Location

  • Redington Road to Gordon Hirabayashi Campground

Length

  • 13.2 miles

Southern Access Point: Redington Road

Access

From Tucson, head east on Tanque Verde Road, which becomes Redington Pass Road after you leave the city. The road turns to dirt near mile marker 3. From that point, continue to just past mile marker 12 on Redington Pass Road. At the top of a small ridge the AZT crosses Redington Road. There are AZT signs on both sides of the road.


Northern Access Point: Gordon Hirabayashi Campground

Access

Follow Tanque Verde Road east from Tucson and turn left (north) on the Catalina Highway. Drive about 9 miles and pass Molino Basin Campground. Continue 1.7 miles beyond the campground and take the left (west) turn to Gordon Hirabayashi Campground. Drive 0.3 miles to a parking area. Follow a trail out of the south end of the parking lot for 40 yards to reach a “T” intersection with the AZT.


Trail Route Description

Passage 10 traverses through the transition zone between the Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains. This section begins in low rolling grasslands with sweeping views of the rounded Rincons to the south. It features golden grasses, rocky hillsides and granite boulders. In the springtime, wildflowers add color to the landscape, especially the tall, purple flower heads of thistle that adorn the trail. 

The trail crosses Caliente Creek with shady, large cottonwood trees and a seasonal flow of water. 

Scenic singletrack ascends a steep set of switchbacks to a saddle above Molino Basin with panoramic views. To the east is the San Pedro River Valley and the Rincon Mountains, to the west is Sabino Canyon, and to the north-northwest, Mount Lemmon’s sheer granite cliffs reveal the rocky terrain waiting ahead.

There are two campgrounds near the terminus of this section. Molino Basin Campground closes for the summer (usually at the end of April), and the water is shut off at that time. Gordon Hirabayashi Campground is open year-round but has no water.


Difficulty

  • Moderate

Season(s)


Water

Water can be found seasonally at The Lake, West Spring Tank and some of the drainages the trail crosses. In wet seasons, water may be found in the creek in the Molino Basin Campground, but no water is available for campers or hikers.  Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.


Notes/Warnings

  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • This passage of the trail is very popular with mountain bike riders.

Resources

  • Map of Passage 10
  • USGS Topographic Maps: Piety Hill and Agua Caliente Hill.
  • Saguaro National Park map.
  • Coronado National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information


Current Passage Info

Thinking of Thru-Hiking or Thru-Riding the Arizona Trail This Year?

Thinking of Thru-Hiking or Thru-Riding the Arizona Trail This Year?

Summertime is when hundreds of hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians are planning the logistics of a long-distance trip on the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT). Especially since many individuals canceled their springtime AZT adventures due to COVID-19, the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) has been anticipating the busiest autumn in history. However, Arizona’s intense wildfire season – with three major wildfires burning more than 100 miles of the AZT – and a recent spike in Arizona’s COVID-19 cases has led the ATA to discourage thru-hiking and thru-riding this year. We know how disappointing this is going to be for so many people. A southbound hike or ride from Utah to Mexico along the AZT is the adventure of a lifetime, and normally we would be encouraging everyone to use these uncertain times to hit the trail. But widespread trail closures with no safe or reasonable detours combined with Arizona becoming a global hot spot for the novel coronavirus has created an unsafe situation for “thrus” in 2020. In southern Arizona, the Bighorn Fire burned 120,000 acres on the Coronado National Forest, including AZT Passages 10, 11 and 12 through the Santa Catalina Mountains, as well as the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass....
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