Hiking

The Santa Rita Lodge is the gateway to Madera Canyon, nestled on the northwestern side of the Santa Rita Mountains. A part of the Coronado National Forest, the Santa Rita Mountains boast the highest peak in the entire Tucson region: Mount Wrightson at 9,456 ft. Madera Canyon hosts over 100 miles of hiking trails, not only leading to the top of Mount Wrightson, but to many other must-see routes in the canyon.

EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS

Madera Creek Trail: This trail follows the creek from Proctor parking area all the way to the Amphitheater parking area. It is approximately 1.5 miles one way with a mild grade and plenty of shade. It can be accessed from Proctor, Whitehouse picnic area, Madera picnic area, and Amphitheater.

Nature Trail: Accessible from both Amphitheater parking and Mount Wrightson picnic area, this 1.8 mile (one way) trail has a moderate elevation gain if hiked from Amphitheater to Mount Wrightsonpicnic area, but after a short climb to the ridge, the views are spectacular and the trail levels out.

MODERATE TO DIFFICULT TRAILS

Kent Spring: Approximately 3 miles one way, this trail has some steep areas, but plenty of shade and a creek crossing. Be sure to listen for the rushing waterfall about 1.5 miles in! Kent Springs trail is accessible from Madera trailhead and Amphitheater.

Dutch John Spring: From Bog Springs Campground, this trail is approximately 1.3 miles one way.

Bog Springs:Like Kent Spring, this hike is accessed from both Madera trailhead and Amphitheater. When the trail intersects with Kent Spring, turn left to Bog Spring. This trail is approximately 1.8 miles one way, but it can connect to Kent Spring and make a longer loop hike.

Old Baldy Trail: From the Mount Wrightson picnic area, take the SE trailhead .3 mile to the trail intersection. Turn left and follow the Old Baldy trail 2.2 miles to Josephine Saddle. Some technical and steep areas, but a very popular and well traveled trail. 2.5 miles one way.

Super Trail: Also accessed from the Mount Wrightson picnic area, take the NE trailhead. Follow Super Trail 3.7 miles to Josephine Saddle. This trail can connect to Old Baldy trail to make an interesting loop hike.

Carrie Nation Mine: From the Mount Wrightson picnic area, take the SE trailhead .3 mile to the trail intersection and turn right. 0.5 mile up the trail is another trail intersection, stay to the left. Continue on Carrie Nation trail where it dead ends at the remnants of an old mine. Approximately 1.5 miles one way.

DIFFICULT TRAILS

Baldy Saddle: Follow above directions for Old Baldy Trail to Josephine Saddle. Continue on Old Baldy Trail, past Bellows Spring to Baldy Saddle. Be prepared for steep switchbacks (32 to be exact!) between the spring and the saddle. 4.5 miles one way.

Mount Wrightson:Follow above directions to Baldy Saddle. Follow trail to the right to the summit. Breathtaking 360 degree views await you at the highest point in the entire Santa Rita Mountain range!

 

Hike safe and pack plenty of water! For more information, maps, and trail descriptions, visit friendsofmaderacanyon.org

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