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Middlegate Trail

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One way

2.7 miles

4.3 km

Difficulty

Intermediate

Elevation gain

377 ft

115 m

Highest point

3,508 ft

1,069 m

Avg grade

5% (3°)

Elevation loss

-327 ft

-100 m

Max grade

20% (11°)

Elevation loss

-327 ft

-100 m

Avg grade

5% (3°)

Lowest point

3,184 ft

970 m


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Golder Ranch, AZ

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Shared by Stephen Woodall

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Overview

This interesting singletrack trail is accessed off of the 50-Year Trail and heads out further to the east before looping back to the 50-Year Trail further to the north. The route does provide for moderate technical hiking as it hops over large boulders, through narrow chutes, and along the ever present rocky Tucson footing.

When starting from the Golder Ranch parking area, follow the 50-Year Trail for just about 1.5 miles and then turn right down the second dirt road crossed near that mileage. Not far past a cattleguard, you'll hop right back onto the singletrack and immediately drop down for a bit until you cross a wash. Once over the wash, the trail ascends a pretty moderate hill for about the next mile. It's a pretty good climbing section that's all manageable but does have some larger leaps up onto rocks. Once topping...
This interesting singletrack trail is accessed off of the 50-Year Trail and heads out further to the east before looping back to the 50-Year Trail further to the north. The route does provide for moderate technical hiking as it hops over large boulders, through narrow chutes, and along the ever present rocky Tucson footing.

When starting from the Golder Ranch parking area, follow the 50-Year Trail for just about 1.5 miles and then turn right down the second dirt road crossed near that mileage. Not far past a cattleguard, you'll hop right back onto the singletrack and immediately drop down for a bit until you cross a wash. Once over the wash, the trail ascends a pretty moderate hill for about the next mile. It's a pretty good climbing section that's all manageable but does have some larger leaps up onto rocks. Once topping out, you'll have some great views of rock formations to the east looking towards the Catalinas. At this peak elevation, you'll also see the turn off for the Cherry Tank Trail on the right which leads to the Charouleau Gap Trail too. Stay left to continue on Middlegate, and you'll begin a rolling descent down towards a low lying wash.

Prior to reaching the wash there is a turn off on the right hand side of the trail that's less technical which is used by most mountain bikers as the trail just beyond gets very narrow, steep, and has large rocks on either side in a little chute section. The gentler route is marked on the GPS points. Either route will lead you down to the wash and just across that wash is another junction to the right for the 50-Year Trail. Again, continue on the left hand path to stay on Middlegate, and you'll climb back up a ways as the terrain keeps rolling up and down. Before too much longer, you'll reach a gate which spills right out onto the 50-Year Trail very near The Chutes.

Contacts

Land Manager: USFS - Coronado National Forest Office

Shared by Stephen Woodall

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Reviews & Conditions

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3 from 2 hikers

Intermediate

Difficulty average from 3 hikers
1-3 of 3 reviews

Feb 27, 2020
Conditions: actual miles only 4.2
Rated difficulty: Intermediate

D W
Jan 20, 2020
Conditions: Dry

Tucson, AZ
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Dec 28, 2019
Conditions: Some Mud - The Sutherland wash is running with a fair amount of water. A dry crossing took some effort
Rated difficulty: Intermediate
Loop hike with 50 year trail. Lots of water in the washes and it snowed a little.

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