Douglas Springs to Cowhead Saddle
is a 9.3 miles of continuous climbing with some level and declines to an elevation of 6100'. The climb while some may consider it difficult, is truthfully only difficult in the early part of the hike. The reward of hiking up thru the saguaro forest into the forest of Sycamore and Juniper is worth the effort and the views speak for themselves.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Make sure you carry at least 4 liters of water or depending on time of year, a water filter for water that may be at Douglas Springs Campground or in pools and drainages above it.
This is the main trail leaving from the parking lot at the end of Speedway Blvd. You'll pass Garwood
& Wentworth Trail as you climb then it levels out and intersects with Carrillo Trail
. Continue on the trail... the next section has the most sustained climbing.
After gaining the top of the hill, the trail levels out. You'll travel about 1 mile to reach the saddle and trail junctions of Bridal Wreath and Ernie's Falls Trail
. Continue going straight; though rugged and undulating, there is only modest net elevation gain over the next 3+ miles to Douglas Springs campground.
The next 2.4 miles is a steady climb of switchbacks and stream bed crossings traversing through manzanita, juniper and sycamore trees to CowHead Saddle. The various native flowers and plants like Sand and Desert Verbena, Fairy Duster, Desert Aster and New Mexico Thistle never cease to amaze. The views of the Catalina Mountains, Redington Pass and over towards the San Pedro Valley as well as the Tanque Verde and Tucson Valley are exceptional.