Oracle Ridge, Catalina Camp, Red Ridge Loop – 9/12/2014

1409 Running Down the Oracle Ridge Trail
Running down the Oracle Ridge Trail – massive views, green and flowers! Photo by Korey Konga. September 2014.

When discussing where to go hiking with a visitor to Tucson you can count on the Marshall Gulch Trail and the Aspen Trail getting mentioned in some loop/combination/variation – and certainly there can be NO argument about these being sublime and incredible trails.

But as lovely as those trails are the loop that – for me – has come to best represents the spirit of the Santa Catalina Mountains is the Oracle Ridge – Catalina Camp – Red Ridge loop. This loop has astounding views, steep descents, cows, mines, water, washed out two-track, a bit of pavement, the Arizona Trail, flowers, steep climbing, more steep climbing, bones, big trees, burned areas, One Park Place and even an occasional cactus…

1409 Oracle Ridge Trail two track covered in Flowers
Taking a picture break on Oracle Ridge – flowers covering the old road. September 2014.

The harshness, history and beauty of this loop may be without parallel in the range – 9 miles, 2550′ of elevation gain/loss – with the great company of Korey Konga!

1409 An old mine near the Catalina Camp Trail
Korey checking out a mine not too far from the Catalina Camp Trail. September 2014.

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