Make sure to go in a group of 3 or more, read the trail head for list of essential equipment, and have a great time! Old Baldy Trail, built in 1928, climbs 4,345 feet in 5.4 miles. I intended to combine the two trails to make a loop, but after summiting Mt. Each one curiously looking back at me. Wrightson. Facebook; Twitter; Email; directions Driving Directions. From the Highest Point Between Tucson and Mexico: A Hike up Mount Wrightson Tucson is surrounded by mountains. Trails in the Wilderness crisscross forests, canyons and ridgetops, accessing panoramic views and cool, shaded glades. An in-depth view of what it's like to arrive and hike Mt. Living in Arizona has been a real blessing. The Super Trail #134 has more switchbacks providing a less strenuous ascent. Mt. Technically the shortest ascent to the summit is via the Garden Canyon Trail #143. Wrightson going up … Maybe it has something to do with the mountain being one of the highest peaks. Hiking in Tucson – 5 Awesome Adventures Part 1 – Mt. You will find the Old Baldy Trail and the Super Trailheads on the left and right sides of the parking lot. This is actually a challenging climb. And it looks even farther than that — at 9,453 feet, Mount Wrightson, also known as Old Baldy, is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains. I couldn’t make out any figures so I powered on my high intensity flashlight. I hope you too have the experience to enjoy life in Arizona as I have. If you are not familiar with this wonder, Mount Wrightson is a 9,456-foot or 2,882-meter peak located in the Santa Rita Mountains within the Coronado National Forest, in … I knew in peak physical condition I could make the summit in under 3 hours with full load. Mild temperatures (max 8°C on Sat morning, min 1°C on Fri morning). I was a bit bewildered at one point to see the glow of a dozen or so eyes through my headlamp. Prepare yourself mentally if you want to go, because the peak may always seem “too far.” Just remember that the leg-burning hike will be worth it. Hiking to the peak of Mt Wrightson from the nearest lot takes 3-4 hours each way. I pushed through the burn, making frequent stops. It’s big enough to stand-out on satellite imagery and made a great place to stop for a snack. I’m Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide for Southwest Discoveries, a hiking and adventure company based in Tucson.Born and raised in New York City, I came to discover the great outdoors and fell in love with Arizona’s special places. Wrightson is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains. The start of the Old Baldy Trailhead is rocky, but it’s wide so you won’t have a hard time when you’re climbing up with your friends. Two… It had been on my to do list for some time, and now that temperatures in Arizona were rising, it was time to start looking to the higher elevations to escape the heat. The trail to the summit of Mount Wrightson is one of Tucson’s best, and a great summer hike. You’ll get a glimpse of the area, even seeing views of Mexico, and you will be thoroughly impressed by Arizona’s ecological diversity. The former is steeper and shorter, while the latter seems to pretty much circumnavigate most of Mt. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains and Tucson, Arizona region. Trail lies in the Mt.Wrightson Wilderness Area. There's free camping outside of the National Forest as … The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of nearly 4000 feet over 9 miles round-trip to the exposed summit. Once you see the stunning views, you’ll be happy that you actually braved this hike. A hike to Mt. Madera Canyon is actually well-known by bird lovers and birdwatchers as it is home to over 250 species of birds. We said it before and we’ll say it again. The view is spectacular and I could now share it with my friends. Its distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Sonora, Mexico.. An in-depth view of what it's like to arrive and hike Mt. The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. You can always turn back and there are plenty of places to rest given time. Old Baldy is the shortest and steepest, while the Super Trail is longer but has a more moderate gradient, but both of these trails lead to the 9,543-foot summit of Mt. Make sure to go in a group of 3 or more, read the trail head for … I had hoped it would rain that day to clear up haze in the sky. Those hours of discomfort lugging my gear were well worth it. Hiking Trails (10) Reviews (20) 1. 10.8 miles r/t summit elevation 9,453' elevation change 4,033' The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. I ditched my sleeping gear at the saddle so I could move faster and rushed up the final trail to the summit, roughly a mile farther. On Nov. 15, 1958, six Boy Scouts from Tucson started out on a day hike from Madera Canyon to Mount Baldy, now known as Mount Wrightson, in the Santa Rita Mountains. During Spring, you will see the landscape bloom with flowers and be filled with beautiful birds. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. Distance: 11.3 miles There … Overall I’d agree with Mt. Water is a must, I took 1.5 gallons in my pack. Along the way, I saw Turkey, Mule Deer, various lizards and a Tarantula. The road into Madera canyon is paved and open all year. Your second thought will be, There's no way! The hardest push was those few feet to baldy saddle. Review of Madera Canyon. The first thing that'll come to mind when you catch your first glimpse of Mount Wrightson is, HOLY MOLY! Wrightson (9,453ft/2,881m) in the Santa Rita range. Your second thought will be, There's no way! Winds decreasing (strong winds from the W on Tue afternoon, calm by Thu morning). It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. Mt. Surely that's enough of a reason to hike it but the real draw is the Madrean Sky Island environment which is exceptionally unique. Mt. I hurriedly threw my bag together despite heat warnings playing on the radio. Fantastic Hike to the Peak of Mt. While crowds of people climb Wrightson every year very few ascend Josephine. If you go during the Winter months be prepared for snow, ice or rain. Wrightson – Hiking Tucson’s Loftiest Summit The spirit of the Boy Scouts lives on at Mt. Turn right and follow the sign for the Crest Trail and Mt. Detailed 6 day mountain weather forecasts for climbers and mountaineers planning expeditions. At an altitude of 9,456', Mount Wrightson is the highest mountain near Tucson. Summer months are also equally thrilling, but you should pack plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. The access is from Green Valley in the I-19 corridor and a paved road brings hikers to a higher base area called Madera Canyon. Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. (Note: There is a $5 fee to park in the lot since you are visiting a National Forest). Play As. I’d encourage anybody try it. Also, Old Baldy is shadier. The thought had crossed my mind to sleep on the ground at the peak. The Mount Wrightson hike is intermediate but forgiving. It was a perfect winter-in-the-desert day for a hike – clear, cool, bug-free, and sunny. Wrightson definitely replaced Mt. Weather and Snow National Weather Service Forecast NOAA Snow Depth Map Lists that contain Mount Wrightson: USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #78) Top 10 Prominence Grid for U.S. States (Rank #88) USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #78) Top 10 County High Points Grid for U.S. States (Rank #110) 2000-foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #56) CoHP … Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. This trail can best be described as a "nice stroll" and very well maintained with a bit of elevation gain through a … The Forest Service later built the 8.1-mile Super Trail with long switchbacks and a contour around Wrightson. Keep your eyes open because you can see the abundant wildlife that lives in elevated areas. Mild temperatures (max 7°C on Mon afternoon, min 2°C on Wed afternoon). Looking at the seemingly infinite number of jagged peaks jut off towards the horizon in all directions. This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Wrightson in Coronado National Forest. After reaching the Boy Scout Memorial at the saddle, we returned to the Mount Wrightson Trailhead on the Old Baldy #372 Trail. It's only 5.4 miles away on foot, but it's way up there. Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. Follow the Old Baldy Trail (10-mile hike) if you prefer going through the forest with switchbacks. It’s big enough to stand-out on satellite imagery and made a great place to stop for a snack. Wrightson being a fine classic that for those into hiking this is a must-do in the southern Arizona, but if I ever do it again (which I won’t) the route will be in-and-out via the Old Baldy Trail. By Josephine Saddle at 2.2 miles I was doubting my resolve. It is also one of the dominant summits of the Santa Ritas; the towering peak west of Josephine Saddle and Mt. Its a popular place for hiking, camping and … Wrightson. Hike Summary. Hike: There are numerous ways to make this hike. Mt. After approximately 20 miles, take the Continental Road Exit towards Madera Canyon Recreation Area. And it looks even farther than that — at 9,453 feet, Mount Wrightson, also known as Old Baldy, is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains. Wrightson is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains and the Tucson region, lying 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the city. The views from the peak are stunning but it's not necessary to go all the way up to get great views. Hikerguy > Arizona Hiking > Looking Southeast at dawn from Mount Wrightson's northeast flank. Wrightson … Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. I had hoped to make it on the trail in the early morning. ParkFlo's rating The Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail is a hard out and back hike approximately 11.3 miles and with an elevation gain of 4,012 feet. 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