Spring break at the desert mountain of Mount Wrightson

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Spring break at the desert mountain of Mount Wrightson

Famous Arizona peak easy to fall in love with
The Santa Rita Mountains rise up in ever deepening shades of blue from fog enveloping the Santa Cruz River valley. Mount Wrightson is resplendent in morning light. An observatory on Mount Hopkins is left of the superior peak.
Bear southeast on the Old Baldy Trail to Josephine Saddle. Hike northeast to Baldy Saddle. Climb south on the Crest Trail to the peak. Retrace your steps, or, circumnavigate the mountain by linking with the Super Trail, the blue-line route.

Spring break at the desert mountain of Mount Wrightson

The Santa Rita Mountains rise up in ever deepening shades of blue from fog enveloping the Santa Cruz River valley. Mount Wrightson is resplendent in morning light. An observatory on Mount Hopkins is left of the superior peak.
Bear southeast on the Old Baldy Trail to Josephine Saddle. Hike northeast to Baldy Saddle. Climb south on the Crest Trail to the peak. Retrace your steps, or, circumnavigate the mountain by linking with the Super Trail, the blue-line route.
Travel basics

Travel: From Tucson, drive south on Interstate 19, America’s only metric highway. In Green Valley, watch for a brown sign for Madera Canyon Recreation Area and exit on Continental Road. Turn east under the interstate and cross the Santa Cruz River. In 1.2 miles, turn south on White House Canyon Road which transitions to Madera Canyon Road. Cross three one-lane bridges. The paved road steepens sharply and ends in 12.8 miles at a multi-layered parking lot at the Mt. Wrightson Picnic Area. Loop around and park near the Old Baldy Trailhead located in the upper lot on the east side. Pay the day use fee ($8), or display your National Interagency Pass. Restrooms and water.

Distance and Elevation Gain: 10.8 miles; 4,000 feet of climbing

Total Time: 5 to 7½ hours

Difficulty: Trail; navigation easy; no exposure; traction devices are necessary if snow or ice are present on the trail; it can be windy and cold on the summit, so bring extra layers.

Map: Mount Wrightson, AZ 7.5’ USGS Quad

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