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“Madera Canyon + Mnt Wrightson - great hiking/exploring”
Review of Madera Canyon

Madera Canyon
Ranked #11 of 309 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Spent an afternoon exploring this beautiful and wild area. Not quite an hour south of Tucson and you're in what feels like the middle of nowhere. Beautiful Mount Wrightson with its bald peaks, deep canyons that beg exploring along with a myriad of dirt roads that go all over the place makes for a fun way to spend the day.

As others have written - the hiking is very steep. There is very little let-up. Make sure you have plenty of food/water. The Old Baldy trail was easy going up but I found it harder going down as it was dusty/slippery so make sure you have shoes with good traction and/or poles. Some of the other trails are harder to locate but the main ones are easy - just take the Madera Canyon road all the way til you can't go any more...there is a parking lot there with bathrooms and signage.

2  Thank Britdrnva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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344 - 348 of 481 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2013

We had planned to walk on the Carrie Nation Trail, but after an initial desigation on the starting map, there was no mention of it on subsequent trails. So we never found it.
This was supposed to be the place to see the Elegant Trogan, but we didn't see it either. A few other birds (not many) however.
Not the best hike we went on in the area.

Thank rubbertgator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

No water up there, real incline. We saw tons of birds; turkey, flycatchers, tanagers, no Elegant Trogan but others have seen them there. Take water, good hiking boots, camera. Lots of illegal warning signs posted.

2  Thank JAMES H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Attended the Tucson Audubon Birding Festival and this trip was one of the options offered. Beautiful space, lots of awesome birds and different habitats.

Thank gino021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

This is a glorious hike stating from Madera Canyon which is filled with Arizona Live Oaks, Junipers,
and in this monsoon season yellow columbines that nod in the breeze.

Start the long trek very early in the day. This is an almost 15 mile round trip hike. Take at least
two gallons of water for each person. Snack on bits of nuts and dried fruit every 15-20 minutes.

The trail ascends form the lush Madera Canyon. Usage of Madera Canyon is heavy and it can be noisy there, but people are happy.

One will ascend through many climate zones. The trail will pass through Douglas Fir. The final
ascent curves around the rocky summit of Mr. Wrightson. The summit is a small flat platform
atop the rugged mountain.

Be prepared for lightening. It is crucial to begin very early in the day---at day break if possible.
By noon there can be thunderheads appearing on the horizon. Remember that lightening can
travel horizontally 10 miles! So even if the sky is a clear turquoise blue, trust your senses.
Lightening nearby can cause one to feel buzzing of tingling of the skin and scalp. Descend as
quickly as possible. Become knowledgeable about the essential skills to survive being caught
in a lightening storm. Be prepared to lower into a squat position with all weight on the forefeet for
a very long time. This diminishes the ground contact and and one can survive a nearby lightening strike.

This is a beautiful hike with a glorious vista at the summit. This is also my favorite "training hike".
Although the trail is long and sometimes rugged, there is much variety in the ecosystems through
which one ascends. The downhill hike is great for long strides.

When one arrives back to Madera Canyon, open the cooler, devour cool grapes, oranges, cheese, liquid and savor the day. Sometimes a nap is wonderful.

Be certain to keep everything in a locked trunk. Even then someone might break into a trunk.
It is best to keep everything essential in one's backpack except for the cooler of fruit and cheese
and cool water.

Madera Canyon is particularly beautiful in the autumn when the leaves turn.

For the time that I am living in Tucson, this is one of my favorite places. the drive from Tucson
is on excellent roads and about an hour at the maximum.

6  Thank Auron777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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