Hike #37 – Colossal Cave North 21.5

After Hike’s #36 and #37, pushing both north and south of Interstate 10 east of Tucson Arizona, Tom and I decided to head back to where we left off a couple weeks back at the La Posta Quemada Ranch parking lot. Unfortunately for us the main entrance into the park, from Colossal Cave Road, was a closed gate until 8:00 am. Being in the mood for a 21 mile hike we really needed to get to the trail by at least 7. We made mad scramble on the iPhone for an alternative route. About a mile or so closer to the I10, we did find a little known old back road that still ended in a closed gate, but left us only a 1/10 mile road walk back to the ranch. The day was a little chilly with the most annoyance coming from the ever present cold wind tormenting us throughout the day. The hike itself pushed back along the western edge the Rincon Peak heading straight toward the Saguaro National Park (east) and the south face of Tanque Verde Ridge. This hike was slightly uneventful with only an elevation change of plus / minus 1600 feet or a technical grade of 3%. Miles 2 to 4 were a little hilly just south of the colossal cave site but nothing too much to note. The remainder of this hike was flat desert hiking crossing many dried washes and Cross X9 ranch road trailhead at around mile 7.5 on the outbound. This trailhead is a very nice dirt road if you wanted to flip flop this hike. We made the turn at East Lazy Ranch Road, the northern most road prior to the Tanque Verde Mountain range and decided to double back for lunch to Hope Camp, an old windmill and cattle watering hole you will notice right on trail at mile 10. A quick lunch and back on we went. Nice little hike although with not much to mention. We did meet a couple thru hikers heading south bound on our way out and a couple section hikers north bound on our way back. Always very nice people on trail. So…..all in all… another section down.


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