Hike on Agua Caliente Hill Trail
Why they call Agua Caliente "hill" a hill is beyond me. The "hill" is more than a couple thousand feet above tucson, and is taller than parts of the Catalinas that are adjacent to Agua Caliente. The trail is more than 9 miles round trip, and it's about 3,000 feet accumulated elevation gain, which is plenty.
It was a beautiful day when pearl and I hiked on this trail. The temperature was in the mid 70's and with a light breeze blowing and it was a beautiful partly cloudy day. The whole trail gains over a thousand feet, so we stopped several times to catch our breath. The end of the trail is about 5000 feet elevation, which is about 2500 feet higher than where we're staying in Tucson which didn't help us catch our breath. We reached the end of the trail at about 3:30PM, because we started late in the morning. We arrived back at the trailhead at about 6:30PM, 7 hours after we started the hike. Fortunately I brought my flashlight, because it was pitch black night during the last mile of going back down the trail much to my wifes dismay, for causing her to wait at the trailhead for an hour-ish.
The main idea is to get fresh air, good exercise that is a good experience and is good for me, and is a pleasant pastime. In Arizona in the winter most years, the temperatures are quite pleasant for outside exercise, including hiking, walks, bicycling, backpacking, etc.
The trail is a dirt trail mostly, but it was rock and sand part of the way. Mostly it was not steep, but there was the first mile where it was steep. Also the last half mile was a bit steep as well. The scenery was "high desert" and rocky, and quite beautiful in it's own way. The scenery was best about 75% up the mountain. Up at the top, the view as anti-climatic for some unknown reason. Not sure why.
I took a sandwiche when we went on the hike. Pearl and I ate half of a sandwich about half way up the trail to raise our blood sugar without having to exercise on a full stomach, and then we ate the other half when we reached the top of the mountain. If you take this hike, don't forget to bring plenty of water, because the high desert is dry and you'll need at least 80 ounces of water, and probably more per person.
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Last Update: January 8, 2015
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