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Garwood Trail - Saguaro NP - 4 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 2.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 22 2019
lplade
avatar

 Triplogs 1

43 male
 Joined Nov 14 2015
 Minneapolis, MN
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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Jan 28 2019
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,356

45 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2019
GrottoGirl
Hiking4.60 Miles 417 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   2.24 mph
417 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Lovey night hike with the grotto! Lots of water still flowing!
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Jul 13 2017
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 585
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 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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Dec 02 2016
Trudge
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 Photos 1
 Triplogs 5

66 male
 Joined Nov 14 2016
 Tucson, Az
Garwood Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2016
Trudge
Hiking1.40 Miles
Hiking1.40 Miles      34 Mns   2.47 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Mar 25 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 585
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 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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Dec 21 2013
davidbwings
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 Routes 5
 Photos 5
 Triplogs 6

54 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 24 2013
davidbwings
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 Routes 5
 Photos 5
 Triplogs 6

54 male
 Joined Jun 29 2013
 Tucson, AZ
Shantz Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2013
davidbwings
Hiking9.80 Miles 844 AEG
Hiking9.80 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   2.48 mph
844 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Went out with a group for a 10 mile loop around SNP East the day after the winter storm went through. A few muddy spots but overall great day for a hike. Lots of pools in the canyon near Garwood dam and in Wild Horse canyon. Passed a few horses on the Shantz trail portion and one mule on the Pink Hill section.
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Jan 21 2013
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 585
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
SNP Loma Verde and Deer Valley Trails, AZ 
SNP Loma Verde and Deer Valley Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2013
markthurman53
Hiking7.50 Miles 549 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   3 Hrs   13 Mns   3.02 mph
549 ft AEG      44 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Another loop hike in Saguaro National Park. The trails in this portion of the park are not a real challenge but they are nice when you just have a few hours and want to get out and do some walking. There is some interesting history in this portion of the park. A few to look up and research are the Loma Verde Mine, the old Kennedy Trail (use to be a dirt road) and Garwood Dam. Didn't see any wildlife but sometimes the tourist are more interesting.
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Jan 15 2013
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 585
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
SNP Garwood and Carrillo Trail, AZ 
SNP Garwood and Carrillo Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2013
markthurman53
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,128 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   39 Mns   2.72 mph
1,128 ft AEG      29 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This is a short hike along the Garwood trail to the Carrillo Trail with a side trip to Wild Horse Tanks. This route shows the old portion of the Carrillo Trail to the Douglas Spring Trail. The Carrillo Trail was rerouted to the Douglas Spring Trail at the Bajada Vista Wash ( Near the junction with the old eastern end of the Bajada Vista Trail, Also abandon now). The old Carrillo Trail heads up along a ridge to the Douglas Spring Trail. The new portion of the Carrillo trail was finished in 2014.
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Jan 12 2013
camiles
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 Triplogs 108

46 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Shantz Trail - Saguaro NPTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2013
camiles
Hiking3.25 Miles
Hiking3.25 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
A nice trip to Garwood Dam via Pink Hill - we had not been there before, odd/interesting site - I really enjoyed reading the information in this document - http://www.gvrhc.org/Library/GarwoodRanchUpdate.pdf - about the Garwood Ranch in the Green Valley Hiking Club Library.

Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157632509581786/
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2 archives
Jan 08 2013
mmaxwell87
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 Triplogs 1

33 female
 Joined Jan 19 2013
 Tucson, AZ
Douglas Spring TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2013
mmaxwell87
Hiking8.70 Miles 3,752 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles   2 Hrs   23 Mns   3.65 mph
3,752 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
This was our first hike of 2013! Decided to take a short drive to the Douglas Spring Trailhead and try out our new DSLR camera lense. The hike was an easy one as we wanted to ease our way back into it after not hiking for almost a year. Not much to see if you're used to looking at cacti, at least in the winter.
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Sep 12 2012
dgilbert10us
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 Photos 8
 Triplogs 9

41 male
 Joined Sep 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Garwood Dam, AZ 
Garwood Dam, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2012
dgilbert10us
Hiking5.40 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   2.49 mph
1,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Saw a deer, gila monster and 2 rattle snakes. I hiked Garwood trl to the dam. Then took Carrillo trl to the steel tank. From there I took 3 Tank trl to wildhorse trl back to Garwood trl.
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average hiking speed 2.55 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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