Arizona Trail – Passage 11 – Swimtastic!

Dates Hiked: March 12-13, 2015 (Days 10-11)
Direction: Southbound
Passage 11: Santa Catalina Mountains
-Romero Pass to Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead
-Miles: 11.7
-Elevation: Low Point 3,641′, High Point 6,053′

Direction of Travel: Right to Left (Southbound)

Who said Arizona was flat? The previous passage was up, up, up . . . which means this passage must be down, down, down . . .  into the Sycamore and Sabino canyons. It’s truly amazing to pass through so many geologic environments within just a few miles. 

Is that WATER or another mirage?

We’d heard that “Hutch’s Pool” was an olympic-sized creek pool. We were hot and looking forward to a refreshing dip, and came upon this fantastic pool instead. This is the life!

This frog has such a great disguise.

Saguaro started reappearing, making me aware of our elevation changes.

I quickly learned that bright green cottonwoods meant WATER!

Finding mining relics is good for my imagination.

Wildflowers were indeed rare on this passage, but alas I did find a couple. 

Campgrounds make for happy hikers. Time to lighten our loads!

Looking a bit weary from our travels, we were ready for a micro break into Tucson for resupply at Trader Joe’s!

Sharing the Trail:

  • Being relatively near Tucson, Mount Lemmon and a couple of campgrounds, made this passage a good one for day hikers. We saw at least two groups out enjoying the day on the trail.
  • Ledge was hiking about 650 miles north; he’d previously hiked the AT (pictured with Joan).

Tips and Resources:


5 thoughts on “Arizona Trail – Passage 11 – Swimtastic!

  1. Loving the blog! Appears you are hiking with Joan. Twinkle told me I should never consider hiking the AZ trail solo. How would you rate the level of difficulty in terms of being in shape? Thank you. Great photos, btw.

    • Yes Joan and I hiked this 300-mike section together. As far as being in shape, That’s so hard to judge. For example my body requires more conditioning than most for climbs, whereas my body could care less about steep descents. The heat can be problematic but probably the hardest thing on my body was carrying the nearly 20 pounds of water weight. Being able to hike 20+ mile days allows for better water budgeting.

  2. Ahhh the trash can and outhouses–certainly a highlight of this section. Though that swimming hole ranked up there too. Appreciate the strategically placed branch on that swimming photo of me–haha!

    Still can’t get over the camouflage on that frog. Was it called a canyon treefrog?

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