matt
3 archives
May 08 2017
markthurman53
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 Guides 107
 Routes 588
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Charouleau Gap Samaniego Ridge, AZ 
Charouleau Gap Samaniego Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2017
markthurman53
Hiking14.80 Miles 4,256 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   7 Hrs   51 Mns   2.41 mph
4,256 ft AEG   1 Hour   43 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
About a year ago I hiked the Samaniego Ridge trail from Mount Lemmon to just south of Mule Ear Peak and this hike will be from the North to the Same point. I started the trail from the Charouleau Gap Jeep Trail at Canada Del Oro Wash. My plan was to drive the jeep trail as far as I dared along the Jeep trail to shorten the hiking distance. I got in about 2 miles where the road became a bit more of a challenge than I wanted to take and where it starts to climb the hills. The hike to Charouleau Gap is along this jeep trail and at times a bit steep. The worst part is the loose gravel on top of granite can make your footing a bit unsteady, going down was the worst. Once up at Charouleau Gap (about 4.5 miles), the Samaniego Ridge Trail starts. I thought this would be easier but I was wrong, The trail starts out climbing to the ridge and it is steep. Once on the ridge the trail continues to climb but at a little less aggressively. The trail is really overgrown in many places but easy enough to follow thanks to the rock cairns along the way. Long pants and shirt are recommended because everything along the trail wants to take a piece of you. Views from along the ridge are great both to the East over Canada Del Oro and Mount Lemmon and also to the West over Oro Valley. I made it to the peak just north of Mule Ears Peak and due to time constraints had to turn around here. I was about .8 miles short of my turn around point of last years hike, I could see my destination but opted to call it close enough. I was suppose to start the hike at 6:00 in the morning but due to spending so much time trying to figure out how to get to the trail head, I didn't start until 7:15. It appears you get here through Saddlebrooke Estates (names of the roads on Google earth don't match the actual names). From the south it appears North Lago Del Oro Parkway will get you here too. Great hike and thanks to the short spurt of cool weather I was able to finish Samaniego Ridge Trail, at least all but a small piece in the middle. There was no water along this trail at the time I went and being a ridge trail I doubt there is ever much water along this trail except in the winter months from snow melt.
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Apr 25 2013
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,195
 Triplogs 805

47 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Samaniego Ridge Trail #7Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2013
azdesertfather
Hiking22.89 Miles 5,320 AEG
Hiking22.89 Miles   9 Hrs   34 Mns   2.74 mph
5,320 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
fricknaley
myronvankirk
Wanted to take these 2 trails off my list for quite a while now...they didn't disappoint! Rugged and beautiful.

Had a friend who had a Rhino (and a friend of his with a new CanAm) ride Nick and I up the Gap Road all the way to the CDO Trailhead, a little of 9 miles. We took off from there on foot. As we reached this trailhead, we heard a wild turkey in the bushes but never could get an eye on him.

The first quarter mile of the CDO was a little sketchy there, had trouble finding it. Eventually we picked up on pretty good trail. A couple of spots that were a little sketchy but by and large much better than I expected the CDO to be in. Only a small part of it showed burn damage. Water in the CDO was still running fairly well.

The last mile or so of the CDO got a bit more steep, and we were feeling it. We took the CDO Shortcut Trail over to the Samaniego and hiked it all the way to the Sutherland Trail junction, then turned back toward Samaniego Peak. Made it the Samaniego Peak and tried to do the offtrail bushwhack to the peak, but it was covered in really nasty, thorny, knee-high bushes, and we saw the bushwhack time was going to take longer than we had time for, so we gave up on that effort.

We took the Samaniego Trail all the way to the Charouleau Gap. It was a little rougher trail in spots than I figured, a little hard to follow in a few spots but comparable mostly to the CDO. There was one spot where we were surprised to see cables attached to the side of the rock to hold onto since the trail was eroded and had a steep drop. We then hiked the Charouleau Gap road the 6+ miles out to the trailhead.

We saw several deer all day, mule deer and whitetails. We also saw a couple of small rattlesnakes on the Charouleau Gap road.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Dripping Dripping
Little tank was full, but really wasn't showing much water coming in...
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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
Oct 16 2012
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Samaniego Ridge Trail #7Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 16 2012
sirena
Backpack19.10 Miles 2,174 AEG
Backpack19.10 Miles2 Days         
2,174 ft AEG
 no routes
Solo backpack to see some fall colors and summit Samaniego. I stayed near Walnut Spring- love the views from the rocks nearby! I'm still in boating shape, not backpacking shape and I was definitely feeling my pack. The sunset was amazing and I spent a bunch of time writing in my journal.

The next morning, I set out to summit Samaniego. At first I was following pink flagging tape, but I eventually lost it and set out on my own. My route was pretty brushy in parts, but I got to see a gigantic Madrone tree growing right out of the side of the summit. The summit block is tiny, but the views are spectacular and totally worth it. This part of the mountain is so beautiful, with giant granite boulders and cliffs. I had an easier time getting down from the peak to the trail, but still cut my legs a bunch on the evil ceanothus bushes.

I had lunch, filled up my water from the spring, and headed toward the Corkscrew of Death (CSOD). Always a good time. I slip-slided down the hill and across to the rocky climb. Someone has installed a handline up the rock face.

After the CSOD, I ambled along the ridgeline past the Mule Ears and steeply up 7091. Took a break at the top of 7091 and looked at the amount of mileage vs. the amount of daylight and realized that I'd probably be walking Charoleau Gap road in the dark. After my break, I picked up the pace. I was practically running as I hiked north.

The trail wound through the grasslands for a lot longer than I had remembered before starting the drop to Charoleau Gap. I was wearing my old boots instead of trailrunners because of grass seeds this trip and they were starting to really bother my feet.

Finally, I reached the Gap at 4:30. No time to take a break, though. I still had six miles out on rough Charoleau Gap Rd. The surface is less than ideal- granite covered with small pebbles, kind of like walking on ball bearings. I find it's easier to run down. My feet were not happy and it felt like someone was hitting my baby toes with a hammer. There were fantastic views of the ridgeline and a beautiful sunset. I didn't have to walk too long in the dark before I reached Mr. Sirena waiting for me at the trailhead.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Dripping Dripping
Two good-sized pools in the drainage just below the metal tank.
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"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Dec 29 2011
azdesertfather
avatar

 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,195
 Triplogs 805

47 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Charouleau GapTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Dec 29 2011
azdesertfather
4x4 Trip18.50 Miles 3,210 AEG
4x4 Trip18.50 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   3.26 mph
3,210 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
myronvankirk
First 4WD trip in a while, in an area I look forward to going back and hiking. Perfect day, had a blast with a couple of friends from Grace (where I pastor), PLUS my wife and son went along too. The CDO was running pretty well in spots. In one place called the "Car Wash" where you have to drive in the CDO a ways, I can tell that it would be impassable by 4WD when it's really running there. We took two vehicles out, a Jeep and a Rhino, both did very well, enjoyed taking a turn at handling them both!

Had a nice lunch at Coronado Camp, the site of the adobe home. Good halfway point, just by the CDO.

The guy who owned the Jeep had just installed a wench a month or two ago, and unfortunately had to use it the first time today. At the tail end of our trip, near the power substation close to the Catalina entrance, a 2009 Jeep Wrangler had flipped on its side in the road. Thankfully, none of the 3 in the Jeep were hurt. As you can see from one of the pictures, we were able to get our friend's Jeep in a good spot to be able to pull him back up on his wheels, but unfortunately in addition to some pretty significant body damage, there was also damage done that kept it from driving. We found leaking brake fluid when we flipped it back up, and the car wouldn't start. We tried to jump the car, and smoke started coming out of the vehicle, so something really got messed up. Thankfully he was able to roll his Jeep down the hill and off the road until a tow truck came. Quite a day!
_____________________
"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
Nov 23 2000
Grasshopper
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 Guides 45
 Routes 472
 Photos 8,622
 Triplogs 534

75 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Charouleau GapTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 23 2000
Grasshopper
4x4 Trip18.50 Miles 3,210 AEG
4x4 Trip18.50 Miles   7 Hrs      2.64 mph
3,210 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
While living in Southern CA, amAZing 4WD memories from Thanksgiving Day 2000 :DANCE:
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
average hiking speed 2.54 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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