Location : Canelo Pass Trailhead (NOBO Mile Marker 35.0)
Weather: Clear skies, no clouds, starting temperature 39 degrees and the turn 76 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 24.2 on AZT
Hike Description: This hike started at the Canelo Pass Trailhead outside of Sonoita, Arizona – Elevation 5345ft and was a 24.2 mile out and back “Flip Flop” hike. Elevation gain / loss 3556 ft.
Comments: Back up and awake, way too early in the morning of Tuesday 11-27-2018, Tom and I were on the I-10 heading south past Tucson. This time veering off toward the east of Sonotia rather than the normal right turn to Patagonia. That’s right, fearing a difficult to find trailhead, I was quite surprised to discover the Canelo Pass Trailhead very accessible after a short dirt road drive and a couple right turns thru the rural town. This hike was to be a flip flop connecting two sections of the Arizona trail; hike #40 from Patagonia and the future hike #63 from Parker Canyon Lake.
The first leg of the hike, was to head west 6.2 miles out of the trail head. Such a gorgeous landscape on this section, with wide open prairies, hilltop views and awesome vistas overlooking Mexico. The hike out was mainly low grade downhill and then, of course, uphill back to the trailhead. The east side of the flop was very much different. From the start you will shoot up a 770 foot mountain ridge to than drop right back down on the other side. I have to admit, I felt a little dizzy on this one. Tom took it strong, but I might have pushed it a little too much, gasping to the top. The downhill sure did help. Then a never ending windy but moderate stretch of trail and the inevitable turnaround to tackle the mountain from the other side. Slow and steady.
If you’re in the mood for a tough hike with some amazing diversity, this one is for you. 🙂 It’s for sure a challenge that I would only recommend if you’re in fairly good hiking shape and love beautiful views of southern Arizona.