Armour Spring Trail #71
The Crest Trail stretches between Florida Saddle at the head of Florida Canyon and the 9,453-foot summit of Mt. Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas and one of the highest in southeastern Arizona. Views are immense from this skywalking trail along the high, rocky backbone of the Santa Rita Range. From the high-flying perspective offered by numerous overlooks along this trail, the landmarks that stretch out at your feet include Baboquivari Peak, the sacred mountain of the Tohono O’Odham to the west, the Santa Catalina and Rincon ranges to the north, and the Huachucas, Mustangs and Whetstones to the east. To the south you can see well into Mexico. In spite of those majestic views, the Crest Trail is rather infrequently used for most of its length. The exception to this is the last mile or so in the vicinity of Baldy Saddle and the summit of Mt. Wrightson. South of the saddle, the Crest Trail connects the Old Baldy Trail #372 and the Super Trail #134 to the summit of Mt. Wrightson, referred to as Old Baldy by some. North of Baldy Saddle, the Crest Trail wanders along slightly below and to the east of the actual crest while a number of spur trails branch off to the west to take advantage of overlooks and scale the secondary peaks that make up the crest ridge. One spur trail that veers off near the top of Florida Saddle is the Armour Spring Trail. This short, lightly traveled path leads through a stand of large Douglas-fir to a seep at the base of a cliff. This spot marks a jumping-off point for a bushwhack route to the top of McCleary Peak, the 8,367-foot summit that marks the northern limit of the Santa Rita Crest.
At a Glance
|Restrictions:||Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.|
|Operated By:||Nogales Ranger District|
These trails have backcountry access only. The best access to the Crest Trail is via the Florida Canyon Trail #145. Leave Interstate 19 at the Continental Exit/Madera Canyon Road. Turn east and follow the Madera Canyon road about 7.3 miles to the FR 62 cutoff, then immediately bear right onto FR 62A about 3.6 miles. The Florida Canyon trailhead is on the left just outside the entrance to the Florida Work Center. Travel the Florida Canyon Trail 4.6 miles to the Crest Trail. Access is also available via the Old Baldy Trail #372 and the Super Trail #134.
Day HikingGreat views every step of the way, Access to top of Mt. Wrightson, Access to several other peaks, Douglas-fir stands/alpine forest. 3.2 miles of the Crest Trail and all of the Armour Spring Trail are within the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness. USGS Map(s): Mt. Wrightson
|Elevation desc||7,810 - 9, 453 feet|
|Difficulty Level:||More Difficult|