Vault Mine Trail to Agua Caliente

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Mount Wrightson Wilderness

Vault Mine Trail to Agua Caliente is a 4.0 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sonoita, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.0 km Elevation Gain: 540 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

AllTrails saved the name wrong and I was t able to change the name. This is up vault to agua calente saddle. Very steep heading up vault mine. We took a side trip up to Pete’s mountain then back along the ridge to Josephine saddle then back down on old Baldy. Beautiful but exposed while climbing bring 3 liters of water and plenty of snacks!

Not sure how my review got here, but this is for the Vault Mine, Agua Caliente, Súper Trail loop.... no way my knees and ankles could go down the Vault Mine!!! What a great trail, although my dog was in better condition for it than I was! Vault mine was steep for the second half. We also got off the trail at some point, but looking back, there was a sign that tried to prevent that. The 2.2 mile mostly flat section was amazing after the incline and before the descent. Didn’t see a soul before getting to Josephine Saddle, but lots of people on the Super Trail. All good except for two large, brown, off-leash dogs whose human was too far back to be helpful when they met my dog (on leash). Great views, Total time for the 8.2 miles (due to going off course) was right at 4 hours. I tripped a few times when I was tired, slid a lot going down, and fell twice - the second time landing on my bottom on hard rock. Pretty sore afterwards!!

hiking
6 months ago

If doing the loop, pay attention to the junction with going right on Agua Caluante Trail otherwise you will dead end on Vault Mine Trail. Agua Caliante is very steep with plenty of switchbacks. I did it without poles and it was o.k. The views are spectacular and fall foliage was beautiful! A must-do hike.

Fri Mar 31 2017

I like a challenge and this trail definitely offers one. It's steep...very steep! Probably the steepest trail I have ever hiked to date. I am not a fast hiker and tend to keep a pace that lets me take less breaks. There were many breaks on this trail. I hiked it March 26th alone except I did bring my almost two year old lab. He was a trooper and practically pulled me up the trail at times. Fortunately the weather was fairly cool as I would not recommend this trail in hot weather. The views are awesome and offer views of the valley and Mt Wrightson. We did not take the trail back down and I would not recommend it except to the most hardy of hikers. At the top we connected with the Agua Caliente Trail over to Josephine Saddle and onto Super Trail back to the parking lot. Out total time was about 5 1/2 hours with a nice 30 minute break at the saddle.

hiking
Fri Mar 24 2017

On the Coronado National Forest website, the name of this trail is the Very Steep/Vault Mine Trail. I should have read that before I hiked it yesterday. I probably would have done it anyway, but I'd have been less surprised. From the upper parking lot to the Agua Cliente Saddle, is about 3 miles even, according to my GPS. Once you leave the river bed, there is about 1.5 miles of brutally steep terrain. I can do Old Baldy trail from the upper parking lot to the top of Mt Wrightson without stopping to rest. I stopped several times on the Very Steep/Valut Mine Trail. Coming down the trail is also challenging. Fortunately, I had a collapsable walking stick on my pack. Without one, a normal person would find the trip down quite challenging. I will hike this trail again, if it is the "easiest" way to get to another trail I wish to see. I will not hike this trail again solely for recreation or entertainment. Did I mention it was steep?

hiking
Fri Feb 24 2017

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 :)

hiking
Sun May 29 2016

This is not rated but I would recommend difficult. Elevation gain is nearly 2000' in just 1 mile and top altitude is 7400'. Not an easy stretch. We combined with Agua Caliente, Josephine's saddle and Super trail for a nice 8 mile loop. Once you get to the top great views. Overall great hike. We hiked in late march and there was still some snow on upper trail.

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