Arizona Trail Passage 10 hike, Arizona - November 22, 2014

Added 27 November 2016

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Arizona Trail Passage 10: Redington Pass - Italian Trap (Redington Road) to Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead

Trail sign on Arizona Trail Passage 10. It's a sign.  It's Arizona.  Someone must shoot it. The crew hikes the rolling hills at the beginning of Passage 10 Jerry, Andrea, Shaun, Raquel and I hiked Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail today. We dropped Jerry's truck off at Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead then drove in Shaun's truck to the beginning. Since Jerry, Andrea and I had hiked the first 2.4 miles of the passage when we tacked it onto the end of our Passage 9 backpack last month, we started this trip from Redington Road instead of the true passage start at Italian Trap.

The passage begins in low rolling grasslands that eventually turns into steeper terrain that is still basically a grassland. There were quite a few birds around, so I dropped to the back of the pack as I struggled, with limited success, to get good looks at birds before the ducked into cover or flew away. After about an hour of that, I caught up with the group and basically stayed close to everyone for the rest of the day.

The crew hikes the rolling hills at the beginning of Passage 10. View of the surrounding area. Cheetah cresting a hill on Passage 10.

Hiking past interesting granite boulders. The wagon train rolls on across the grassland. Making progress . . .

A cattle tank on Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail.  Glad we didn't have to filter that and drink it! Jerry and Shaun hiking up a wash. The terrain got rockier as we climbed higher.

We stopped for lunch just before dropping in to the Agua Caliente Drainage. When we got to the Agua Caliente drainage at mile 8.8 of the passage, I was surprised to find a bit of water flowing in the creek. There were other unexpected water sources on the passage as well. I suppose they helped support the feral mule we spotted about a half an hour later. I hadn't realized that there were any feral mules in the area. This one looked at us warily as we passed, as if it expected us to try to catch it and ride it home. Not long after that, we encountered some more water, showing once again that there's more water in Arizona than is at first apparent. Not long after that we got to a large developed water source consisting of a large metal water tank. We took a small break there before continuing on.

Shaun, Jerry, Raquel and Cheetah hike through the hills of Passage 10. Onward and upward. There was a little bit of water in the upper Agua Caliente drainage.

Upper Agua Caliente Creek. This feral mule tried to hide behind this tree as we passed.  'Nothing to see here.  No mule, just a tree . . .' More water on Passage 10.

This Saguaro Cactus looks like a broken finger. A Red-winged Grasshopper (Arphia pseudonietana) on Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail. A Rock Squirrel (Spermophilus variegatus) on Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail.

A House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) on Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail. A large water holding tank on Passage 10. xxThe water source for the metal tank.x

An Ivyleaf Morning-glory (Ipomoea hederacea) (I think) on Passage 10 of the Arizona Trail. The crew practices their Queen of England waves. Layers of hills march off in the distance.

We continued on to the flanks of the Santa Catalina Mountains where the terrain got steadily taller and steeper. There were grasshoppers everywhere, and one Horse Lubber (Taeniopoda eques) was particularly photogenic. It let me pick it up and then posed nicely for pictures. Call me the Horse Lubber Whisperer.

This huge Horse Lubber (Taeniopoda eques) was very cooperative. The crew on the lower slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains. A very rocky ridge along Arizona Trail Passage 10.

Up into oak elevations now. Looking back toward the Rincon Mountains. A blocky knob near the end of Arizona Trail Passage 10.

At around three o'clock we reached the high point (barely) of the passage at a saddle above Molino Basin. We paused there for a snack then descended into Molino Basin. The descent lead to a climb out to Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead and the end of AZT Passage 10. The caboose of the train arrived at around five o'clock, at which time we enjoyed our post passage libations and went back to retrieve Shaun's truck at Redington Road.

We hiked 13.3 miles today.

Cheetah and Raquel descending into Molino Basin. Cheetah descending into Molino Basin. Passage 10 near Catalina Highway.

Trail sign near Catalina Highway. Cheetah (with Siyeh) and Jerry (with Kintla) finish Arizona Trail Passage 10 with a smile. Brian, Shaun, Raquel, Andrea (Cheetah) and Jerry enjoy a post passage libation while Siyeh and Kintla watch a squirrel.