Baby Jesus ridge Trail Hike - part 3
This is one of the less demanding hikes in the Santa Catalina mountains. There are only a handful of other hikes that are easier or less accessible. This trail is located north of Catalina state park off east Golder Ranch drive. This was a one way hike. We parked at the East Golder Ranch drive 50 year trail trailhead. One of the problems with this trail is that there are a lot of cows that are grazed in that area, and there are an number of horse and cow trails that intersect the Baby Jesus trail, and make trail finding more difficult. GPS helps on this trail, and pictures from google maps help some.
We found some information about this trail on hikearizona.com, It's the Arizona trails website, and it's a great resource for people who are looking for a hiking trail, especially near Tucson, Az.
hikearizona.com often provides lots of very useful information, including distance, elevation, AEG, elevation gain, average duration time of hike, pictures along the trail and a write up of what to expect.
The main idea of hiking always is to get fresh air, good exercise and interesting pictures, and that constitutes a good experience and is good for my health, and is a pleasant pastime.
The section of trail that overlaps the Sutherland trail is very rocky and rugged, and slows down the hiking on that mile long or so section. The weather on that day was absolutely perfect. Cloudy most of the day, and about 60F at the upper elevations. There was a nice breeze, and the canyon wall shielded us from the morning sun for the short periods when the sun did come out from behind the clouds. I brought along 3 liters, and it was about the perfect amount. This trail is very exposed, so in the summer when it's hot, take extreme measures in terms of protection from the sun's heating effects.
The hiking in Arizona in the fall and winter and spring. Only risk in winter is that you can have rainstorms, which translate to snowstorms in the mountains from December- March. Ice and snow on steep trails is the enemy of the mountain hiker, fortunately this trail has few really steep sections, and what there is isn't very long. Hiking poles and crampons are useful in dealing with snow and ice. All of the hike was below about 4,000 feet, so generally speaking, it's very rare to see snow or ice on this trail.
On the day when we hiked the Baby Jesus ridge trail, we got a start on hiking at about 8:00AM. The hike gains about 1,300 feet going up the south end of this ridge trail and then loses it all going down on the north end over the total of about 10 miles, and that makes for a full day hike if not a long day hike at about 6 or 7 hours duration. There were some good panoramas looking up at Samaniego ridge and further south.
One should also bring a headlamp in case one has delays or loses the trail, during the day on the trail, so that one can make ones way in the dark along the trail to ones destination safely without staying the night out on the trail in the dark, or attempting to walk along steep trails without falling over a cliff to ones' death or injury. Although there isn't very much steep sections of trail, in the dark in cactus covered areas, such as this, there is plenty of risk without a light to see where one is walking.
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Last Update: March 12, 2016
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