. Dogs are permitted on leash. Stay left for the clockwise route around the peak. Note: At the base of the switchbacks we hit 5.1 miles which I thought would be the length it would take us to hit the summit based on the AllTrails app. 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. The summit offers outstanding views of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Wrightson Wilderness. With over 4000 feet of elevation gain and over 10 miles of hiking, this is no place for kids to hike; nearby kid-friendly alternatives include the Nature Trail to the amphitheater or the accessible trails at the Proctor Parking Area or Whitehouse Picnic Area -- read the Hiking Trails Descriptions published by the Friends of Madera Canyon for more information. The trail head is located in Madera Canyon at the very end of the South Madera Canyon Road. You will see fewer people the closer you get to the top, and there will probably be people resting at the summit. On the summit, there are a few rocky places to sit down and relax. It is a nice challenge but it’s great to be able to hike up in the mountains with lots of shade throughout the journey. This is also the junction of the Super Trail meaning that even if you took the Super Trail on the way up, you will have to hike up to the summit the same way you would if you took the old Baldy Trail. The first part of the trail will be the most crowded since many hikers turn around at Josephine Saddle. . And then finally looking south, you can look directly over Patagonia, Arizona and see directly into Mexico. Pay your fees at this kiosk near the Old Baldy Trailhead, Find the best hiking in the Midwest and Mountain West, Coronado National Forest Passes and Permits Page, Strenuous climbing, 4000 feet of elevation gain. Old Baldy Trail is not the only path to Wrightson, but it’s one of the shorter starting points. After reaching the Boy Scout Memorial at the saddle, we returned to the Mount Wrightson Trailhead on the Old Baldy #372 Trail. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail. Last Updated: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 Either way, you take the Crest Trail to the summit for breathtaking 360 degree views. (Shown as #5 on the map above.) Some of the steps are pretty rocky so you need to be careful of where you place your feet — I found trekking poles to be very valuable on this portion of the hike and for the whole hike in general. Personally, I never found the incline on the switchbacks to be that bad. My first trip to Madera Canyon was a fun and enjoyable day. 1.2mi from Josephine Saddle or 0.6mi before reaching Baldy Saddle you pass Bellow Springs. Baldy Lake and the spur trail are located roughly half way through the loop trail. Wrightson… Mount Wrightson can be hiked via the shorter, steeper Old Baldy Trail or longer Super Trail. Wrightson's distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Mexico. At 2.5 miles into the hike, you will arrive at the Josephine Saddle, a stopping point for many people choosing to do the shorter and much more moderate day hike. Although shorter than the Super Trail, the Old Baldy Trail is much steeper and more strenuous; however, hikers are protected from the hot Arizona sun by the thick forest along the trail. Exit the highway at Continental Road in Green Valley, then turn left. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. The Forest Service also honors all Interagency Annual Passes. A new universally accessible trail to the Lake Michigan dune was added in 2017. The Old Baldy Trail is a loop trail that is 5.7 miles in length. Super Trail/Old Baldy Trail is a hiking, trail running, walking adventure located in or near Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area, AZ. The views really start to get good about 3 miles into the hike when it opens up to some of the jagged mountain sides towering above you. More information is available at the Coronado National Forest Passes and Permits Page. Mountain bikers are allowed on portions of Baldy Trails but the open dunes and short segments make this system best suited for hikers and trail runners. Of the two trails, the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is the shortest route to the summit. From here, you only have one mile to go until you reach the summit. The trail begins at the end of Madera Canyon. At the trailhead for the Super Trail is posted a plaque (pictured below) telling hikers that Boy Scout Troop 301 and Venture Crew 301 cautions you to be prepared. It doesn’t quite riva, Another shot of Pando — the largest organism in, If you’re ever in Telluride make sure you go for, The beautiful mountain town of Ouray just after su, Happy first birthday to this adventurous corgi, ou, Love a good set of cascades but these can be slipp, Back when I used to a wear ridiculously oversized, “One should not pursue goals that are easily ach, Not many places leave an impression on you quite l, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, « Signal Hill Trail and Petroglyph Review | Saguaro National Park Tucson, AZ, How Much Water Should You Drink on a Hike? 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 pictures taken in Tucson. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas. St. Pierre Trail is a professionally designed, multi-use trail on the east side of M-22 and offers a unique experience for mountain biking, hiking and trail running. Mount Wrightson | Via Old Baldy Trail | A Montage - YouTube These trails meet near Josephine Saddle to create a figure 8 on the mountain and can be combined to make a more interesting loop hike. Lemmon and the Pima County … These trails meet near Josephine Saddle to create a figure 8 on the mountain and can be combined to make a more interesting loop hike. You can choose from two trails if you want to reach the top of Mount Wrightson. Of the two trails, the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is the shortest route to the summit. The incline is very mild here but you will start to notice a steeper incline once you hit the Old Baldy Trail. I don’t know if this is a year-round spring that flows but it had a slight but steady flow in early May when we hiked. Still, I was able to snap some photos from the top which offered some pretty amazing panoramic views. The wide footpath is interspersed with bedrock and … Looking out over the F. L. Whipple Observatory and Tubac/I-19. After dealing with a handful of switchbacks and right at four miles into the hike, you will encounter Bellows Spring. The last 700' of climbing involved further snow and ice … Also, Old Baldy is shadier. It's 2.2 miles from the Old Baldy trailhead to Josephine Saddle. Finish up those switch backs and then you are so close to the finish line, you just need to head up a handful of more switchbacks. Keep your eyes out for birds as we encountered a lot of very pretty and interesting birds (Wrightson is known for its high concentration of birds). Awesome view of a bristlecone pine tree. This is also where the views open up to the other side of the mountain, and there are a couple of spots with shade making this a perfect place to take another rest. Even if there is no snow on top, ice is usually present at the higher elevations in the winter; I highly recommend bringing trekking poles and/or traction devices like Yaktrax to prevent you from slipping and falling. Turn right at White House Canyon Road. Trailhead: Madera Canyon: Old Baldy Trail; pit toilets, trash, fee required Mount Wrightson is the largest mountain visible from Tucson, rising to over 9400’ from the desert floor. I will say that it was easier to appreciate the views on the way back down. A few stats: Old Baldy Trail and the Super Trail form a figure eight, with the upper loop wrapping around the dome of Mount Wrightson. Coronado National Forest Weekly ($10) and Annual Passes ($20) are available for purchase at the Santa Rita Lodge, which you'll pass in Madera Canyon on the drive to the trailhead, or at any district office (found in various places in southeastern Arizona). Unfortunately, it was impossible for us to really relax on top because we were getting absolutely swarmed by bugs including a lot of ladybugs. The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of nearly 4000 feet over 9 miles round-trip to the exposed summit. Winter hikes may also be possible, depending on snow conditions at the top -- a good estimate for summit snow/ice conditions is to google weather and webcams on nearby Mount Lemmon, which is only a couple hundred feet shorter than Mount Wrightson and is heavily monitored thanks to its ski resort. Mt. Looking east you can see the Santa Rita foothills. Since most summit this peak as a day hike and start the day from the desert lowlands of Tucson, you won't have a chance to acclimatize your body. 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. The Old Baldy and Super Trail meet in the saddle and share the footpath for the next 0.2 mile. Old Baldy is the name by which those familiar with the Santa Rita Mountains know the centerpiece of this 25,260-acre Wilderness. Continue following the paved road all the way until the end at the Mount Wrightson Picnic Area, then find parking. This view looks down into Madera Canyon with Kitt Peak in the background on the left. And then I wasted no time in … Remember, the thin, dry air at higher altitudes makes it easier to become dehydrated. From Baldy Sadde (8,780') to the summit (9,456') was about 0.9 miles. #co, The fall jungle on Mt Lemmon. From the parking lot, Mount Wrightson and its jagged rocks prominently rise above the forest in front of you. It was a perfect winter-in-the-desert day … Parking currently costs $5 per vehicle, paid in cash or check at the self-service kiosk pictured below and displaying thes stub on your dashboard. The Old Baldy Trail described here is one of two primary routes to the top, the other being the Super Trail. Rising over 4,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert to a respectable 9,456 feet above sea level, Mount Wrightson is the tallest mountain in the vicinity of Tucson and the highest point in Santa Cruz County. Wide views on Mount Wrightson (noted as "Baldy 2" on topo) reveal mountain ranges few know exist. Wrightson’s distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Mexico. Once you finish that punishment, you’ll come to another trail junction that meets up with the Crest Trail — the Baldy Saddle. The ascent of Jack Mountain was forested but wasn’t totally garbage as I did get a good view looking back at Mt. Towering more than 7,000 feet over the surrounding savannas and deserts, Mt. . . The Old Baldy Trail described here is one of two primary routes to the top, the other being the Super Trail. I did this hike with two liters of water in my Camelback and a Gatorade but hitting up the spring on the way up and down allowed me to finish up the hike with just enough water. That trail is not as steep but it is longer than the Old Baldy Trail. It is recommended to filter this water if you choose to drink it and honestly this was a perfect opportunity for me to use my Lifestraw for the first time. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains and Tucson, Arizona region. Initially, I did not think we would move past the saddle but we ended up deciding to try to push forward and I am extremely thankful that we did. There’s a decent sized parking lot and you will see signs pointing you towards the trail in the parking lot. Though the Super Trail is longer, it's a more gradual ascent, which may be preferable to some people. Wrightson may cause some people to experience altitude sickness, which typically occurs above 8,000 feet. While the Super Trail up Mount Wrightson is longer, its figure eight brother trail, the Old Baldy Trail, remains a favorite among visiting hikers. After this junction you have about a quarter mile of a pretty mild incline to deal with before you hike up two more sets of  switchbacks. Rocky Mount Wrightson looms above the treeline, A sign memorializing the deaths of three young Boy Scouts during a freak snowstorm, Openings in the trees provide beautiful views, Near treeline, you can start to see civilization along Interstate 19, The view southeast from the summit of Mount Wrightson, Looking north from the summit towards Tucson and Mt. . This is a 10.2 mile out-and-back hike with 4200 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 5-7 hours to complete. This portion of the trail is still pretty mild. see directly into Mexico. There is a 0.8 mile spur trail that will take you to Old Baldy summit. This is the most popular route to the top, so expect to see plenty of people. Wrightson SPer Dean and I needed a relief from the Fall rains in the Northwest so we headed to Arizona to find some County Highpoints and Prominence Peaks. Note that at the time of writing, there is a proposal to increase daily fees to $8 and annual pass prices to $40 that may be implemented sometime in 2019. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer. After you move around the last curve then it’s simply a little incline right to the summit! This is a nice little rest area and we stopped here for a few minutes to rest up and contemplate our next move. 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. This final section was short but strenuous given the altitude. Occasional breaks in the trees reveal glimpses of Mount Wrightson taunting you as you make seemingly little progress, as pictured below. 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. We had been planning to do our first strenuous hike in the Tucson area for a little while. Trip Date: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 There also are a couple of points when you get to the higher elevations were you feel a bit exposed dealing with loose rocks on relatively steep switchbacks. But if you want an easier trail, you should just take the Super or Loop Trail (13.1-mile hike), which is … Enjoy & research Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area, Arizona with trail guides, topo maps, photos, reviews & GPS routes on Trails.com. Old Baldy on Mt. By Ricky Holzer. At this saddle, you can choose to jump on the Super Trail (which is just a little bit further along the trail) and use that to make your way up the mountain. At 0.3 mile, Old Baldy curves sharply around to the left and crosses into the Mount Wrightson Wilderness. The best seasons for hiking are fall and spring when temperatures are mild at the base and the summit is clear of snow. 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. Follow the direction of the trail head sign and you will begin the ascent in the corner of the parking lot up a white sandy path. I would highly recommend utilizing the spring so that you don’t have to go overboard packing your water plus the spring water was so refreshing. . Wrightson to the right I have been doing a … The trails form a figure eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops using different portions of each. 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. . After about half a mile from the saddle, you will reach the next set of switchbacks. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer at 8.1 miles (13.0 km). It’s big enough to stand-out on satellite imagery and made a great place to stop for a snack. You’re basically going to be faced with three main sets of switchbacks, with the first set being the longest. Once you get acclimated to these amazing new views, you’ll have to deal with a few switchbacks which aren’t too bad. It is kept in good condition but at times it can be very rocky and Forcing you to step up and down large rocky steps or tree trunks. On the right are the Rincon Mountains. Learn to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and descend if feeling sick -- you'll immediately feel better once you reach lower altitudes. The 1st .4 miles of the hike are through a wide rocky path that will take you to the Old Baldy Trail. The rest of the descent down Old Baldy Trail was a bit mind-numbing but at least it’s all downhill so didn’t seem to take long. The way back down is obviously much easier but due to the loose rocks and large drop downs at times, it is a little bit more time-consuming than I initially thought it would be. Bears, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions may be encountered, so know what to do around dangerous wildlife. I also felt like while challenging, the incline you have to deal with is not terrible so this hike could have been much worse. As you continue to ascend, the views just continue to open up more and more over the next half a mile. Many people use the Super Trail as a way to come back down and appreciate the views a bit more but from what I have seen, it is less maintained and better to do with pants which we did not have. As soon as, Nothing like hiking through a forest of Christmas, One more look at the magnificent color change in M, Aspen groves on Mt Lemmon. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. It was just crazy so after hanging around for only a couple of minutes, we were on our way back down. Although it may not look like it, the mountain towers 4,000 feet above where you stand. Old Baldy Trail- Crest Trail- Foursprings Trail- Kent Spring Trail- Pipeline Route- Super Trail 12.1 mi/3750′ gain Santa Rita Crest with Mt. The first set of switchbacks is going to be have about 30 of varying lengths over the stretch of about half of a mile, gaining about 540 feet. No matter which lot you park in, walk to the north end of angled spaces on the eastern side of the picnic area to find the Old Baldy Trailhead -- the Super Trailhead begins on the south end of the lot near the restrooms. The favorite destination for most hikers at Arcadia Dunes is Old Baldy, an open dune perched 356 feet above Lake Michigan for sweeping views of the Great Lake. Hoping to get b, Back when we lived in Houston I did physical thera. The trail starts traveling gently uphill until you reach a rusty metal sign indicating you take a left turn turn for the Old Baldy Trail. In the summer, this is a good trail to beat the heat thanks to the trailhead starting at a cooler 5,500 feet of elevation, the trail's location on the shady north side of the mountain, and the shade of the pines in lower elevations. Trail lies in the Mt.Wrightson Wilderness Area. 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. But overall this did not feel like a very “dangerous” trail to me. We arrived in Arizona on the evening of November 11, 2006 and climbed Rice Peak and found the Pinal County Highpoint on November 12th. We tried to brush it off at first, but then they started to coat our clothes, faces, sunglasses, Gatorade bottles, etc. The steepness of the trail will increase, then you'll pass a sign informing you are now entering the Mt. Hike the trails and enjoy the majestic views from "Old Baldy", a dune overlooking Lake Michigan. I had been dealing with rehabbing my neck and was having some issues with it locking up on me. It was absolutely stunning all the way through; I can confidently say it’s a new favorite hike in the Tucson area. Shortly after you pass the spring, it’s time for switchback city and arguably the most challenging portion of hike. Hands down, one of the greatest hikes in Tucson is to the top of Mount Wrightson. (Notice all the crazy lady bugs in the photo!). . With that said, depending on your fitness level this could be a pretty good challenge. #onlyina, Entering one of the many grottoes at Chiricahua NM, Climbing Picacho Peak is an epic hike. 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. Soon followed by nearly a dozen tight switchbacks up to the saddle. Even if you're not a bird-watcher, you have to appreciate the unique nature of this place. Lemmon. I thought the mix of vegetation during this portion of the trail was pretty interesting. 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. If you take the east route around the loop traveling counter clockwise, the distance to … The total path is approximately 9 miles roundtrip and 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Google Maps Directions. . . Both trails are accessible from the Mt Wrightson parking and picnic area. You’ll then come to the Mount Wrightson Wilderness sign and at that point you are official! Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. At 9,456 feet, Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak in the vicinity of Tucson Arizona. National Parks and Other Worthy Destinations in the USA. Ice on the Old Baldy Trail Old Baldy Saddle to Mount Wrightson's Summit. From Tucson, take Interstate 10 to Interstate 19 heading south. This view looks directly out over the city of Tucson and Santa Catalina Mountains with Mount Lemmon the highest peak. In any season, bring ample water and snacks to fuel this grueling journey to the top and wear sun protection, especially above treeline where shade is minimal and sunburn risk is higher due to the altitude. From here it's 0.85mi on the Crest Trail to the peak. This was to honor the three Boy Scouts: David Greenberg (12 years old), Mike Early (16 years old), and Michael J. The next morning we explored Mt. 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. Initially, we wanted to get a few more strenuous hikes under our belt before attempting Mount Wrightson but suddenly one day we felt the urge to go ahead and attempt Mount Wrightson via the Old Baldy Trail. (Notice all the crazy lady bugs in the photo! Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail, located in Coronado National Forest, Arizona. . Nov 26, 2019 - Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy Trail - Arizona | Julie and Mike hike These views along this portion of the trail are pretty cool and you look down upon a lot of trees that were destroyed in a fire. Wrightson. The geology transitions to rhyolite volcanics in the Mount Wrightson Formation of the Middle Triassic age. This is a difficult one way trail to Mount Wrightson in Coronado National Forest. If I did not have my trekking polls I feel like I would have slipped a number of times so once again I’m a huge fan of trekking polls for the hike. The trail is very easy to follow at pretty much every point in the route. At over 9,400 feet, climbing Mt. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/mt-wrightson-via-old-baldy-trail ». ), Just trying to keep my ankles intact on the side o, Tucson has some pretty amazing pine forests surrou, One of my favorite Yosemite shots! Note: Hike statistics were recorded with Gaia GPSapp. You will have to deal with some large steps at times but it did not prove to be too difficult for me and it’s great that so much of the path is shaded, especially earlier in the morning. From this point, it's 1.8 miles to Baldy Saddle via Old Baldy Trail, and 3.3 miles via the Super Trail. Views on the saddle open up. Overall, this was a terrific hike. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. Although it’s a little rocky at times, it’s very shaded and there are some nice views that start to emerge. Both trails are accessed from the Madera Canyon trailhead. So we decided to continue along the Old Baldy Trail. Though the top's panoramic views extending to Tucson in the north and Mexico in the south are the primary reward, the entire hike is chock full of scenic viewpoints -- each of which you will definitely use as an excuse to take a breather on this high altitude climb with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. This was where I truly fell in love with the views. Despite the physical demands of the hike, you'll forget the aches and pains in your legs and look back on this hike with fond memories of natural splendor and personal achievement. The Old Baldy trail is considered a moderate to difficult trail due to the elevation climb. If you have knee trouble, you might want to go up the shorter and steeper Old Baldy and come down the longer and more gradual Super Trail. Scenic highway views in the Rockies. This is the location where several Boy Scouts lost their lives in a winter storm a few decades ago and there is a sign there reminding visitors about the tragedy. . . . Follow the Old Baldy Trail (10-mile hike) if you prefer going through the forest with switchbacks. The Old Baldy trail is much shorter at 5.4 miles but is a steady climb of 4000 feet to the summit of Mount Wrightson. As you make your way through this portion of the trail, some great views of Mount Wrightson will open up and you can admire the scenery of your destination. From here on, brown signs for Madera Canyon will indicate the turns and assure you are heading the correct direction. 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Wrightson in Coronado National Forest Updated mount wrightson old baldy trail Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 by Ricky.! Crosses into the Mount Wrightson via Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle via Old Baldy Trail is more popular it... Truly fell in love with the views lot, Mount Wrightson can be via... Eight making it possible to put together a number of different loops different! Baldy Saddle you pass the Spring, it ’ s one of the two trails you. Get b, back when we lived in Houston I did physical thera hike ) if 're! More popular because it is the tallest peak in the trees reveal of! To recognize the signs of altitude sickness, which may be preferable to some people to experience altitude sickness descend... Super Trail 're not a bird-watcher, you can choose from two trails the! Along the Old Baldy Trail is more popular because it is longer than the Old Baldy described...