This pleasant trail leads from Bog Springs Campground to a cool, grassy area of seeps and springs tucked away in a small canyon on the slopes of Mt. Wrightson. From the trailhead near the parking lot at the rear of Bog Springs Campground, the trail climbs steadily, following first one shallow drainage and then another as it winds its way through a forest of silverleaf oaks. Lower stretches of the trail are shaded by a stand of evergreen oaks that have grown exceptionally tall for trees which are usually sufficiently stunted by their desert surroundings to be referred to as “scrub.” Higher up the mountain the trail drops into Dutch John Canyon, where it continues its climb to a pleasantly moist area marked by a busted-out old spring catchment. White-barked sycamores and grizzled alligator junipers shelter these upper portions of the trail and provide homes and travelways to the diverse collection of songbirds for which the Santa Ritas are famous. Coues white-tailed deer are also frequently seen in the area, as is an occasional black bear. If those members of the local wildlife community aren’t cooperating, you can always catch a good view of Mt. Wrightson from about halfway up the trail. Some guide books list Dutch John Spring as the destination for this trail; however, a spring marked Dutch John is located just off the trail at about the halfway mark. At this point it’s obvious that the trail continues up-mountain to a second spring where you’ll find a good spot to have lunch and enjoy the lush surroundings.
At a Glance
Motorized and mechanical vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.
Purification of water is recommended prior to use.
Nogales Ranger District
Directions: Leave Interstate 19 at the Continental Road/Madera Canyon Exit. Turn east and follow the signs 12.5 miles to Bog Springs Campground in Madera Canyon Recreation Area. Turn left into the campground and drive about 0.5 mile to the trailhead.
Close to campground, pleasant and easy, cool wooded setting, many bird species, riparian habitat . One mile of this trail is within the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness.Water is available at Dutch John Spring. USGS Map(s): Mt. Wrightson