Quilter's Trail

December 16, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

We took this hike on a Sunday in mid-December, leaving our car a little after 10:30, on a day where the temps topped out at 56 degrees...and it was a bit breezy, to boot.  But the clouds here and there and the cool temps were fine since we kept a good pace.  This is very exposed hike in the Rincons, south of Saguaro National Park-East, which meanders down an old cattle ranch trail, for the first 2.3 miles.  That is Hope Camp trail, which continues on but if you take a sharp left onto Quilter's you begin a lazy ascent into the foothills of the Rincons, eventually leading to intersection with Manning Camp Trail, 4.8 miles farther on.  We made it to within about a mile of the Manning Camp trail.  Quilter's a is a narrow little footpath that undulates and takes a few turns here and there, but is generally fairly flat.  You are hiking within a large stand of very healthy, towering saguaro cactus and quite of bit of rock, probably limestone, with a smattering of the usual dessert plants such as cholla, prickly pear and barrel cactus.  After about a mile and half, you come to a drainage in which there is usually water, framed by a lot of flat rock.  At that point the trail begins to climb, by switchback, fairly steeply.  In this section the saguaros thin out and the ocotillo become quite thick.  Just before reaching the drainage we encountered the trail steward, who was there to do a bit of trail work and had his shovel and hard hat.  He said he had come in on Ranch X road and gave us a lot of information about the trail further on, most of which I couldn't readily remember, not being very familiar with the area or the Rincons.  We passed him by and went up the switchbacks and just at the top (we had now hiked close to 6 miles) the trail flattened out and came to very pretty canyon, then dipped down into another rocky drainage.  Lovely views from up there, and we could see Rincon peak in the distance with its snow-covered top.  We stopped at that point but on the way back down chatted with the Steward again, who said where we stopped was about a mile from Manning Camp trail, and that we had, at the section where we turned around, reached another long stretch of flat trail.  I wish we could have gone all the way . . . but we had gotten a late start and wanted to head back.  The hike back was uneventful, aside from my sore feet.  We made it back to the car just before 2:30.  We estimated we hiked somewhere between 11 and 12 miles. This hike is highly rated for the solitude, saguaro, and great views.  Running into someone who knew the trail well was also a plus.

 

 

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April May June July August September October November December (3)
January (5) February (3) March (1) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December