Explore the most popular forest trails near Madera Canyon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It was an all day affair to do the hike up and back, but very worth it. Some woodsy area trail at first, then rocky and winding. Elevation is at about 9,400 ft.+

The peak has views to die for, and in fact some people have done just that! Three boy scouts were lost to the elements in the 1950s, and their ghosts continue to haunt the area to this day. For this reason, backpackers and campers beware, as well as those staying past twilight. I'd rate this trail four of five Sour Patch Kids.

Hard! But a great hike. Beautiful scenery and a great sense of accomplishment

nice walk, scenic, lots of shade.

Great trails in and around the loop, would definitely recommend!

Great hike and mostly cool and shaded. My dog loved all the stream access along the way! We took the road back so I could grab a snack at the Santa Rita lodge gift shop. Not too crowded on a Friday, will definitely put this on our repeat list!

2 months ago

Killer steep climb up Vault Mine Trail for a little over a mile at the start. The rest of the loop was absolutely lovely. Preferred the steep climb to steep descent this time of year with all the snow.

The loop is only about 6.5 miles from the parking lot. The app trail map takes two loops around.

Nice hike but you will never see a trail sign that says Carrie Nation trail. What's up with that? We were always wondering if we were even on the right trail.

The Baldy trail up to Josephine Saddle is an amazing trail which nice and challenging. It was our first time up the trail and took us 2 hrs and 30 minutes. The local hikers who do this same trail every week say it only takes them about 1 hr and 30 to 45 minutes. But we stopped and took a lot of pictures along the way because the scenery is spectacular. We went back down on the Super Trail which took us about the same time as going up. But we were hiking down at a fast pace. We each drank about a liter of water during the whole hike. If you are out of shape it will be a difficult hike and i would suggest you start out on easier hikes first.

Awesome hike! Challenging but worth it for the view. Took 6 hours with some time at the top.

This hike was definitely hard and long. The views make it worth it though. There was ice and snow on some of the trail which slowed us down. It look us 7 hours. We intended to do the 10 miles but must of taken a wrong turn and when it was all said I’m done we were over 14 miles. Either way great hike, and no bears!

This is an awesome trail. Beautiful and shaded almost all the way through. It's difficult, but very clearly marked and evenly graded throughout. If you are going quickly, 5 hours is plenty. If you're taking your time and enjoying the hike, plan for 7 hours. Definitely worth the effort to make it to the top!

Went to the saddle last year but went all the way to the top and it was killer! So worth it just wish I trained a little more before.

Great hike....would do it again.... a beautiful place

Amazing! Took a little over 4 hours with lots of time to observe deer and birds!

Well marked, and in good condition. hard is the correct level.

7 months ago

I have hiked this loop a few times, and you can do it in either direction. However, hiking up the Vault Mine trail is a lesson in what a steep trail is all about. After a few times ascending the Vault, I no longer choose that option. It's bad enough coming down it. So I hike up the Old Baldy trail out of the upper parking lot to Josephine Saddle, then across from there on the Agua Caliente trail, and then down the Vault. The Old Baldy trail to the saddle is moderate, then the Agua Caliente section from the saddle to the cut off to the Vault is easy, and the Vault trail is really steep. So you get a good mix of everything on this loop. Great views along the AC section back towards Wrightson. The mileage calculated on the opening review above is not correct. It's only about 6 1/2 miles total. It took me just about 3 hours, with a short break at Josephine Saddle. Each section took me an hour, but I hike fairly fast. Check it out!!

8 months ago

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.

Nice easy, very enjoyable hike that my dog and I enjoyed. Saw wild turkey and mule deer along the trail - and only one other person! You can hike it in the summer, as long as you go near sundown after the sun has started to dip below the mountain.

10 months ago

Beautiful trail through shaded forest. I hiked passed the old mine to connect to the agua caliente and as others have said - it is very very steep for this part. Then took the super trail back to the parking lot - beautiful hike! I did see lots of beautiful birds and bear scat but no bears.

For a fairly active guy like myself I would also rate it hard but more than worth it

This is a nice-lesser travelled-alternative to the Madera Canyon route. However, getting to the trailhead takes a lot longer and you need a high-clearance vehicle (not necessarily 4WD). Also bear in mind it's less shady than doing it from the west so bring a hat and don't wait till it's 94F like I did!

tough hike, but great views! bring plenty of water!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I hiked the Carrie Nation Mine trail it with another adult and a 9-year-old boy. The trail is generally easy to moderate until one gets to the mine The mine is a fine terminus to many hikers, with a stream leaving the mine shaft and pieces of old machinery around. There is a "End of the trail" marker by the mine, after the trail turns sharply left. Past the sign, the trail appears to lead into a stream bed. To go further up, we turned back to the mine site and took a side trail that leads further up slope. From here until joining with the Agua Caliente trail, the trail was steep, narrow, and occasionally splitting. We ignored all splits leading left and down and kept going up. Because of the gradient, going up this part of the trail during rain might end with a muddy skid down. After a while, we passed a camp site. Once on Agua Caliente trail towards Josephine Saddle, it is generally gently down. We returned back to the picnic area by Super Trail, a longer and more leisurely alternative with glorious views of Mt Wrightson along the way.

Favorite hike in Tucson! Shaded until Baldy saddle and great views the entire route. We hit the trail at 6AM and were on top at 8:30AM. It was a steady up hill ascent but no boulders or big rocks to scramble up so I think the hike is medium difficulty not hard.

Favorite hike in southern Arizona. Done several seasons, including a pre-monsoon uncomfortable bivouac on the summit (not much flat). Gorgeous sunrise...

Hiked this yesterday with my sister, neither of us being veteran hikers. That being said, it was a beautiful hike with lots of trees and spectacular views. We made it to Bellows Springs, just short of the Old Baldy Saddle. There was snow on the ground from a spring storm along the trail. The ascent, for us, was relentlessly steep uphill. I think the Super Trail may be longer but not such a steep climb. We saw several younger and athletically fit people virtually sprinting up and down, but it was a challenge for we women in our 50's! But as a charming and cheerful young man skipping down the trail said, "We're all in this together!" Grateful we decided to tackle this, there were moments on the trail where it felt as though we were deep in the wilderness, what a blessed relief during these turbulent times.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

I did this hike today and can't believe I haven't done it before. Really nice trail that has many places one could start and stop. We chose the Whitehouse picnic area to start and return to. You could start as low as Proctor road and that would add a few more miles. The trail follows the creek at first and then at the Amphitheater area, it starts a short climb up the west side of the canyon and then it's a very nice level walk almost all the way to the upper parking lots. Good views of Mt. Wrightson and the ridge north of it from this trail. This is an easy trail with only one spot that has you climbing a few switchbacks.

My son and hike this trail to the Mt Wrightson summit a couple years ago. Beautiful and fairly challenging trail, but not too difficult. Great valet views. It is a well traveled trail, but does have a lot of exposed rock and loose gravel. Would recommend good shoes and a hat. My son missed this point and had about a dozen blister by the time we finished. Offers plenty of shade, but does have areas of full exposure. The trail ends at Baldy Saddle and there are several options for going back down. It is just a short, but exhausting 0.9 miles to the summit from there and once at the top you can see a beautiful 360 degree view including many of the sky islands. We chose to go down the same way and it was pretty tough on the knees and ankles, but not too bad. I would liken this trail to South Kaibab Trail and have heard that many in the area use it as a training trail for such canyon hikes.

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