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Josephine Peak - 2 members in 10 triplogs have rated this an average 2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 17 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Josephine Peak, AZ 
Josephine Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2020
markthurman53
Hiking11.00 Miles 3,267 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   2.42 mph
3,267 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I finally got out and did some hiking around Tucson again. After being in Texas and New Mexico with hikes that didn't have a lot of Elevation gain I had to see if I could still do it. I chose Josephine Peak in the Santa Rita Mountains because it is one of the few trails in the Santa Rita's I haven't done. I went up to Josephine saddle via the Old Baldy Trail and returned on the Super trail. I took the super Trail back not because I love that trail but because I wanted to get over 10 miles in on this hike. I have never seen a trail where they have done everything they can to avoid a little climbing, the only thing super about this trail is it's length. The Super Trail from Josephine Saddle on around the south side of baldy is starting to get a bit overgrown, I guess not too many others like it either.

Josephine Peak Trail no longer exists after the 2005 fire. There is a notice on the trail sign at Riley Saddle where the Josephine Peak trail splits off from the Super Trail that basically tells you you're on your own and good luck. There are a few rock cairns along the way that tell you the trail pretty much follows along the ridge to the peak. I followed the ridge all the way up to the peak and I think that was a mistake. I ended up leaving my pack about .1 miles below the peak to scramble up without them. There is a route on HAZ that shows the route leaving the ridge just before the peak to avoid the rock scramble.

Started the hike in Madera Canyon about 0615 and finished around noon. Temps were in the mid 60's in the morning and probably in the low 80's by noon. Monsoon cloud buildup also helped. Josephine relieved me of my MARPAT shirt that was strapped to my pack, I was too tired to go back and look for it, even if I could retrace the route I took up. I have three more and that one was getting a bit thin in places.
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1 archive
Jul 25 2019
LJW
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 Photos 923
 Triplogs 218

27 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Old Baldy - Super Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2019
LJW
Hiking16.19 Miles 5,156 AEG
Hiking16.19 Miles   6 Hrs   39 Mns   2.95 mph
5,156 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to get Wrightson and Josephine and added in Jack Mountain for good measure. Won't be doing any long hikes next week with family in town, so I wanted to get the most bang for my buck.

Started up Old Baldy at 5am. Second car showed up as I finished the long walk up the parking lot. Went straight up Old Baldy to the summit. The ascent is as gradual and relentless as I remembered. Made it up in two hours. Views were hazy, especially north and east.

Came down from the summit as the clouds pulled away. The whole walk from Baldy Saddle to Riley Saddle was sunny and warm. Passed an older couple from Green Valley by Baldy Saddle. I hope that I'm still able to summit Wrightson at their age.

Lot of bear scat on Super before Riley Saddle. At Riley Saddle the Nogales Ranger Dist. has put up a few orange signs saying that since the Florida Fire in 2005 no trail repairs have been made except unsanctioned trailwork, for which there is a price to pay. The signs say expect a crosscountry bushwhack. There is a use trail to the summit that is easier to follow on the way down than up. Lots of deadfall, and what trail there is is overgrown. Pretty much as advertised. Slow going. Climbed up a little chute on the outcropping before the peak, and at the top there was a small cave. Not sure how bears work, but I figured they use it at least to hibernate. In the summit register there was a group in the winter who wrote that they saw a bear hibernating in the cave, so that settles that.

Super trail and back saw no one until Josephine Saddle. Headed up Agua Caliente to Jack Mountain. Took a ridge up, should've waited for the spur. On top there were thousands of ladybugs, which made up for the lack of views.

Took Super back from Josephine and passed two groups of hikers. Never seen so few people on a trip up Wrightson. Six cars in the lot at the finish.
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

dry Baldy Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bellows Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Sprung Spring Dry Dry
2 archives
May 12 2018
jladderud
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 Guides 1
 Routes 12
 Photos 17
 Triplogs 78

31 male
 Joined Oct 05 2017
 Tucson, AZ
Josephine PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 12 2018
jladderud
Hiking10.10 Miles 3,240 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   6 Hrs   7 Mns   2.45 mph
3,240 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice trail until the turn off towards Riley Saddle. Then the "trail" is rather overgrown, and even absent in places. But it's not to hard to route find by just sticking to the ridge.
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Apr 22 2018
The_N
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 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

35 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ 
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2018
The_N
Hiking14.50 Miles 4,800 AEG
Hiking14.50 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   2.64 mph
4,800 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
Fun day hike on Wrightson. We started under partly cloudy skies and a breeze. Enjoyed a light sprinkle of rain followed by graupel on the way to Josephine Saddle. Made the side trip to Josephine. The 'trail' starts off great and is in much better shape. Not nearly as brushy. A few new cairns. Dallin insisted on going up and over the rock faces. Took a nutrition break atop Josephine then back down the same way. Cruised on up Wrightson. Enjoyed the views. Chatted with a local on the way back down and finished up at a busy TH. A few wildflowers in the lower parts. Mostly dry out there. Bellows spring was flowing.
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If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Aug 05 2017
LindaAnn
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 Guides 65
 Routes 407
 Photos 4,556
 Triplogs 1,379

41 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ 
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2017
LindaAnn
Hiking14.54 Miles 4,788 AEG
Hiking14.54 Miles   8 Hrs   28 Mns   2.08 mph
4,788 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break
 
The weather forecast called for a minimal chance of monsoon storms in southeastern AZ today, so a trip to Wrightson was in order. We got started just after 7:00am, and headed up Super Trail. Shady and cool up to Josephine Saddle, with running water everywhere. We stayed on Super Trail after the saddle and took it around to Riley Saddle, and made the side trip to Josephine Peak. Plenty of brush, and some steep, scrambly spots, but following the ridge to the summit is pretty straightforward. We had a late breakfast/early lunch at the summit, while joined by thousands of ladybugs. Thousands. We then headed back down, and continued on Super Trail up to Baldy Saddle. From Baldy Saddle, we headed up to the Wrightson summit, where I surprised that there were no other hikers. None at all the entire time we were up there, and we actually didn't see anyone else until we were well back down Old Baldy Trail. We took a snack break on Wrightson, enjoyed the views, then headed down Old Baldy Trail. The hike down Old Baldy was uneventful, and seemed to go by quickly. Great hike, with perfect weather, and surprisingly few people out on the trails.
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Aug 05 2017
The_N
avatar

 Routes 54
 Photos 1,508
 Triplogs 325

35 male
 Joined Mar 18 2015
 Payson, AZ
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ 
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2017
The_N
Hiking14.54 Miles 4,788 AEG
Hiking14.54 Miles   8 Hrs   28 Mns   2.08 mph
4,788 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break
 no routes
This was a fun hike. These trails are built perfectly and in great condition. Cool, shaded and wet up until the off-trail to Josephine. Ridge walking is always enjoyable. This one gets a little scratchy. I survived in shorts, but the more comfort minded hiker will want pants. Plenty of green vegetation and loose soil from recent rains. Even a waterfall down below that could be heard almost from the summit. Well worth the extra effort. We enjoyed a nutrition break and stirred the swarm of ladybugs before heading back to the trail. Spotty cloud coverage kept us comfortable all day. Lots of flowers out right now and every spring was flowing. We made it to the Wrightson summit and had just as much solitude as on Josephine. Great views all around. By the time we got back down to the saddle, we'd seen more deer than people. Cruised on down Old Baldy and back to the TH. Perfect day for this one and the weather cooperated all afternoon.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sprung Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Aug 07 2016
chumley
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 Guides 83
 Routes 692
 Photos 16,127
 Triplogs 1,618

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Josephine Wrongdaughter, AZ 
Josephine Wrongdaughter, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2016
chumley
Hiking15.46 Miles 4,838 AEG
Hiking15.46 Miles   7 Hrs   58 Mns   2.49 mph
4,838 ft AEG   1 Hour   46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Great day to be in the Ritas!

Saw three bears, one albino rattlesnake just below the peak, puffy clouds, a nice breeze, and surprisingly few people. Tough to ask for a better day!

Summited Josephine on the way up. Signs of an old trail exist, but it's an overgrown, scratchy struggle in other places and gets steep. Was happy to get it done early as it may have been a bit warm later in the day.

Following Linda resulted in a snake sighting :roll: ... it was very light colored with minimal or nonexistant markings. I actually wouldn't have guessed rattlesnake until it rattled. Very weak and high-pitched, as it quickly slithered off the trail and disappeared in the grass before I could get a picture.

Shortly after discussing my life-altering bee sting experience as a 5-year-old, I was stung by a bee for the first time in as long as I can remember. Not a big deal until I got home. Will see how it looks tomorrow, but for now, it's swollen and very sore.

At 2 hours from home, I could see myself doing this one more often. :)
Named place
Named place
Josephine Peak Mount Wrightson
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
just starting to get going in the grassy burn areas

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
trough had rainwater only. Spring box was full with fresh clear water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bellows Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
full springbox. clear cool water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Madera Canyon Light flow Light flow
Light flow from trailhead and up all along the trail

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sprung Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
full springbox.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Upper Gardner Canyon - Santa Ritas Light flow Light flow
running water in the drainage

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Wrightson Spring Dripping Dripping
wet at several consecutive switchbacks with dripping water that could be used to fill a bottle
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33s over 45s
Aug 07 2016
LindaAnn
avatar

 Guides 65
 Routes 407
 Photos 4,556
 Triplogs 1,379

41 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ 
Josephine - Wrightson, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2016
LindaAnn
Hiking15.46 Miles 4,838 AEG
Hiking15.46 Miles   7 Hrs   58 Mns   2.49 mph
4,838 ft AEG   1 Hour   46 Mns Break
 
I was wanting to get out of Phoenix for the day, but didn't want to deal with the Flagstaff or Payson traffic, so south was a the way to go. We got started a little before 7am, and luckily Super trail was shaded most of the way to the saddle. After the saddle, it was mostly sun, but the temps were still nice. I must have cleared a few hundred spiderwebs off the trail in the first five miles, and was constantly brushing them off my face and arms, and even picked a few webs out of my eyes and mouth--but I'm okay with that as long as I don't have to deal with an actual spider.

The side trip to Josephine was a bit of work. Very brushy in places, and in a few spots, I had to basically fall forward with all my body weight to push through the branches--and hope to catch myself before falling completely down. Even though I wore pants, I got plenty of thorns in my legs. Getting to the top was a steep climb, but worth it. The summit is nice and grassy, with nice views all around. The register was missing anything to write with; and I didn't have any pens to leave behind since I just cleaned out and washed my pack last week.

Once back on the main trail, it was easy going. Lots of wildflowers starting to bloom, and everything was green. We took a quick snack break at the Baldy Saddle, then headed up to the Wrightson summit. Almost immediately, there was a small rattlesnake on the trail, blending in with the rocks. I saw it as soon as it moved, and about a second before it rattled, but it took off too quickly to get a picture. At the summit, we took a long break, enjoyed the great weather at the top, then headed back down.

The trip down Old Baldy went by quickly, but the last mile was pretty warm. I finished off my three liters of water about a tenth of a mile before we got back to the parking lot. We saw three bears-mom & two cubs-as we were leaving the parking area, which was a nice way to finish off a great day.
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1 archive
Dec 18 2015
AZHiker456
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 Guides 28
 Routes 197
 Photos 7,418
 Triplogs 184

40 female
 Joined Nov 07 2015
 
Josephine PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2015
AZHiker456
Hiking10.12 Miles 4,542 AEG
Hiking10.12 Miles   5 Hrs   22 Mns   2.23 mph
4,542 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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I've knocked off most of the 'big gun' peaks in the Santa Ritas: Mt. Wrightson, Mt. Ian, 88 Mac, Mt. Hopkins… rounding out the 'fab five' in terms of tallest Santa Rita peaks, [at least according to the 2012 SAHC Peak List], is Josephine Peak, which I had yet to pay a visit to. Last December, I heard some intimidating reports of hardcore hiking acquaintances get 'brushed out' or 'cliffed out' while attempting this peak. It was intimidating [back then] but at the same very appealing if you know what I mean.

This summer after first bagging Mt. Hopkins, I decided to head down from the Agua Caliente Trail and bag Mt. Wrightson via the upper Super Trail, since it was one of the few trails relatively near the Madera Canyon Trailhead that I hadn't done. En route to Wrightson, I came upon a saddle and a smaller metal sign that said, "Riley Saddle" [and underneath that], "Josephine Peak :next: " [the arrow pointing in the direction of the peak]. A small overgrown route leading toward the peak was visible for all but a few feet before becoming enveloped in brush. I was VERY tempted to go after peak that day but, [trying to work on my weakness (distance!) and get in 18-20 miles before the sun went down], I decided that Josephine Peak would have to sit on my bucket list a little while longer.

Today, I finally knocked it off. The weather / conditions could not have been more perfect. Originally I was planning to go after another peak near Tubac; but short on time after having overslept and not wanting to deal with any drama trying find trailheads or cliffing out on one of these remote peaks whose names don't even come up on HAZ, I decided Josephine Peak, [which looked to be a pretty straight shot from Riley Saddle], would be a better choice. Not to mention, the Santa Ritas are like my 'backyard mountains' and I can get to the TH blindfolded. And at over 7,000', the temps would not be high enough to worry about snakes. In fact, over 90% of the terrain I covered from the Madera Canyon TH to Josephine Peak are still covered in snow; definitely more than I bargained for but luckily not enough to make the adventure unpleasant. It was actually very beautiful and my knees were definitely less beat up with the added cushion.

Ironically, the most drama filled part of the adventure was picking up the wrong trail once I hit Josephine Saddle. I decided to do for time up Old Baldy to Josephine Saddle, [which I've been using for almost 3 years now to gauge how good [or bad] of shape I'm in]. Without ever exerting 'race pace' or even 'interval pace' effort, I clocked in at 48:10; not too bad from what I've been told. Still in 'haul pumpkin' mode, I proceeded to barge down what I thought was the upper Super Trail [after all, I've only been by J-Saddle a gazillion times…].

A few minutes later when I passed by McBeth Springs and the trail started to lose elevation, it occurred that I had accidentally hopped on the Temporal Gulch Trail instead of the upper Super Trail back a J-Saddle. Not wanting to waste time backtracking, I consulted the topo on Route Scout and quickly identify an 'exit spot'… let's just say, all of the elevation I'd lost on the Temporal Gulch Trail, [plus that which I should've gained had I taken the Super Trail] was almost instantly regained!

After my off-trail elevator ride from Temporal Gulch to the upper Super Trail, the rest of the way was pretty much smooth sailing, which I've detailed in the Description. The only other notable thing: after bagging the peak and returning down the upper Super Trail, I came across a rock outcropping on the side of the trail with literally 20-30 lizards in sight at once! I've seen this kind of thing before along various trails / various parts of the Santa Ritas but prior to this, the most I've ever counted at once was 15-20; this time was 25-30, [and at a time of year that I least expected to see them]. It was an interesting site to say the least!
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LET’S GO BRANDON! :y:
1 archive
Jul 13 2013
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 571
 Photos 8,291
 Triplogs 1,827

54 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Old Baldy - Super Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2013
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking14.35 Miles 4,587 AEG
Hiking14.35 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   2.67 mph
4,587 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Thunder was in the sky. Dark clouds loomed and then it sprinkled on Mountain cooling it down to an awesome 65 degrees.

I set out to Hike up to Josephine Peak today. I see it all the time on the way up to Mt. Wrightson and I often think about heading over to it but never do. Well today I had a date with Josephine and it turned out to be a good one. At first I thought it was going to be a real challenge getting through the brush but it wasn't bad at all.

After Josephine I decided to head up to the top of Mount Wrightson and then take the Old Baldy trail back down to the car.

This was a great hike and I got lucky it didn't storm on me. It was happening all around the area but only sprinkles on the Santa Ritas while I was there.
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average hiking speed 2.45 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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