I have previously hiked to the top of Agua Caliente Hill (using the popular trail that starts at the end of Fort Lowell Rd.), but this time I thought I’d try out the trails North of the hill. I started with a trail that begins at the end of Roger road that didn’t appear to be used all that much and is a bit hard to follow at times, but it gives a great view of the Agua Caliente canyon below. It then connects with a North/South trail that if you turn right on will take you up to the saddle and then on to the top of the hill, but I instead went to the left and down to the canyon.
The trail quickly goes down and across to the North side of the canyon where it then runs along the rim of the canyon. This is the La Milagrosa Ridge trail and it provides spectacular views of a canyon that is so beautiful, I find it hard to believe I’ve lived in Tucson all these years and never seen it. The hike was about 8 miles long and rose to 1150 feet over where I parked, but given all the up’s and down’s it was a total climb of 2100 feet).
Here is the Google Earth video of my hike (full GPX file is available here):
And here is Google Earth’s profile. Note that a recent update of the Gaia GPS app I use on my iPhone caused me to lose part of the track. I actually followed the road past the last houses as I headed East, not the straight line it shows. After every photo I take, I have to make sure the Gaia app is still running, and now with the update, I also have to make sure the recording is also on. Sigh.
Here is the iPhone video I made of my hike:
And here is the map of the hike, taken from a brochure I had from the park service, with the Google Earth view of my two hikes up Agua Caliente trails added:
And here is more precise map showing where I parked. Note how I first walked down Larkspur road, then turned East on Roger road, to get to the start of the trail:
And finally, the panoramas I took with my iPhone. The first one is of the last house I walked past as I headed East up the road towards the trail:
And here is the view from up above the canyon. Note the Catalina highway that is the white line running up into the Catalina mountains. All those people speeding by a simply spectacular canyon and few even realize it’s there.
And then the view down into the canyon from the La Milagrosa trails that runs along the North rim (the photo does NOT do this beautiful canyon justice):
And then two more views as the trail heads back to the roads and civilization: