Agua Caliente Hill

I decided to lump this hike in with the Rincons because the trailhead is closer to those trailheads than the Catalinas.  This trail is a good alternative to the Douglas Spring area since it is less abused by horse traffic and has a surprisingly wild feel considering the ranching history and proximity to Tucson.  The exception is the area immediately around the cattle tank which is the low point and oddly probably the most popular turn around point on the trail.  The term "hill" is inadequate for this peak and slightly offensive.

January 14, 2007
This was a hike up with Kathryn and Zoey.  It was kind of chilly and breezy but I was surprised when the outside of Zoey's fabric waterbowl froze from evaporative cooling.


View from the saddle which is another popular turn around point.  The south face is covered in Saguaro at their upper altitude limit while the north face and higher slopes are covered in open oak grassland that is far more tolerant of the cold.  This is a common occurence on foothill ridges of mountains in the area, though this one seems particularly dramatic when hiking up the slope.  The peak is out of view from here and seems closer than it really ends up being.


The gentle grassy ridge that leads to the final steep section of trail which runs straight up to the summit at right, that section is not a particularly well designed trail. 


View from west to east encompasing the Catalinas.  Tucson is at the foot of Pusch Ridge on the left and Mt Lemmon and Mt Bigelow form the snow capped ridge crest of the Catalinas.  Redington Pass lies below on the right with the San Pedro Valley beyond, the Galiuros are on the other side of the valley.  The bright white snow covered top of the Pinalenos is poking up behind the Galiuros, but barely discernable through the distant haze.


The view on the other side of the summit from east to southwest.  The Pinalenos, Galiuros, and Redington Pass are on the left.  On the right, Mica Mountain, Tanque Verde Peak, and Rincon Peak (barely visible above Cowhead Saddle) are the three main peaks of the Rincons.  Redington Road can also be seen on the right winding its way up towards the pass.


February 1, 2009
This time I hiked with Michael and Newt, who received lots of attention from other hikers, Newt not Michael.


View from the summit over Redington Pass all the way to the Dos Cabezas Mountains on the horizon.


View straight across to the north slope of Mica Mountain with Spud Rock identifiable as the small nub immediately right of the summit and Helens Dome is larger and farther to the right.  Its difficult to distinguish unless you know what to look for, but the rock ledge that Chiva Falls spills over is visible left of center.


Some Chihuahua Ravens circled noisily overhead, steadily gaining altitude as they rode the thermals.  These are usually easily distinguished from Common Ravens because of their social habit of staying in groups.