Passage #9 - Rincon Mountains

Saguaro National Park is tentatively planning to conduct a prescribed burn on Mica Mountain in the Rincon Mountain District of the park in late April or early May 2017. Ignition may begin as soon as April 16 and may continue for approximately four to six days. The backcountry Manning Camp campground will be temporarily closed during the prescribed burn.

Arizona Trail users are advised that temporary delays and/or detours may be possible on the following trails during prescribed burn operations: Italian Spring (south of the Park boundary), Cowhead Saddle (from the North Slope junction to Manning Camp), North Slope, Fire Loop, Mica Mountain, Mica Meadow and Bonita. Updates will be posted on the Saguaro National Park website. A map of the prescribed burn location is also available on this website.


Along the Quilter Trail Location:  Saguaro National Park to Redington Road

Length:  24.6 miles

Southern Access Point:  Saguaro National Park
- GPS Coordinates:  32.12964° N, 110.64472° 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 Access Point:  Redington Road
- GPS Coordinates:  32.30630° N, 110.57428° 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 the AZT crosses Redington Road. There are AZT signs on both sides of the road.

Trail Route Description:  From the kiosk at the boundary of Saguaro National Park the trail works its way over to a gate and then north up to Hope Camp. 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. From here the trail climbs steadily, turns to the west and then drops down to Redington Road.

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)

Manning Camp 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.

Notes/Warnings:

  • 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.

Resources:

  • 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.
On the trail south of Manning Camp

For more information, contact:


Current Trail Information:


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