Mount Wrightson from Madera Canyon.
|Elevation||9,456 ft (2,882 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||4,578 ft (1,395 m) |
|Location||Santa Cruz County, Arizona, U.S.|
|Parent range||Santa Rita Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Wrightson (AZ)|
|Easiest route||Walk up (class 1)|
Mt. Wrightson is the highest point in the Santa Rita Mountains and the Tucson region, lying 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the city. Its distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Sonora, Mexico.
The mountain is known for the spectacular view from its barren peak, nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) feet above Tucson.
Mt. Wrightson's flora includes grassy, high desert chaparral, mixed conifers with Arizona, Apache, and Chihuahua pines, Arizona madrone, aspen, oak brush, and Douglas fir and ponderosa pine near the summit.
The shortest route is the Old Baldy Trail, a steady climb of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m) over 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to the exposed summit. The Super Trail, also from the Madera Canyon trailhead, is not as steep but is far longer at 8.1 miles (13.0 km). These two trails intersect at Josephine Saddle (7,080 feet, 2,160 m) halfway to the peak, so hikers can choose one route for the lower path and one route for the upper. To reach the trailhead, take exit 63 off of I-19 south of Tucson, and turn east toward Continental. Turn right on Whitehouse Cyn. Rd, following it until it eventually turns into Madera Canyon Road. Parking is plentiful at and below the trailhead, which is at the end of the road.
There are several springs at different locations, including Bog Spring, Sprung Spring, Kent Spring, Armour Spring, Baldy Spring, McBeth Spring and Bellows Spring. Nonetheless, take plenty of water and be aware of wildlife. It is a prime birding area and black bears are common. Two miles into the hike is a saddle which offers an easy dayhike with dramatic views of this peak. It features a Boy Scout Memorial dedicated and maintained for three scouts who died in a storm on Mt. Wrightson November 15, 1958. According to the sign, the plaque was erected by Boy Scout Troop 249 in remembrance of David Greenberg (age 12), Mike Early (age 16), and Michael J. Lanoue (age 13).
The final approach to the summit is north facing and may be impassable without special equipment during the winter due to ice.
The "Florida Fire" in 2005 burned a large expanse of the forest in this area, affecting much of this hike, especially the section between the Walker Basin trail and the Super Trail.
- "Baldy 2". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Mount Wrightson, Arizona". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Mt. Wrightson Wilderness". Coronado National Forest. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- Shearer, Dan (April 7, 2012). "'Mt. Baldy' surrenders its secret at last". AZStarNet.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Mt. Wrightson from Madera Canyon". Sierra Club Tucson Trail Guide. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mount Wrightson.|
- "Mount Wrightson". SummitPost.org.