Passage #9 - Rincon Mountains
Location: Saguaro National Park to Italian Trap
Length: 21.6 miles
Southern Trailhead: Saguaro National Park
- GPS Coordinates: 32.13336° N, 110.64893° W
- Access: Hope Camp: No vehicle access; 3 miles required to reach the Hope
Camp TH. On Old Spanish Trail, travel approximately 7 miles southeast of the Saguaro
National Park Visitor Center, or go 4 miles northwest of Colossal Cave Mountain
Park on Old Spanish Trail, then turn north on Camino Loma Alta Road. Go about 2.5
miles until it ends at a small trailhead/parking area. Travel 3 miles east on Hope
Camp Trail to historic Hope Camp.
Northern Trailhead: Italian Trap
- GPS Coordinates: 32.28317° N, 110.56849° W
- Access: From Tucson, head east on Tanque Verde Road, which
becomes Redington Pass Road after you leave the city. The road turns to dirt
near mile marker 3. From that point, continue to just past mile marker 12 on
Redington Pass Road. At the top of a small ridge, passenger vehicles should
park on the right, as the remainder of the route is very rocky and bumpy.
The AZT crosses Redington Road here. There are AZT signs on both sides of the
road. Those who wish to reach Italian Trap by high-clearance four-wheel-drive
may descend the other side of the ridge to the south and continue 2 miles.
Park at a large, metal AZT sign near the corrals and fences. The last stretch
of Passage 9 arrives on the road from the east.
Trail Route Description: From Hope Camp the trail heads
north/northwest to the Quilter Trail junction. It follows this trail
north and then east over several drainages, reaches a high saddle and
then drops down to the junction with the Manning Camp Trail. From here
the trail climbs steadily for several miles, passes a trail junction,
and then drops down into the Grass Shack Campground. It then climbs
continuously for several more miles to the northeast, passes another
trail junction, crosses Chimenea Creek, and then comes to Manning Camp.
From Manning Camp the trail goes through several trail junctions on
the way to Mica Mountain and then it starts down the other side of
the Rincon Mountains. It passes Italian Spring and begins dropping
fairly steeply through an old burn area. After passing the wilderness
boundary the trail works its way along a ridgeline and then descends
to the Italian Trap Trailhead.
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Season(s): All year. Snow can be present at higher
elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in
summer (current weather forecast)
Water: Water can be found seasonally in the following locations:
Chimenea Creek, Grass Shack Campground, Madrona Canyon, Manning Camp and
Italian Spring. Check with local agencies for current information.
All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
Mountain bikes are prohibited in the Rincon Mountain Wilderness.
Saguaro National Park prohibits backcountry camping. Permits and
reservations are required to stay at both the Grass Shack and Manning
Campgrounds. Permits are only sold in person at the Rincon Mountain
Visitor Center during business hours (9am-5pm) and by fax (520) 733-5195.
The only exception to this is that Saguaro National Park allows Arizona
Trail thru-hikers to call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153 during
business hours on the same day of the hike to obtain a backcountry
permit if available.
USGS Topographic Maps: Tanque Verde Peak, Mica Mountain and Piety Hill.
Saguaro National Park map.
Rincon Mountain Wilderness map.
Coronado National Forest map.
BLM Information Center maps.
For more information, contact:
Current Trail Information: