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Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Tucson on 10/26/2010 10:12:15 MDT Print View

Anyone have a Tucson-area backpacking recommendation for February?

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
and a book on 10/26/2010 10:14:26 MDT Print View

...and a favorite backpacking reference book for southern Arizona or Arizona in general?

Will Webster
Re: and a book on 10/26/2010 10:40:58 MDT Print View

The Cossack
(thecossack) - F

Locale: sedona
tucson on 10/26/2010 10:46:02 MDT Print View

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 opportunities

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
nights out on 10/26/2010 11:03:10 MDT Print View

Preferred miles/day: 6-14 depending on ruggedness/climbing
Length of trip: 2-3 days (1-2 nights)

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
tucson on 11/08/2010 13:20:23 MST Print View

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.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: tucson on 11/08/2010 16:36:00 MST Print View

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.

Edited by upalachango on 11/08/2010 16:56:05 MST.

Peter Merritt

Locale: Southern Arizona
Tucson on 12/12/2010 10:34:27 MST Print View

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.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Tuscon on 12/13/2010 08:15:03 MST Print View

My favorite AZ resource is Brett's. Lots of details and pictures of various locations in AZ and NM:

patrick walsh
(apbt1976) - F
Mt lemon? on 12/14/2010 12:00:03 MST Print View

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!!!

Marc Mensing
(soldierspike) - F

Locale: Southwest
RE: Lemmon on 12/15/2010 01:35:54 MST Print View

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 :(


Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: RE: Lemmon on 12/18/2010 13:15:51 MST Print View

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.

Edited by blister-free on 12/18/2010 13:20:28 MST.