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Author Topic: Madera Canyon
Carl &-
Posts: 11
Post Madera Canyon
on: September 18, 2016, 13:22

Just an FYI for all you Tucson area peeps: Kathy and I just spent a wonderful weekend at Bog Springs Campground in Madera Canyon, south of Tucson.

The campground is only about 48 miles from our house, but at 5200' elevation, was much cooler, especially at night. It is a small campground with only about 13 spaces. It is dry camping only with drinking water at the sites, and a pit toilet. The info on the Forest Service page says it is limited 22' RVs, but there are actually several sites that could easily handle a big rig. The best sites for a motorhome would be site 7 and 12 (we stayed in 12 and with our air bags fully inflated were only a few degrees off level) with 5 and 6 being nice level sites as well. 5 and 6 are adjacent to the restroom, so might not be as desirable. Several other sites would work, but are pretty heavily sloped.

We took Thursday afternoon and Friday off and arrived down there Thursday afternoon. There were plenty of spaces open, with space 12 being ideal for us. The camping fee is only $10.00 per night, but there is an additional $5.00 day use fee if you want to park at one of the trail heads or use any other facilities. The camp host said the busiest time of year is Spring, but most months besides March and April are pretty open. They were full both Friday and Saturday nights while we were there.

There are a lot of hiking opportunities in the Santa Rita Mountains with several trails in the Madera Canyon area. We did a 7 mile hike to Josephine Saddle up the Old Baldy Trail and back down the Super Trail, with a guided detour down an alternate trail along a very nice running stream. Our "guide" was a gentleman from Green Valley named Jerry, who knew the area like the back of his hand and was looking for someone to hike with.

That night, we drove to Desert Diamond Casino and had a great dinner at the Agave Restaurant.

Saturday morning we did a short hike to Dutch John Spring, right from the campground. This was a 1 mile hike through a very nice Oak woodland to another running drainage. Although short, it was a serious climb (about 1000' in a mile) and was all we could do after the 7 mile hike the day before.

Anyway, it is a great place for a quick weekend getaway to a beautiful area with nice cool temperatures. Highly recommended.

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