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Oracle - AZT #13 - 13 members in 42 triplogs have rated this an average 2.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 11 2019
ttretta
avatar

 Photos 55
 Triplogs 28

54 female
 Joined Jul 28 2015
 Gilbert, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 11 2019
ttretta
Backpack8.60 Miles 759 AEG
Backpack8.60 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.46 mph
759 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this in two separate trips. I completed from highway 77 to the trailhead for section 14 a couple of trips back, and then finished the rest this weekend, combined with section 12. This was an easy trek, very well maintained. Didn't look for water, however stopped at the windmill at Kannally Wash to check the situation. There was a black plastic tank inside the metal tank, but no water at all. Really enjoyed all the signage throughout the state park.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
2 archives
Mar 01 2019
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 01 2019
toddak
Hiking13.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   5 Hrs      2.70 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
SOBO, then continued a few miles on AZT #12 to finish up a missing section, exited down Oracle Ridge#1. Bike shuttle.
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1 archive
Jan 05 2019
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2019
hikerdw
Hiking16.39 Miles 1,903 AEG
Hiking16.39 Miles   5 Hrs   44 Mns   3.19 mph
1,903 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Parked at the American Avenue TH parking lot and did an out and back up to the south start of the passage. Hiking conditions and the trail were excellent so we made really good time. The flattish terrain allowed for great views almost the entire hike which I really enjoyed. Am hoping we can fit in more hikes to the south this year.
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Dec 08 2018
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,998
 Triplogs 1,254

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
AZT to Manazita Trail, AZ 
AZT to Manazita Trail, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Dec 08 2018
GrottoGirl
Mtn Biking4.91 Miles 553 AEG
Mtn Biking4.91 Miles   1 Hour   44 Mns   3.04 mph
553 ft AEG      7 Mns Break3 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Attended a wedding. We were shuttled to the ceremony site with our bikes. After the ceremony we rode back to the reception at the ranch house.
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Mar 03 2018
ultrazona
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 613
 Triplogs 153

32 male
 Joined Mar 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Mar 03 2018
ultrazona
Mtn Biking17.20 Miles 759 AEG
Mtn Biking17.20 Miles
759 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day ride. Out and Back
_____________________
ultrazona.com
Feb 13 2018
Mudhole
avatar

 Routes 27
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

45 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Arizona Trail Passages 13-15, AZ 
Arizona Trail Passages 13-15, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 13 2018
Mudhole
Backpack67.59 Miles 6,832 AEG
Backpack67.59 Miles4 Days         
6,832 ft AEG14 LBS Pack
 
Partners none no partners
This week's adventure on the Arizona Trail was one full of learning new things about myself, and also continuing to try out new experiences, techniques and gear. My new hiking friend Dana Law was kind enough to have me tag along on what was originally planned to be an 8-day 102 mile hike through 5 passages of the Arizona Trail. Things don't always go quite as planned...

The night before our hike, Dana and I stayed at the Chalet Village Motel in Oracle, owned and operated by the wonderful trail angel Marney. Marney also had arranged a ride to the American Flag trailhead for us the next morning and had also confirmed that water was staged for us at the Tiger Mine trailhead at the start of passage 14.

We set off from Oracle, AZ to start passage 13 on Tuesday morning at first light. Our plan was to complete 13 and do a good chunk of the first part of passage 14. We set our goals for 16 miles and ended up camping after just short of 18 miles thanks to Dana's very positive attitude throughout the day which helped me to push more miles than I'm normally comfortable with especially with a full pack. This day was sunny and comfortable, but we knew that the weather was going to turn on us during the next 24 hours of the trip. Our camp was flat and rock-free, the weather was calm, and we both got good sleep.

Day 2 brought us through most of the remainder of passage 14. The beginning half of passage 14 really is a bleak section of unattractive and overgrazed desert unfortunately. We encountered light rainshowers just as we reached Beehive Well mid-day, our first reliable water source and our lunch stop. I was dealing with a forming blister on the ball of my right foot, so I had to cut it open and tape it up to be able to continue. Soggy shoes and lots of downhill to Beehive were the demise of my feet that day. The tank and cattle trough were both full of algae-ridden water filled with hundreds of dead bees, and the larger tank had at least one dead bird in it. There was a small old building next to the windmill by the tanks, and inside of the building we spotted a giant crab spider, which I have never seen before. I brought out a new prefilter for water such as what was in the trough, attempting to help clarify some of the yuck out of these less-desirable water sources, however the connection on my homemade prefilter failed/leaked and we had to set it aside. Out came the Sawyer filters and we took only the water we needed as we continued on through the rain. We reached camp just 4 miles short of the start of passage 15 at Freeman Road and set up camp just before the heavier rain started. It rained constantly all night long, but we did end up getting 2 extra miles on today as well. Surprisingly, both of us got sufficient sleep that night.

Day 3 was a wet morning. This was the first time that Dana and I have ever had to break camp in a steady rain while on a backpacking trip. We did surprisingly well with getting our packs loaded up in our own small tents, saving the take-down of our tents for last before we headed out for the day. We crossed Freeman Road and loaded up on cached water from the resupply box at the trailhead for passage 15, met with 2 wet hikers Half Ration and Greenpeace, and pushed on to get as many miles as we could for the day. Being that the rain had been falling for over 24 hours straight, the trail conditions that day were quite miserable. Soggy shoes, nonstop rain, and very slippery clay mud on the trail slowed us down and made our footing very sketchy for the entire day. I grumbled and cussed about the conditions, but again Dana kept that positive spirit and really got me through the rest of the afternoon until we set up camp after another 17 mile day. We were now over a half day ahead of schedule and excited about possibly finishing early. Yet again, we both slept but it was somewhat broken up by short naps here and there.

Day 4 began with no rain! At this point, we only had 15 miles left to get to Kearny, AZ for our resupply and an awaiting motel reservation. We would actually be shaving off an entire day of our agenda if we could push through today at a good pace. We had our biggest climb of the trip thus far ahead of us, so we set off at first light. Fortunately for us, the rain had let up all night and we only encountered a few light showers through the high point of the rest of passage 15. Ripsey Wash provided us with a great place to take a lunch break before the final climb and then ascent into town. We made it into Kearny with the last of our patience, looking forward to hot showers and putting on dry gear so we could get some dinner at the highly recommended Old Time Pizza just down the street from the General Kearny Inn.

65 miles in just 4 days with full packs was a new record pace for me, especially considering 30 hours of literally non-stop rain in the middle 2 days of the trip.

Breakfast on Saturday morning was shared with James Simmons, steward for passage 16a, and we also ran into Half Ration and Greenpeace again. Great talking with them while the power was out at the Whistle Stop restaurant!

Now for the bad news...

While in Kearny on our zero-mile day, we were closely monitoring the upcoming weather for our remaining 2 passages - 16 and 17. Monday's weather forecasted 25mph winds in the town of Kearny with steady rain all day, and gusts of wind up to 40mph. Snow was also expected at the 4000' elevations, which were what we would be climbing into as we ascended into the Tortilla mountains. After weighing out the pros and cons of continuing in such conditions, we both agreed that conditions would have been too risky for us to continue.

We will be back later this year to conquer passages 16 and 17, and hopefully more together. Hiking with Dana was a true pleasure. He has completed the entire Pacific Crest Trail, and I was very humbled by his fitness, attitude and backpacking experience. It was an honor to hike with him and I can only hope that he will allow me to join him on some of his future adventures.

dry Corner Tank Dry Dry
Bone dry right before the rains started this past week.
_____________________
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clean away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir
Apr 24 2017
SkyIslander18
avatar

 Guides 3
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 1,684

49 male
 Joined Sep 29 2004
 Small Town USA
Oracle State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2017
SkyIslander18
Hiking8.00 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
650 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
AddSanz
First trip for the both of us to Oracle State Park.
We started with a tour of the Kannally Ranch House. Very cool 4 level house constructed between 1929-33 and on the National Register of Historic Places.
We then hit the trails. Counter clock-wise loop starting out on the Wildlife Corridor Trail :next: AZT #13 :next: Powerline Trail :next: Mariposa Trail :next: Bellota Trail.
Very nice well maintained trails with great open scenery . In fact, some of the best looking trails I have ever seen in a state park!
Lots of cactus blooms, wildflowers and flowering thistle plants throughout.
Many vultures and hawks above, but not much wildlife spotted on the ground today.
A very enjoyable day spent at Oracle!
:D
20/32 AZ State Parks visited
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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www.instagram.com/skyi...
Mar 24 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 78
 Photos 7,201
 Triplogs 2,562

58 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Mar 24 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
Mtn Biking17.20 Miles 2,007 AEG
Mtn Biking17.20 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   4.85 mph
2,007 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
:D :app: :y: Thanks Shawn and all the AZT crew. The trail is in great shape. I wish I was in half the shape the trail is. I started south to north and did an out and back. Great weather and views. I saw lots of birds including Quail,Roadrunner,Turkey Vulture, etc.,and a few bunnies. On the first half I saw 4 hikers out checking out the reroute. The reroute is great and was a great section to ride on the second half of my ride. On my second half I meet some through hikers heading to Tiger road and then going to stay at the Chalet for the night before heading for Superior as their finish line for this trip. Another couple sitting in the shade where I starting where done for this trip. Work is calling. Nice couple with some good stories of the AZT and other trails. A nice day out on the trail! :y:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some Fairyduster and some kind of yellow flower here in there.
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Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Mar 24 2017
wha
avatar

 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Azt #8-#15, AZ 
Azt #8-#15, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 24 2017
wha
Backpack150.60 Miles 26,654 AEG
Backpack150.60 Miles
26,654 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Some highlights from the passages

Rincon Valley - finally met other thru hikers headed all the way to Utah, and a pack of cub scout camping at La Sevilla.

Rincon Mountains - saw a Gila monster and more thrus. A long tough climb to the top, and then a steep descent.

Redington Pass - brutal sun during a heat wave.

Santa Catalina Mountains - The east and west forks of Sabino are beautiful. Too many people at Hutch's pool. That climb from Romero Pass to Wilderness of Rocks is killer. It's mid afternoon, can we make it to Sawmill Restaurant before it closes? The cheeseburger challenge is on. We make it in time. Joy!

Oracle Ridge - They should move the trail to the control road. Seriously though, there are some great views along the trail, but the steep tread, loose rocks, and overgrowth spoil it. This was harder than the ascent.

Oracle - Easy trail. Something to do on a rest day between two nights at the Chalet Village motel.

Black Hills - Down, up, repeat. Good water sources though.

Tortilla Mountains - Trail magic (sweet fresh oranges). Racing across the trail in high winds, rain and hail. A desert tortoise near the end.
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Feb 03 2017
wha
avatar

 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 03 2017
wha
Backpack8.60 Miles 759 AEG
Backpack8.60 Miles2 Days         
759 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Jan 03 2017
fearnestiv
avatar

 Routes 22
 Photos 70
 Triplogs 20

71 male
 Joined Feb 10 2015
 Catalina, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2017
fearnestiv
Hiking8.10 Miles 805 AEG
Hiking8.10 Miles
805 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Saddlebrooke Hiking Club had our first club hike for 2017 on AZT Oracle Passage 13 to document the re-route completed last September, and to scout the trail for our upcoming club trail maintenance workday on January 18. The new 1.7 mile re-route avoids the hike on the rocky power line service road and adds about 0.5 miles to the overall distance of this passage from American Ranch trailhead to Old Tiger Mine Rd trailhead. There were several additional tracks recorded today and they are all in very close agreement on stats. Trail condition is excellent overall. There were 18 gallon plastic jugs of water stashed at the metal re-supply box in the next to the AZ Highway 77 culvert. This source is not apparent on the "water sources" list on either HAZ or the AZT Phone app. The re-supply box IS listed on the ATA site under water sources.
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1 archive
Oct 29 2016
BACKROADER
avatar

 Guides 1
 Photos 2,936
 Triplogs 16

51 male
 Joined Mar 02 2004
 San Tan Valley,
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 29 2016
BACKROADER
Hiking8.60 Miles 759 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
759 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Arizona Trail Passage 13 Oracle

The Housholder Family Hikers finished segment 13 on two separate occasions. First enjoying a Saturday Lunch at the Oracle Cafe then visiting Oracle State Park and afterwards hiking from the American Flag Trailhead only a short couple miles over to Webb Road at the O shaped turnaround where we staged one truck at. Here was our review for the Oracle Patio Cafe, which has become a favorite of ours!

"Be Pie Partisan!" October 29, 2016

One of the greatest things about Segment Hiking the Arizona Trail are all the fun, State Parks and nearby attractions like deliciously awesome "partner" restaurants we would have never known existed had it not been for the AZT.

The Oracle Patio Cafe and Food Market is one of these hidden gems where some of the best gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes are served up for our "Hangry" kids to enjoy before hitting the open trail.

Ben and I scarfed down the Homemade Corned Beef Hash. As seen on their menu: "Literally homemade, we start with fresh Certified Angus Beef brisket, brine it in our special brine for ten day then roast it long and slow. Hand diced and mixed with potatoes, carrots, onions and herbs it makes great hash. We bake it up and serve it with two eggs over the top and a side of fresh fruit."

Bryce jumped all over the Biscuits and Gravy – "Freshly baked biscuits with an original chorizo gravy. A little spicy!"

Karolien throughly enjoyed the panini styled "Monte Cristo – Ham and swiss between two pieces of French toast grilled to melted goodness. Served with fruit or potato and syrup."

Bianka had the kids giant grilled cheese panini which was HUGE! It even came with a side order fruit bowl. I wonder if she will try the "Ultimate Grilled Cheese – Cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and ripe tomatoes on grilled bread with pesto aioli", on our next visit.

The food market was stocked with plenty of natural foods and things a starving hiker would surely enjoy.

Arrive early on Saturdays this place closes early, around 3:00 PM. We wanted to get a fresh homemade pie to-go but didn't make the close after a long day on the AZT. Here were some of the yummy choices we will be eagerly awaiting on our next return visit:

Cream Pies, Fruit Pies, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Coconut Cake, Fresh Apple Cake and even a Chocolate Torte!

Thanks for the great service, we would highly recommend a drive to the Oracle Patio Cafe it is well worth it!

oraclepatiocafe.com/

--------------------------------------------

After the hearty lunch we headed over to the Oracle State Park Visitors Center to quiz the ranger on the AZT Passage. He mentioned there was a turn around spot where we could park a vehicle along the Webb Road, because we had only a few hours before needing to get home for a friend's birthday party. So off to that car park we went staging our truck, and then straightway to the American Flag Trailhead. The AFTH was a fantastic place to take those old ranch looking photos, in face after the hike we returned and there was a Tucson photographer there taking some wedding shots. I was able to get some nice pictures of Bianka and the kids around the trailhead before departing home.

We enjoyed the two or three miles of AZT towards Webb Road as it was very flat and easy going. There were some boulders with mostly desert shrubs in a transition zone as this is around 4000 feet in elevation. In no time at all we were back at our vehicles and our first visit to the friendly town of Oracle was complete.

------------------------------------------------

January 7, 2017

Webb Road to Tiger Mine Trailheead

Our second visit to Oracle was just as fun as the first. This time we started hiking from the Webb Road O turnaround after staging a vehicle up at Tiger Mine Trailhead. This is a very nice desert transition zone from 4000 feet mostly flat with some moderate hills. We were able to bring our new puppy "Fenix" on her first AZT hike and Bryce's friend Danny on his second hike with us! Fenix was super excited and very spastic all along the way and the cool January weather naturally helped. After a few small hills we found ourselves enjoying lunch at the Windmill before attacking the upward sloping newly constructed ridgeline trail. Recently finished by AZT workers this trail was in great shape and quite enjoyable, Thanks!

From the ridge we could see for miles and miles, including the Catalina Mountains and much more! After what seemed like an endless steady climb we approached the summit and began the downhill push towards the highway. Once we arrived to the highway we enjoyed a fantastic snack before crossing underneath the road and heading up the other side road towards the Tiger Mine Trailhead. About 6 miles of hiking all together!

The reward for a day's hiking was a couple of the Oracle Cafe's Homemade Pies! I remember scarfing down the Blueberry it was to die for. The kids loved getting their after hike award. Remember to get to the Patio Cafe early as they close around 3 or 4 o'clock on Saturdays!
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1 archive
Sep 25 2016
alexofaz
avatar

 Routes 10
 Photos 11
 Triplogs 39

male
 Joined Jul 10 2011
 Peoria, Az
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2016
alexofaz
Hiking8.10 Miles 805 AEG
Hiking8.10 Miles
805 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Came down from 12 and crossed the desert, the 8 mile cool down was welcome after Mt Lemon's vertical trails.
_____________________
Sep 25 2016
corwinwilkins
avatar

 Routes 9
 Triplogs 36

49 male
 Joined Jul 30 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2016
corwinwilkins
Hiking8.10 Miles 805 AEG
Hiking8.10 Miles
805 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Flat and hot. Nice water cache though...
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Sep 17 2016
WanderingWildc
avatar

 Photos 116
 Triplogs 12

37 female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Tucson
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2016
WanderingWildcat
Hiking8.95 Miles 805 AEG
Hiking8.95 Miles   2 Hrs   52 Mns   3.12 mph
805 ft AEG14.5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
sandyfortner
Hiked AZT Passage #13. Great terrain. Some areas were overgrown, but a good chunk of the trail was recently maintained.

Saw some deer, quail, and had a VERY close encounter with a Mojave Rattlesnake! It was just off the side of the trail, hidden in high brush. He coiled, rattled, and hissed, but did not attempt to strike.

No sources of water along the trail, but there is a water cache box at the trail registry near the underpass at the 77 and Tiger Mine Road. It was full of water jugs for hikers.
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5 archives
Aug 15 2016
Sredfield
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 26
 Photos 1,414
 Triplogs 416

male
 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Volunteer avatar Aug 15 2016
Sredfield
Volunteer2.00 Miles
Volunteer2.00 Miles10 Days         
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Arizona Trail Association is moving ~ 1.2 miles of the AZT off the powerline road section through Oracle State Park on to ~1.7 + miles of new single track. Don’t hold me to that second number until it’s done. After several layout trips over the last year, construction started Monday and will continue until complete, we’re hoping for Thursday or Friday. The tough part of deeper bench cutting (south half) is complete up to the saddle; the northern ½ should go faster because the side slope isn’t as steep and there is much less rock.

August doesn’t offer prime trail construction temps but it has been tolerable, especially in the breeze higher up on the ridge. REI is sponsoring a work event October 2 to work on the finish and polish; hopefully we get some rain on it before then to settle the soil and indicate the drain issues.

A public map "Oracle State Park realignment" is posted but linking it here is beyond my HAZ technical abilities.
Culture
Culture
Trail Maintenance
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
1 archive
Apr 16 2016
Elisabeth
avatar

 Routes 6
 Photos 94
 Triplogs 4

79 female
 Joined Feb 07 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2016
Elisabeth
Hiking8.10 Miles 805 AEG
Hiking8.10 Miles
805 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A Water Resupply Box has been installed south of the Highway #77 underpass at the northern entrance to Oracle State Park. Water may be cached here by thru-hikers with their names written on the bottles. The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club also provides bottles of water for the general public.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
See Wildflower photo set posted April 2016.
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 27 2015
DallinW
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 105
 Photos 1,740
 Triplogs 228

27 male
 Joined Feb 26 2015
 Gilbert AZ
AZT: Oracle to Superior, AZ 
AZT: Oracle to Superior, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 27 2015
DallinW
Backpack100.09 Miles 12,473 AEG
Backpack100.09 Miles6 Days         
12,473 ft AEG
 no routes
We started at the American Flag Trailhead near Oracle around 9:30 AM on the 27th of December and finished around 4:00PM at the Picketpost Trailhead near Superior on the 1st of January.

In all honesty, I had fairly low expectations in terms of scenery along this segment, but it met and surpassed my expectations in a few places. The trail danced between grassy hill sides with a few cedars, to stereotypical Sonoran desert landscapes with large Saguaros. The final ~30 miles along the Gila River and in the canyons near Superior took the cake though. The climb out of the Gila River area is simply spectacular. The rock formations along the canyons are very Superstitions esque, but also very grand and unique in their own right.

The days were short, and the nights were long and cold. Defrosting gear and thawing frozen water bottles by the fire was a daily chore up until the last morning. I was a little apprehensive about packing an extra jacket, but it was well worth the weight in the end.

Besides the freezing temperatures at night, the weather was great and we had the opportunity to cowboy camp under the stars for the entire trip. Before the moon came out, we had some amazing views of the stars along the more remote sections of this hike. We knew we were getting closer to Phoenix as the big light to the north west grew bigger and more stars began to disappear.

It was hard to make as many miles as we wanted some days because of the limited amount of daylight, but we averaged about 16.5 miles a day, and we put in a 20 mile day at the very beginning of the trip.

We saw very few people out on the trail, especially along the Black Hills and Tortilla Mountains segments, but still more than I had expected (which was zero, except near roads).

We had all of our water and half of our food cache stolen from the Kelvin-Florence TH. Thankfully a few bikepackers from Flagstaff were ending their trip just as we got into the trailhead and offered to give us their food and water so we could finish. Trail magic. I wouldn't of had enough food to finish and we would have had to either end the trip there or walk into Kearny for more food. This incident put me in a pretty sour mood for the rest of that day.

We had one 25 mile stretch without a water source through the Tortilla Mountains, and another little stretch right after leaving the Gila River and climbing into the canyons near Superior. But overall, it was very doable. Big thanks to the volunteers who put out water near Mountain View Tank in the Black Hills, and at Telegraph Canyon Rd/FR 4 in Alamo Canyon. An extra liter or two can be the difference between an awesome day and a trudge in the desert.

It feels good to have this segment of the AZT done. We have knocked out most of the desert basin segments now, and once spring rolls around we can start hitting up the ranges in southern Arizona. I can't imagine how hot it gets out there in the spring when thru-hikers usually pass through this area. There is little shade after the Black Hills, and you feel completely exposed under the sun.

It felt great to get out, hike, and sleep under the stars for 6 days. I had been itching for a big trip pretty badly.

Onward to the next segment!
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Oct 25 2015
screeslider526
avatar

 Triplogs 49

67 female
 Joined Jun 24 2015
 Tucson, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 25 2015
screeslider5267
Hiking8.60 Miles 759 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles
759 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Actually did this one so long ago as of this posting date, that I remember very little about it. Went with three others and did it as a day hike. Nice weather, as Octobers tend to be, but not much cover and some brushy parts. Lost the trail for a minute.
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 14 2015
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2015
mazatzal
Hiking14.70 Miles 2,570 AEG
Hiking14.70 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.52 mph
2,570 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
We parked at Tiger Mine Road and highway 77 and did an out and back to American Flag. After we got back I walked the road to the north end of the section (Tiger Mine TH) and my hike partners drove the vehicle.

It was really windy in the morning but the temp was great all day. This section was nicer than I expected: pleasant rolling hills and plenty of flora variety.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.56 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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