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This is a little-used trail that offers access to the more remote southeastern slopes and foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains. It climbs out of cool, green Walker Basin to a junction with the Gardner Trail about a quarter of the distance between that trail's inception and its intersection with the Super Trail high on the slopes of Mt. Wrightson. Along the way, the Walker Basin Trail offers views off to the east down Big Casa Blanca Canyon and west to the summits of Mt. Josephine and Mt. Wrightson. Part of the Trail in this area follows an old ditch, so the walkway is about as level as you will find.

Hikers and people on horseback use the Walker Basin Trail to provide alternate access into Gardner Canyon. It is also used as part of a couple of long and interesting trail loops. One of those loops starts out on the Walker Basin Trail, then follows portions of the Gardner Trail and the Super Trail to get to Josephine Saddle. It then follows the Temporal Gulch Trail and the road between the Temporal Gulch and Walker Basin Trailheads back to the starting point. For an extremely long day hike, or even a two or three day backpack, you might consider a route up and out of Madera Canyon via the Old Baldy Trail and the loop described above. Another interesting loop that tours several old water developments used when this area was heavily mined incorporates the Walker Basin Trail, Forest Road 785, the Chinaman Trail, and part of Big Casa Blanca Canyon.

1.6 miles of this trail are within the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness. Mechanized vehicles, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness areas.

Directions: From Patagonia, Drive north out of Patagonia on 1st Avenue 2.5 miles to the National Forest boundary. At this point, the road becomes Forest Road 72. Continue for 4 or 5 miles, depending on the condition of the road. Usually this route is passable by passenger cars to the Forest Road 72/Forest Road 72A junction. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended from the Forest Road 72/Forest Road 72A junction to the trailhead at the end of the road.

Elevation: 5,720 feet

Ending Elevation: 6,920 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet

Distance: 2.6 miles

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Coronado National Forest, Arizona

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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