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Agua Caliente Trail is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Green Valley, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,352 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

mountain biking

bird watching

forest

views

wildlife

Note: To get to the trailhead, you will drive 3.5 miles on unpaved road that is rough and not likely fit for a passenger car. Directions from Tucson: Leave Interstate 19 at the Canoa Road Exit. Take the east frontage road, 3 miles south to Elephant Head Road and turn east 1.6 miles to the Mt. Hopkins Road. Drive 4.5 miles to Forest Road 183, turn north on this dirt road about 2.4 miles to the trailhead at the canyon.

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over grown
rocky
washed out
26 days ago

Intermediate level hiker here. I started the hike at Super Trailhead (Vault Mine Trail). When I came to the Agua Caliente, there was no signage but I knew the direction. I was aiming to go Josephine Saddle but the trail got hard to follow with the bushes and lack of any signs. I got lost a couple of times, decided to turn back, ended up going off trail by accident, and had to go down to Carrie Vault Mine. It is a very secluded and beautiful trail with gorgeous views but be very careful not to get lost and go off trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Road to trailhead is a little rough. Not likely good for a passenger car. Did just fine in my Ford Escape (without 4 wheel drive). Hike starts out with beautiful views of Whipple observatory. Pretty flat in the beginning but then gets really steep. The entire trail is mostly shaded as you go up the canyon. Footing can be loose at times and the leaves can be a little slippery. I did the trail in trail runners no problem. My Apple Watch said it was 2.5 miles and 2300 feet up to the AC saddle. The metal sign is incorrect. At the AC saddle sign you could keep going to head over to Josephine saddle or go down vault mine trail (steep as well). Good secluded hike away from crowded Madera canyon. Shade is nice during hot days. Really recommend this hike!

The trail was beautiful but be warned: the stats for this are not correct. Out and back ended up being 7.5 miles with 2500ft if elevation gain. Overall, amazing challenge with lots of tough switchbacks at the top and awesome views of the canyon below. Lots of shade as well and some spots where you could get some fresh water which the dogs loved!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Completed on 03/28/2020: Beautiful and secluded trail. We only saw one other couple on this trail. To get to the trailhead, you will drive 3.5 miles on unpaved road. Very bumpy ride but we made it with no problem in our Highlander. There is a small area to park on the left just 0.1 mile from the trailhead. The trail itself is very easy to follow and appears fairly well maintained with how little it is trafficked. The first 1.5 miles is pretty tame with sandy/rocky terrain with mild grade. After that is where you get all of your elevation. We recorded about 1,300 feet of elevation in 1.2 miles. The terrain is a little difficult to maintain grip with boots, but absolutely doable. Some areas of erosion, trekking carefully. Hiking boots are definitely recommended. I can’t recommend trekking poles as I do not use them. We crossed several dry washes, which I can imagine are flowing after rain or during monsoon season. The hike is overall very beautiful with amazing views within the canyon. This is a must do again for us. The peacefulness of this trail is one to be enjoyed. Fun to see the change in ecosystems as you climb. Starting out in dry hot desert, and entering the pines with elevation. Gorgeous hike!!

hiking
Sun Sep 03 2017

The trail was a little overgrown at this time of year but was easy to follow. Very quiet and peaceful trail. We didn't encounter any other people. Most of the trail is shaded which makes it nice. You'll cross a small stream a handful of times that will be flowing during monsoon season. The trail is actually close to 2.5 miles long and gets fairly steep the final mile. All in all, a very nice hike.

hiking
Sun Mar 05 2017

I rated this as difficult as the trail is so seldom used, it's hard to find in many places, and it does get steep towards the top. I did this years ago and so I can't speak for what it might look like now. It is very quiet up this trail as you will probably encounter no one. Grasses get very tall at the end of summer on the lower section. This puts you on top of Agua Caliente saddle as your destination. With an extra vehicle, or someone to pick you up, you could go down the Vault Mine trail back to Madera Canyon as an option. I returned the same way to where I parked along the Agua Caliente road.

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13 days ago

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16 days ago

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16 days ago

recorded Agua Caliente Trail

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1 month ago

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2 months ago

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3 months ago

recorded Agua Caliente Trail

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4 months ago

recorded Agua Caliente Trail

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4 months ago

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11 months ago

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Thu May 23 2019

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Sun Jan 27 2019