There is still time to head to the top of Mt. Wrightson in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson before temperatures get too hot. While the top of this range is over 9400 feet, the lower parts of the trail can get a bit toasty, especially on the way down. This is prime time to start out at dawn, and listen to the forest wake up as you head to the summit. The spectacular views from the top make this hike one of the best in southern Arizona.
There are a number of routes to the top, depending on which you prefer: Lack of steepness or shorter distance. The Old Baldy Trail is steeper, but the hike is 10.2 miles round-trip as opposed to the Super Trail, which is less steep but twice the distance. Either way, there is an elevation gain of about 4000 feet. This is not a hike for the inexperienced or beginner.
It pays to allow plenty of time for hiking, resting, and taking in the breathtaking views. Take plenty of water and food, even if you think you won’t be gone long. Be aware that bear, mountain lions and bobcats all live in these mountains.
To access the trail, take Interstate 19 to the Madera Canyon exit. Follow the signs to Madera Canyon Road. Both trailheads are located at the very end of the road.