dogs on leash
We went one mile up the trail from the parking lot. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Not too tough but if you have sensitive knees, bring your walking stick. The February weather was perfect for this hike and the desert was green! A mile takes you to a spring. Took about an hour and a half for us old folks.
I've been up to the parking area of Ramsey many times before to see the hummingbirds. Incredible amount of birds here. I've hiked the trail as well, and it's one of a few canyons in southern AZ that has Maple trees in it. So in the fall, it is worth a short hike to see the reds. The trail goes on to connect to many others on the mountain
I have hiked the vault mine trail as well, probably more often than I cared to, with many loop variations too. I've been up it and down it, and a rating of hard is almost an understatement. This trail is nosebleed steep. When the sign at the jct at the bottom says "very steep trail", they aren't kidding. If you're not in half way decent shape, don't bother with this one. It will have you gasping in short order. Coming down is just as bad. You are almost in a continuous slide on the gravel, or pine needles or whatever is under foot. Don't get me wrong, it has it's pros too, but my rating of 3 stars is due to the degree of difficulty. The views are great, and when continuing on across the Agua Caliente traverse back to Josephine saddle, that is a really nice stretch. Almost no gain or loss for the most part. I would not do this hike on a hot day either, it is very exposed. But steep, did I mention steep?? Only the Carrie Nation trail is in the same realm as this one when it comes to that. Enjoy :)
I have hiked this trail as far as Florida saddle. It is similar to the Florida trail, but not as long and not as steep. It was very forested back then, but I am sure this area was burned pretty bad back in 05. I drove all the way to the end of the road then, but it has been a while since I have taken the Cave Creek turn off from the Gardner Canyon road. Not a very well used trail back then (80's). Not a lot of people went up this way.