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Mt. Wrightson Day Hike
Madera Canyon Recreation Area
September 22, 1996
by Mike Clayton

Elevation change 4500 ft (about a 20% grade ... but excellent trail conditions and excellent weather).

Time to top: Under 4 hours easily ... except for the 87 year old man that topped out with us, but he started 2 hours earlier. His name was John and everyone seemed to know him. He was slow but steady at 87. I has having my usual breathing problems and worrying about getting old at 60. The other guy was 75 and he beat my time! We took lots of pictures for club sharing. I recommend that anyone who can climb Squaw Peak in less than 45 minutes consider climbing Mt. Wrightson this fall (it gets snow after Thanksgiving ... so forget winter hiking unless you like sliding down two steps for every one up ... or unless you are an expert ice/snow hiker).

How to get there? Drive I-10 to Tucson, continue towards Nogales on I-19 to the village of Green Valley ... but take the next exit at Madera Canyon Recreation Area sign. Turn left toward the mountains, through the pecan groves, about 5 miles off the freeway. Drive to the end of the road, and park in either parking lot. There are two trails: SUPERTRAIL (16 miles round trip ... more gradual climb) and OLD BALDY TRAIL (starts about 200 yards from the other super trail head ...10 miles round trip ... steady uphill grind).

Note: As we came down, there were two joggers with Camelbak water tanks and hoses running up the Old Baldy Trail! Most joggers use the Supertrail.

This hike is BEAUTIFUL and the FLOWERS were amazing!!! You can stay overnight in Madera anyone at the Lodge or in other nearby cabins. Nearby, the town of Patagonia (around the backside of the mountains) is interesting and has a nature hike in a bird sanctuary along the creek. Beyond Patagonia is the wine country. This is a great part of Arizona.

Average elevation is about 4000 feet at road level.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated January 11, 2018