Location : Gardner Road South (NOBO Mile Marker 73.2)
Date: October 16th 2018
Weather: Clear skies at the Trailhead, starting temperature 58 degrees and the turn 85 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 22 miles on AZT / Feet +(-) 3721, 6.4% grade
Hike Description: This hike started at the Gardner Road Trail Head east of highway 83 within the Santa Rita Mountains. A short, but bumpy, dirt road drive, you’ll find the trailhead on the north side of the road. We used this trailhead for both hikes #57 and #56, one going northbound and the other going south.
This hike was to push south and connect back with Hike #39 from our 2017 hiking season. The terrain on the hike was a pleasant change from only a couple miles north. Larger tree cover, streams and pine trees await you as you push into the hills of the Santa Rita Mountains. Pretty flat hiking on the first couple miles will turn into a grueling 15.3% grade uphill coming out of the Casa Blanca Canyon area. Then a sharp calve burning downhill decent to the turn and after that…. Guess what…. Straight back uphill. The middle 6 mile section of this hike was a bit of a challenge. Heart pounding uphill for sure. Good hike and very interesting terrain that is unique to this area of Arizona. A must do hike…