You can hike to the top of Mount Wrightson year round however the best times to hike is in the Spring and Fall. Hands down, one of the greatest hikes in Tucson is to the top of Mount Wrightson. The Crest Trail’s platform is blown out of bedrock on the north side of the volcanic summit block. Hiking trip report for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. It’s big enough to stand-out on satellite imagery and made a great place to stop for a snack. Madera Canyon is world renown for birdwatchers and is home to over 250 species of birds. The weather was perfect but now it is unseasonably rainy and cool. The Super Trail is long but has a moderate gradient. Hiking to the peak of Mt Wrightson from the nearest lot takes 3-4 hours each way. You can’t climb to the top of the rock without mountaineering gear but the view of Tucson from its base is quite spectacular. , Stunning and interesting. This famous and very popular canyon is located on the northern slope of the Santa Rita Mountains and is maintained by National Forest Services (NFS). The trail seemed to wrap around Mt. Start hiking up the Old Baldy Trail. Baldy Saddle looking south towards Mexico. There are three main ways to approach this scenic area, the most direct and most demanding of which is via the Very Steep/Vault Mine Trailout of Mt Wrightson Picnic Area at the end of Madera Canyon Road. Some snow still lingered higher up on Mount Wrightson but there were only short patches of it … Usage of Madera Canyon is heavy and it can be noisy there, but people are happy. Thankfully we both had a pair of hiking poles however it would have been much easier and safer with a pair of ice cleats or crampons. Distance: 11.3 miles Numerous trails take visitors through the area. The Nature trail starts at the Santa Rita Lodge and makes its way on the west side of Madera Creek and continues for 2.7 miles to the Mount Wrightson picnic area. Thanks Sylvia! On one occasion I lay down for a nap at the summit a couple of hours after sunrise and pulled my hat over my face to block the sum. All that brought back fond memories of 50 years ago when I lived in Tucson while attending the U of A. A male alpine goat that had been terrorizing hikers in the Mt. In a little over five hours, you can have it all and get a challenging hike too. we aren’t going to Tucson now! And someone recently posted a photo of a mama cougar and two of her nearly full-grown cubs in a backyard not far distant from ours. Mt. Going to the top would have been dangerous so instead I just snapped a few photos of it. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. Saturday - The Florida Canyon Trail which goes into the Crest trail. Mount Wrightson is named after William Wrightson, a Nogales mining superintendent killed by Apaches near Sonoita in the 1860s. Wow, what a crazy experience. I’d encourage anybody try it. Although it is much cooler than in Tucson, summer months can still be hot so be prepared with ample water and sunscreen. Mountain (climbing) weather forecasts for 3 elevations of Mount Wrightson, Santa Rita Mountains, Intermountain West, United States. The summit is a small flat platform atop the rugged mountain. Located about 40 miles south of the city in the lush Coronado National Forest of the Santa Rita Mountains, Mount Wrightson and lesser known neighbor Mount Ian comprise the backdrop of any picture taken in Tucson. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. This famous and very popular canyon is located on the northern slope of the Santa Rita Mountains and is maintained by National Forest Services (NFS). Along the way are tiny cabins and a few B&Bs where birders from around the world come to spend a night or two. Since it was late January, it was a cool 40 degrees when my dad and I set off for our hike. I enjoyed reading your account of the Mt. Thanks for the wonderful note! Bill mentioned that "its ten minutes from here to the top" and just about at that moment, the Chicago couple passed us again on their way down. The road into Madera canyon is paved and open all year. We expected snow yet were honestly unprepared for the ice as it was very slippery on the ascent up to Baldy Saddle. To reach the trailhead, take exit 63 off of I-19 south of Tucson, and turn east toward Continental. Mountain bikes are prohibited in the Mt. Once again, the mountain won but I know I’ll give it another try again. Even if you're not a bird-watcher, you have to appreciate the unique nature of this place. Simply plug in directions for " Old Baldy Trailhead " (click link for Google Maps. View of Mount Hopkins and the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at the top. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. Hiking trip report for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. Hands down, one of the greatest hikes in Tucson is to the top of Mount Wrightson. We’re looking forward with enthusiasm to living in Marana. 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. Next time! The top of Mount Ian would have to wait as well if we wanted to make it back to Tucson in time for sunset. What a great hike and what wonderful photos. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I was hiking alone at that point, but in between the two … A few of the most popular access points are located within the Madera Canyon Recreation Area, where roads and parking areas are paved. It was a good thing we turned around because it was exceptionally icy and slippery at this point. The start of the Old Baldy trailhead is wide and a bit rocky until you reach the woods and the first of many switchbacks winding you up to the Josephine Saddle. This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Wrightson in Coronado National Forest. It was in my early hiking years and at the time I found the hike pretty darn challenging. Thanks so much for sharing your story! I prefer the Old Baldy Trail. Mount Wrightson Weather (Days 0-3): The weather forecast for Mount Wrightson is: Mostly dryMild temperatures (max 7°C on Mon afternoon, min 2°C on Wed afternoon)Winds decreasing (strong winds from the W on Tue afternoon, calm by Thu morning). Of course there are plenty of stunning hikes to do in the desert surrounding Tucson yet a climb to the top of Mount Wrightson is truly special and unique. I’m glad you found this helpful! The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer. Wrightson Picnic Area & Upper Canyon Trails, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, US on Sat Nov 21, 2020. Looking to the southeast from there you could see a large “aluminum desert” where hundreds of B-47s were retired at Davis-Monthan AFB. While Mount Lemmon seems to get all of Tucson's fame and glory, lesser known Mount Wrightson is perhaps a more fun and scenic climb thanks to the lack of development on its summit and heavily shaded trail to shield you you from the Arizona heat. The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. Unlike its massive northern neighbor Mount Lemmon, Wrightson has a distinct rocky peak (as a matter of fact, it was named Mount Baldy at one time for this very reason) that offers arguably the best panorama in the region. 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. Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. Madera Canyon boasts campgrounds, picnic areas and many hiking … You’re a good writer and they’re an interesting read. Most people hike to the summit via the trails from Madera Canyon, taking either the Old Baldy Trail, or the slightly longer but less steep Super Trail. Yes it is definitely a hike that gets your attention. Coronado National Forest map. For those who want to get there faster and have a more challenging hike, follow the Old Baldy Trail, a ten-mile hike through the forest with switchbacks weaving you up to the top. Happy hiking! Yes, my dad never ceases to amaze and inspire me. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. I have done some hiking in the Himalayas & can well relate to the exhilaration – toughness of the climb.That is sound advice that you have given. Apparently a scout had broken away from the group to see if I was rare, medium, or well done. Wrightson Wilderness, AZ. The Arizona Trail is routed through Kentucky Camp. 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. BLM Information Center maps. This trail earned its descriptive name from the fact that it climbs 1,400 feet in a distance of a little over one half mile. 1 • PLACE. Thanks so much! Relaxing close to the top on the trail to Mount Ian. Turn right … Pack plenty of water too. Wrightson Wilderness range from well-used pathways to primitive routes. Probably a good call actually as I timed my trip right! My Dad and I hiked Mt. View of the top of Mount Wrightson peaking through the trees. 10 other mountain peaks closest to Mount Wrightson: 1. A ponderosa pine forest stretching up to Mount Wrightson, Mount Wrightson Wilderness, Arizona. Unfortunately the last bit of the climb to reach the summit was not going to be possible this time around. Photo: Wars, CC BY-SA 3.0. I had used them mostly for long hikes but silly me. It must have been going away from me because it see It is located in Madera Canyon, part of the Santa Rita mountains and the Coronado National Forest, and it's a popular excursion approximately 30-minutes south of Tucson. Mount Hopkins is situated 2 miles south of Mount Wrightson Picnic Areas and Trailheads. 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 Wilderness, AZ. This is an almost 15 mile round trip hike. The previous homeowner sent us a photo of a bobcat in the backyard. Follow the signs and you will arrive at the Madera Canyon Recreation Area after a pretty ten minute drive through the forest. Turn right and follow the sign for the Crest Trail and Mt. I have to get back! Views through the trees … The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m) over 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to the exposed summit. Mt Wrightson, at 9,456 ft elevation, is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains and in the Tucson vicinity. You can easily make the hike in a day trip from Tucson but be prepared for a full day (5-6 hours hike plus 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive roundtrip). Mount Hopkins (Arizona) (2617 m) 3.6 km: 2. A steady climb, that levels off a bit half way up to the first saddle. The trail begins at the end of Madera Canyon. Both paths are equidistant and meet up at Kent Springs after 2 miles. s, Thank you and yes, that is where I’m headed. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/arizona/mount-wrightson-wilderness January 2019. Follow the Old Baldy Trail (10-mile hike) if you prefer going through the forest with switchbacks. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Arizona - Green Valley - Mt Wrightson Loop Hiking trail in Madera Canyon, Arizona (United States). 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. Hope you are doing well! Wrightson Picnic Area & Upper Canyon Trails, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, … Really good post. Northern Access Point: Gardner Canyon Road These are difficult "A" hikes due to elevation change (over 4000 feet), and length. The two trails cross forming a figure-8, and I was hoping to do at least part of both trails for some variety, which would make about a 13 mile day. Mount Wrightson is most often hiked from Madera Canyon, North of the summit. The trail ascends form the lush Madera Canyon. Wrightson hike and the photos. Thanks for stopping by! Trails in the Wilderness crisscross forests, canyons and ridgetops, accessing panoramic views and cool, shaded glades. The Mount Wrightson hike is intermediate but forgiving. Five years later, I made another attempt to summit Mount Wrightson but physically it was not meant to be. For shorter hikes in Tucson: Check out my Guide to the Best Hikes in Sabino Canyon. Trail in Coronado NF, Mt. I pulled off my hat and noticed a vulture had made a low pass that had produced the sound. My parents still live in Tucson so I visit often. Wrightson. Wrightson Wilderness in Madera Canyon, a popular U.S. Forest Service area in the Santa … One will ascend through many climate zones. It was way too icy and we did not have the proper gear. Josephine Saddle via Super Trail and Old Baldy, Old Baldy and Mount Wrightson Summit Trail. Know I ’ m headed your blog can not share posts by.... Half of the climb to reach the summit peaks closest to Mount via... 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