Heartbreak Ridge

Tucson, Arizona

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This is a backpack from Happy Valley to Manning Camp. As the trail moves upward, outstanding views unfold to the east. The arid foothills dwindle like ripples in a grassy sea, finally ending in the pastoral basin of Happy Valley. Beyond this grassy bowl, the Little Rincons rise to low, tortured summits that stretch toward the northern horizon. This trek combines the Miller Creek trail with a well-worn path running along Heartbreak Ridge. The route passes Happy Valley Lookout along the way and ends by connecting with the Mica Mountain complex of trails. It provides a rather long but scenic route for travelers who are destined for Manning Camp. There is no water along the route, but there are several fairly dependable springs a short distance away from the trail as it enters the Mica Mountain complex; Manning Camp, at the trail’s end, has a permanent supply of water. The first part of the hike from Happy Valley to the crest of the Rincon Mountains is closed to horses, but the Heartbreak Ridge section is not and can be accessed at its northern end via the Turkey Creek trail.

Heartbreak Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"This is a backpack from Happy Valley to Manning Camp. As the trail moves upward, outstanding views unfold to the east. The arid foothills dwindle like ripples in a grassy sea, finally ending in the pastoral basin of Happy Valley. Beyond this grassy bowl, the Little Rincons rise to low, tortured summits that stretch toward the northern horizon.

This trek combines the Miller Creek trail with a well-worn path running along Heartbreak Ridge. The route passes Happy Valley Lookout along the way and ends by connecting with the Mica Mountain complex of trails. It provides a rather long but scenic route for travelers who are destined for Manning Camp. There is no water along the route, but there are several fairly dependable springs a short distance away from the trail as it enters the Mica Mountain complex; Manning Camp, at the trail’s end, has a permanent supply of water. The first part of the hike from Happy Valley to the crest of the Rincon Mountains is closed to horses, but the Heartbreak Ridge section is not and can be accessed at its northern end via the Turkey Creek trail."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Tucson
Distance: 20.6
Elevation Gain: 4,608 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: Backpack
Season: Best March to May; September to December
Trailhead Elevation: 4,100 feet
Top Elevation: 8,270 feet
Local Contacts: Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District; Santa Catalina Ranger District, Coronado National Forest
Local Maps: Rincon Mountains Hiker's Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Heartbreak Ridge

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May 2018