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Rincon Peak

Very Difficult

Trail

14.4 mile 23.2 kilometer out and back
73% Runnable
Very Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,288' 1,307 m
Descent: -4,288' -1,307 m
High: 8,376' 2,553 m
Low: 4,214' 1,284 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 58% (30°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Chris McD

Long, tough, rewarding route to Rincon Peak offering great views of southern Arizona.

Chris McD

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Pedestrians only (no dogs, horses, mountain bikes) allowed on the trail.

Overview

Rincon Peak is similar to Mt. Wrightson in the Santa Rita Mountains. Both are prominent peaks easily seen from Tucson. Both routes are long and strenuous, and both offer spectacular views across southern Arizona.

Need to Know

The last 1/2 mile up to Rincon Peak is very steep.

Description

Exit I-10 at Mescal Road (Exit 297). Head north on Mescal Road which eventually becomes FR35. A high clearance vehicle is necessary. Begin your outing at the Miller Creek trailhead.

The Miller Creek Trail heads in a westerly direction from the trailhead. After about a mile, the trail enters Saguaro National Park East. After approximately four miles, the Miller Creek Trail intersects the Rincon Peak trail. Please beware that the Rincon Peak trail and Heartbreak Ridge tail overlap for a little bit. Signage usually shows Miller Creek trail connecting with Rincon Peak trail, but information could exist showing the Miller Creek trail leading to the Heartbreak Ridge trail for a short distance then Rincon Peak trail. The Rincon Peak Trail is an "in and out" trail to Rincon Peak. The round trip mileage from the Miller Creek trailhead to Rincon Peak and back is 16.2 miles.

An option to break up the route would be to take the Miller Creek trail to the Happy Valley Campground, set up camp and take a lighter pack to Rincon Peak, heading back to Happy Valley Campground to spend the night. Visitors could then return to the trailhead the next day. Please remember camping is only allowed in designated areas within Saguaro National Park. One must have a permit to camp anywhere in Saguaro NPS.

Just to be safe, plan on carrying all your water. There might be water in various places along the trail, but no guarantee.

Flora & Fauna

Visitors pass through several transition zones on the way to Rincon Peak.

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Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 8 votes

#759

Overall
  4.8 from 8 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
25%
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0%
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Run Rankings

#38

in Arizona

#759

Overall
223 Views Last Month
6,056 Since Apr 12, 2016
Very Difficult

0%
0%
43%
57%

Photos

December is  fine time to hike Rincon Peak.
Jan 2, 2020 near Mescal, AZ
Looking at Rincon Peak from the start of the trail, near Happy Valley Campground.
Jan 20, 2016 near Mescal, AZ
The rocky summit of Rincon Peak rises out of ponderosa pine forests.
Jul 28, 2016 near Mescal, AZ
Sweeping views from Rincon Peak make for a great place to watch clouds.
Jul 28, 2016 near Mescal, AZ
Looking east over Happy Valley with Little Rincons in the distance.
May 17, 2016 near Mescal, AZ
View looking east across Happy Valley with Galiuro Mountains and Pinaleno Mountains in the distance.
May 17, 2016 near Mescal, AZ

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