Hiking Arizonaand39;s Cactus Country-Third Edition  by Erik Molvar

Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country-Third Edition Guide Book

by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Arizonaand39;s Cactus Country-Third Edition  by Erik Molvar
Rigorously updated, this third edition features hikes in Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe National Monument, the Chiricahua Mountains, and the Sky Islands of Coronado National Forest, as well as a section for the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. This indispensable guide provides day hikers and long-distance backpackers alike opportuinities to explore Arizona’s expansive landscapes.

© 2013 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country-Third Edition" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 100.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 100.

A wilderness route through Aravaipa Canyon, 10.8 miles one way. The trek begins by following a dirt road toward the ranger station. A path splits off to the right, and hikers should follow this track down to Aravaipa Creek. From this point on, the trek consists of travel along gravel bars and wading up the stream itself. Visitors are asked to stick to the creekbed since the route crosses private lands owned by The Nature Conservancy. Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and water ouzels are a few of the birds that can be spotted along the stream, and songbirds congregate among the saguaros and cottonwoods that line its banks.
Mammoth, AZ - Backpacking,Birding,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 10.8
A day hike from Arcadia Campground to Shannon Park, 5.0 miles one way. This trail runs from the Shanon Park Campground on the crest of the Pinaleño Mountains down a long and steady descent to reach Arcadia Campground, which is about halfway up the grade on AZ 366. A 1.0-mile spur trail runs to the top of Heliograph Peak near the upper end of the trail, offering a panoramic view of the southern Pinaleños amid the radio towers. The trail passed through country that burned in 2005, and downed timber often makes traveling a challenge. There is no water along the route, and there are few spots level enough to pitch a tent.
Safford, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
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A day hike/wilderness route to a high overlook in the Ajo Mountains, 1.1 miles one way. Arch Canyon is named for a pair of natural arches that decorate a cliff wall high above its entrance. The larger arch is 90 feet wide, and a tiny, slender arch is perched atop it. These arches are best viewed from the entrance of the canyon; as the path penetrates the cleft, they are hidden from view. The track is well defined for the first 0.5 mile as it follows the main canyon. Beyond this point the route becomes a steep scramble marked by cairns as it climbs to an overlook of Boulder Canyon.
Ajo, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
A day hike to Ash Creek Falls, 2.5 miles one way, or backpack to Cluff Ponds, 9.8 miles one way. This popular and well-trodden trail runs down the northeast side of the Pinaleño Range along one of the few permanent watercourses in southern Arizona. The upper basin is dominated by coniferous forest and is separated from the lower basin by Ash Creek Falls. This 100-foot cascade which can be viewed from the trail, is the largest perennial waterfall in the southern part of the state. There is a lush forest of hardwoods below it, and the bottom part of the trail follows an old jeep road down through mesquite bosque to reach the Cluff Ponds area.
Safford, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking,Sea Kayaking - Trail Length: 2.5-9.8
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A day loop through the high country near Mount Lemmon, 3.0 miles round-trip. This trail offers a popular day loop through high montane country from the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area. It is often crowded during summer and early autumn, especially on weekends. The aspen stands for which the trail is named are among the largest in the state and put on a brief fall color display that generally peaks in late October.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
A day hike to a fire lookout in the southern end of the Tumacacori Mountains, 2.4 miles one way. This well-groomed trail provides an outstanding day hike to an old fire lookout high in the southern Tumacacori Mountains near Nogales. This area is part of the proposed Tumacacori Highlands Wilderness, a worthy proposal that is working its way through Congress. The hike begins in grassy foothills, bearing north as it makes a gradual ascent.
Nogales, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
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A day hike from the Catalina Highway to the pass above Molina Canyon, 2.1 miles one way. Babad Du’ag means “Frog Mountain” in the Tohono O’odham language, a term describing the Santa Catalina Mountains as a whole. This trail offers a relatively short but taxing hike through cactus forest and oak grassland in the foothills of the Santa Catalinas, a good option when foul weather at higher elevations closes the high country. To begin the hike, walk eastward up the Santa Catalina Highway for a few dozen yards to reach the trail marker.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
A long day hike to the summit of the tallest peak in the Galiuro Mountains, 5.5 miles one way. This route ascends along the North Fork of Ash Creek and then climbs strenuously to the top of the highest summit in the Galiuros. The trek begins by following a jeep trail up the wooded bottomlands of the North Fork of Ash Creek. There are numerous crossings of the streamcourse as the track wanders into the foothills of the Galiuro Mountains.
Bonita, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.5
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A wilderness route through a rift valley in the remote Bates Mountains, 4.6 miles one way. Note: At the time of printing (2013), this trail was closed. Please stop at the visitor center for current conditions. This unmarked route follows an ancient migration corridor of the Hohokam people. These ancient people migrated hundreds of miles to reach the Sea of Cortez at the mouth of the Colorado River. They left fragments of seashells along their paths, leading archaeologists to identify the rift valley of the Bates Mountains as an important route for pre-Columbian trading. The route follows a natural trench that splits the Bates Mountains into two separate cordilleras.
Ajo, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
A day hike along Bear Canyon, 6.5 miles one way. This trail offers another popular excursion from the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. The trailhead can be reached by shuttle bus or via a 1.7-mile footpath that parallels the road. This trail is quite popular on weekends, with hundreds of visitors strung out along the route on a busy day. The highlight of the trek is Seven Falls, a breathtaking chain of cascades that drops more than 240 feet below soaring mountain peaks.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.5
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A wilderness route down a ridgeline above Blair Canyon, 2.8 miles one way. This trail is maintained only for the distance that it covers in the upper reaches of Lefthand Canyon. Once the trail makes it to the ridgeline, it becomes extremely faint and difficult to follow. At its lower terminus, it connects with two equally unmaintained and primitive routes at a series of 1950s-era trail signs that are easy to miss. The trail begins in Chesley Flats, a grassy meadow where the Chesley family built their summer cabin in the 1890s. A roadside marker indicates the spot.
Safford, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
A day hike that makes a circuit around Blue Jay Peak, 3.2 miles round-trip. This little-known trail forms a nice day loop around Blue Jay Peak, in the remote northern end of the Pinaleño Range. The trek begins near the top of West Peak as a two-rut jeep trail. It descends on a southerly bearing through open country. The summit of Blue Jay Peak burned in an intense forest fire in 1973, and the resulting destruction of forest now allows fine views of the Galiuro Mountains.
Pima, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
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A backpack from the Catalina Highway to the Sabino Basin, 7.1 miles one way. This trail runs from the crest of the Santa Catalinas to the bottom of the Sabino Basin. It follows a ridgetop for most of its length, offering good views as well as opportunities for wildlife viewing that improve as the trail penetrates the wilderness. The track is well beaten and obvious at its upper end but becomes overgrown below Apache Spring. Travelers are advised to hike this part of the route in the downhill direction, because the trail was almost impossible to pick up from the lower end at the time of this writing.
Tucson, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 7.1
A wilderness route to a long-abandoned ranger station site, 7.2 miles one way. This trail descends the eastern slope of the Santa Catalinas and then runs onto the arid grasslands of the San Pedro Valley. The path is well defined in its upper reaches, but upon leaving the mountains it becomes a wilderness route marked only by metal posts painted white at the tips, set up to 0.5 mile apart. The route’s destination is the site of an old ranger station that was once a major administrative site before the building of the Catalina Highway.
Tucson, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 7.2
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A day hike to Bull Pasture overlook, 4.1 miles round-trip; with an optional wilderness route to Mount Ajo, 5.0 miles one way. The trail to the Bull Pasture overlook is a fine day loop that features the rugged western wall of the Ajo Mountains. A well-defined and heavily traveled track, it is the closest thing to an established trail found in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The route to the summit of Mount Ajo is also a defined path but is very tricky to follow. It crosses steep and potentially unstable slopes and presents several false paths that could lead a hiker into trouble.
Ajo, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5-5
A backpack along closed roads to the heart of the Cabeza Prieta Mountains, 8.0 to 10.7 miles one way. This route follows established jeep roads along the flats to the south of Cabeza Prieta Peak and then swings northeast to reach Cabeza Prieta Pass, one of the few low gaps in this jagged range. The trek begins by following a well-worn jeep trail north between jagged ridges of granite. The wind has whittled away at the pale stone, carving out fascinating grottoes and honeycombs.
Tacna, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 8-10.7
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A network of day-hiking trails in the low desert of Saguaro National Park allows hikes as short or long as desired. This intricate network of well-maintained trails crisscrosses the lowlands and foothills of Saguaro National Park’s northwestern corner. There are a large number of trailheads to choose from. Hikers who start from the Cactus Forest Scenic Drive will have to pay an entrance fee; this is not required for other trailheads. The Douglas Spring Trailhead (at the end of Speedway Boulevard) is notorious for break-ins; hikers should always lock their cars with the windows shut and all valuables safely stowed out of sight. The Cactus Forest is open for day hiking and horse use only; overnight camping is not permitted here.
Tucson, AZ - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length:
A day hike to the summit of Carr Peak, 2.8 miles one way. This trail begins at the historic Reef Mine and climbs to the summit of a 9,220-foot peak in the heart of the Huachucas. For most of its length, the trail crosses slopes that burned during the fire of 1977. The route offers one of the easiest ascents of a major peak in southern Arizona. The hike begins on the Sawmill Trail, an old road from the boom years of the mining industry.
Sierra Vista, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
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An extended trip from Madrona Ranger Station to Manning Camp, 8.7 miles one way. This route, known officially as the Manning Camp Trail, was once the most direct and popular way for hikers to get to the top of Mica Mountain. It follows Chimenea Canyon from the Rincon Creek basin to Manning Camp, a popular jumping-off point for the Mica Mountain complex. Citing problems with vandalism, an exclusive land development company has long since closed off public road access to the Madrona Ranger Station. The lower segment of the trail is now used chiefly for backcountry patrols, but the upper section of the trail can be combined with the Tanque Verde Ridge and Douglas Spring Trails for an extended loop trip.
Tucson, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 8.7
A backpacking trail from Rustler Park to Sentinel Peak, 10.3 miles one way. This long and heavily traveled trail follows the crest of the Chiricahua Mountains from Rustler Park to Sentinel Peak. The alpine forests and meadows along the route were extensively sculpted by fire in 1994, and only patches of unburned vegetation survived the blaze. The trail has received a considerable amount of maintenance since the fire and should be easy to follow along its entire length. Numerous developed springs supply water for extended trips; backpackers need only bring a water purifier. Hikers seeking solitude may have to travel away from the crest to get it; this trail is undoubtedly the most popular trail in the Chiricahua Wilderness.
Portal, AZ - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 10.3
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