Saturday, December 29, 2012

Madera Canyon Mount Wrightson Hike Tucson, AZ

Madera Canyon is located about 30 miles southeast of Tucson AZ. There are several hiking trails in the canyon, and is also a very well known bird watching area 3rd best in the United States. Other animals and reptiles in the area include wild turkeys, bobcats, mountain lions, black bear, rattlesnake, deer, rabbits, racoons, and the rare coati. There are a few different trails to the top of Mount Wrightson, which tops out at 9453 ft, the trail crosses 4 life zones beginning in the the cacti, and
heading into the pines, and eventually beyond the tree line. It is known as one of Tucson's sky islands, because in the summer it can be well over 100 degrees in the desert, and a mere 60 degrees up at the top of the mountain.
                                                      Mountain Wrightson looming in the distance!

The journey to the top of the of Mount Wrightson was without doubt a challenge, well for me at least.... a piece of cake for you who have conquered Mount Everest :) . Took me 3 separate attempts to reach the summit. The first time being for to winded due to the lack of oxygen at such elevations. Second attempt we were stopped by the previous days snowstorm, and the 3rd attempt in which we had finally reached the top definitely had its challenges, which included scaling across snow covered slopes holding sharp rocks in my hand to anchor myself in the snow slope. There are several spots on the hike where one miss step will send you on a quick journey to meet your maker, or possibly a helicopter ride to the hospital, so take your time, and bring you favorite walking stick :)

 Trail up the Mountain
 Scenic overlook
 Another trail in the distance, and overlook.
 A remembrance for those who did not make in this case being gaught in a snowstorm:(
 Yours Truly approaching the summit.
View from the top! 
A plaque telling the story of Wrightson. Ill get the detail on my next journey........Hope you enjoyed!



  1. I'm surprised that you wanted to hike that high at this time of year, but it sounds like you're glad you did.

    Have you tried the warmer and lower hiking around Elephant Head?

    1. Hey Boonie Actually did that hike at a previous date. Prolly a mess of snow up there at the moment. Was gonna do elephant head hike this weekend but plans fell through. Where do you usually park when hiking the elephant head area?

    2. There's free camping in an unimproved campground just outside the entrance to the Madera Canyon recreation area. But there's better Verizon coverage on state trust land 2-10 miles north, along various dirt roads.

  2. Thanks for the info Boonie. Ever run across illegals out there?