The La Milagrosa and Agua Caliente Canyon Trail loop is an amazing tour thru a saguaro filled desert and across two unique canyons – with some luck you might even find running water, a beautiful sight in the desert!
1,450' Elevation Gain
1,450' Elevation Loss
Highest Elevation: 3,750'
Lowest Elevation: 2,800'
This hike is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.
0.6 miles, 2800′: Pass Wentworth Road and continue east around a gate [Waypoint hhr-lmg], across Molino Canyon and up a small hill.
0.8 miles, 2810′: After the trail makes a short descent look for an unsigned junction and take a left (to the east) for the La Milagrosa Trail [Waypoint lmg-acc-w]. (The Agua Caliente Canyon Trail continues to the right to, and across, the Agua Caliente Wash.)
The trail climbs onto the north ridge of La Milagrosa Canyon.
1.2 miles, 3110′: The trail passes a fallen gate and fence [Waypoint lmg01].
At about 1.3 miles – just before the trail turns north and descends to the bottom of La Milagrosa Canyon – an obvious side-trail takes you to an overlook with views of a deep section of canyon that often holds a large pool of water.
1.5 miles, 3130′: Cross La Milagrosa Canyon at a lovely rocky area – when there is water this is a great place for a break. [Waypoint lmg02]
After crossing La Milagrosa Canyon the trail climbs to the top of the ridge between Agua Caliente and La Milagrosa Canyons.
2.4 miles, 3590′: At an unsigned junction stay right to leave the La Milagrosa Canyon Trail and continue down into Agua Caliente Canyon [Waypoint lmg-acc-e] – pass a gate at approximately 2.5 miles [Waypoint acc06].
2.8 miles, 3420′: Enter Agua Caliente Canyon [Waypoint acc05] – the trail along the canyon bottom can be indistinct and it is possible to walk directly down the canyon without too much difficulty (wet feet and slippery rocks are both possible…) – either way the important detail is to find the trail leaving the canyon at [Waypoint acc04] (3.0 miles, 3400′).
3.6 miles, 3730′: The trail reaches an unsigned junction with Forest Road 4445 [Waypoint acc-fr4445] – take the right hand trail to continue the loop. (Forest Road 4445 – to the left – continues up the hill to the ridge and connects to the Agua Caliente Hill Trail.)
4.8 miles, 3150′: Go thru a gate on the ridge [Waypoint acc03]
4.9 miles, 3070′: Turn north [Waypoint acc02] (avoiding another trail that continues along the ridge) and descend down the hillside towards the canyon.
5.2 miles, 2860′: Stay right at a gate [Waypoint acc01], cross Agua Caliente Wash and continue back to the junction with the La Milagrosa Trail at 5.3 miles, 2810′ [Waypoint lmg-acc-w]. Take a left and continue across Molino Canyon, back to Horsehead Road and out to the Avenida de Suzenu Trailhead. 6.1 miles, 1450′.
Left: A Butterfly in Agua Caliente Canyon. December 2014. Right: Red Spotted Toad near Molino Canyon. February 2015.
Saguaros on the Agua Caliente Canyon Trail with False Hope Hill in background. February 2015.