Oct 26, 2010 at 9:12 am #1264817
Anyone have a Tucson-area backpacking recommendation for February?Oct 26, 2010 at 9:14 am #1658133
…and a favorite backpacking reference book for southern Arizona or Arizona in general?Oct 26, 2010 at 9:40 am #1658143Oct 26, 2010 at 9:46 am #1658145
how many nights are you looking to be out and what is the maximum distance you would be willing to travel- i've lived in tucson off and on for ten years- amazing place with many backpacking opportunitiesOct 26, 2010 at 10:03 am #1658152
Preferred miles/day: 6-14 depending on ruggedness/climbing
Length of trip: 2-3 days (1-2 nights)Nov 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm #1662229
@ryan_hutchinsLocale: Somewhere out there
The Galiuros or Saguaro N.P. both have routes that are within the range of what you are looking for. Galiuros will be less busy than the park, which also = less well maintained trails (if you want to stay on trails).
Hope that helps.Nov 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm #1662295
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Saguaro N.P. is pretty great, lots of varied terrain and elevation gain. In February though you'll have to worry about a fair amount of snow. Last year I planned to hit the top of rincon peak in March, but they had about 4 feet of snow around 6000ft elevation…
A bit of a drive East from Tucson, but you get into the Chiricahuas which also have a ton of varied terrain and my favorite type of geological features to hike through, hoodoos.
The sky islands are some of the best that AZ has to offer and you get the Southern Parts of the AZ Trail if you're interested.
I'll admit though, I prefer the backpacking of the central and northern parts of the state, the southern is better for day hikes. The closer you get to New Mexico though, the more rugged and remote the land becomes.
EDIT: One of my favorite AZ hiking sites is this:
Word of caution though, the author is a very strong hiker (20+miles/day in AZ's rugged terrain) so his time estimates are completely off. But he does give mileage and usually decent descriptions.Dec 12, 2010 at 9:34 am #1673504
@dead_cowLocale: Southern Arizona
I would second the Galiuro's, remote, not many people, and lower in elevation (warmer less snow), lots of history, varied terrain. If you look the overview map from the Forest Service web site you can see you can make some very long loop hikes. It's probably going to be a warm and dry winter thanks to El Nino, last year there was lots of snow in the Galiuros, most I have ever seen, that creek in my avatar is normally dry. Saquaro NP is higher, less drinking water available, you need a permit, and there are rangers.
PeterDec 13, 2010 at 7:15 am #1673782
Steven McAllisterBPL Member
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
My favorite AZ resource is Brett's. Lots of details and pictures of various locations in AZ and NM:
http://www.simblissity.net/get/Dec 14, 2010 at 11:00 am #1674188
When i raced bicycles for a living i lived in Tucson in the winter. A few times a week i would train on MT. Lemon. It has a 26-28 mile auto road and tops out at like 8500 ft or something?
I always noticed hiking trails and camp spots when training on Lemon, thinking about it now bet it would be a sweet hike. Def gets snow in winter above 6000ft nothing major though and doesnt that just make it more fun?!!! The best part when you get to the top you can get some killer mach&cheese and a wicked piece of pie with like ten flavors to choose from. Going from desert tosnow sounds like fun!!!Dec 15, 2010 at 12:35 am #1674389
Mt. Lemmon isn't bad during the week, but if you're going to be there on friday/saturday, it's horribly crowded, although winter does cut out some of the traffic.
And the pie place in summerhaven closed down after the aspen fire :(
MarcDec 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm #1675400
@blister-freeLocale: Puertecito ruins
The Cookie Cabin is open for business again.
Try Davis Spring Trail and get back to me about the "horribly crowded" conditions on Mt Lemmon. (just kidding – don't do it!)
Actually the trails are never really all that crowded via the Catalina Highway and Marshall Gulch access points. I think that's a mischaracterization; certainly there are ample opportunities for relative solitude, or even complete solitude, within a short distance from the roads, especially in winter, and especially the farther up the mountain you're willing to drive.
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