Bellota Trail – Part of Passage 10

  • Distance – Out and Back – 11.72 miles / 18.862 kilometers
  • Elevation Gain – 2,175 feet / 662.94 meters
  • Elevation Loss – 2,346 feet / 715.06 meters
  • Average Temperature – 73.9° F / 23.278° C
  • Total Mileage – 23.6 miles / 37.977 kilometers

DSCN0431_169We walked this section of the AZT in reverse order starting from the Molino Basin heading down toward the Bellota Ranch.

For the first mile the trail switch-backed very steeply up until reaching the saddle.  Then naturally there was a wonderful steep descent to the valley below. At that point our intention was to call a taxi once we got to Redington Road, to shuttle us back to the Molino Basin trailhead. Redington Road was marked as being 6 miles from the beginning of the trailhead.DSCN0466_204

DSCN0475_213We walked leisurely taking pictures of flowers and the glorious vistas. At one point I spotted a large Gila Monster on the trail. I pointed it out to Lova and called back to Sue to hurry up to see the Gila Monster. Sue came running past us directly towards the giant poisonous lizard. The lizard quickly turned to his side hissed at Sue and slithered off under a bush just off the trail. Sue was determined to get a picture of the beast and so followed him through the desert until she was photographically satisfied.


We continued to walk, the sky was getting darker and we could see rain moving in over the Santa Catalina Mountains. We were hiking in the Redington Pass at this point. After my Garmin registered 6 miles (and I had not started using the device until we were already on trail for at least .25 mile) we still could not see Redington Road.


Our conversation now turned to should we turn around and go back? What if we didn’t have cell phone reception once we reach Redington Road? What if a taxi would not come out to get us?

We decided to turn around and head back to the trailhead and my car. The climb back up to the saddle was brutal, but we made it unscathed. Then we had the extremely steep switch-backs to navigate.DSCN0417

When we reached the parking lot, the trail marker sign said Bellota Ranch Road not Redington Road was 6.4 miles. We had walked 6.25 miles and then turned around!

We got into the car, and drove back off the mountain. Sue went home to a hot bath and Lova and I went to our favorite Japanese Restaurant for a Sapporo and some vegetable yaki soba.

20 responses to “Bellota Trail – Part of Passage 10

  1. Love, love, love..good story.



    • Hey WWW (Wild Wilderness Woman) – yes it sure is love, love, love – I’m so happy to be able to share this adventure with you and Sue.
      Your friend, another WWW Arlène


  2. This is so cool. I’m envious of you. Love reading the blogs. What an adventure.


    • Nancy,
      Great to hear from you. Yes, it surely is cool! Hiking in this State has so much to offer, and I believe the AZT holds lots more adventure in store for us!


  3. Fantastic Arlene. You must be do fit!


    • Hi Donna,
      Fabulous to hear from you, how is it going?
      Walking this fabulous trail is so awe inspiring! Yes lots of climbing and so far most of it is on very rocky terrain. At first walking a thin single track on the side of a mountain with nothing below but a ravine was incredibly frightening, but now not so bad, guess I am getting used to it. Fit? Do we ever consider ourselves fit?


      • That’s really great. I’m quite envious. I’ve had glandular fever now for six months. I’m living vicariously through all of your blogs.
        Keep up the blogging. I love reading your blog and looking at your fabulous photos.


      • Hi Donna,
        So sorry to hear you are not feeling well, and for so long now. Hopefully you will feel better soon.
        Thanks for following my adventures – this AZT has really got me jazzed and to be lucky enough to find that a friend is equally jazzed puts me over the top. Stay tuned for more about the trail.
        As you may know, I will be leading a tour on the Camino Portugués beginning May 24th, so the blog will turn from the AZT to the Camino during that time. If you like you can check out the tour webpage/blog at
        Take care and feel better,


      • I have been following your Camino prep. I’m looking forward to hearing all of your adventures. I love the GPS map you have of it. Considering I got lost pretty much every day that would have been very useful. Happy training.


      • I’ve the coordinates in a GPX file which you could download into OSMand+ or MotionX-GPS. Great apps for helping us stay on course. If you ever might want a trail I have, just ask I’ll be happy to share.

        I used the GPX files on my Camino Inglés and Costa da Morte last year, saved me from making a few wrong turns. I’ve just obtained the GPS coordinates for the Arizona Trail and not only have them downloaded to the Smartphone but also to my Garmin fenix3 watch – it’s real easy to get off trail on the AZT as there are many mountain biking trails that intersect and the AZT is not signed very well.


      • Oh Arlene I’d love the Portuguese one just for memories. If you don’t mind of course.

        If you buy the app can you download tracks that other people have put up? So I could download Australian tracks?


      • Donna,
        Send me an email ( We can chat about this off-line.


  4. Arlene,
    Nice hike and photos. You are going to ready to take on the Portuguese Route next month.


    • Hey Karl,
      Yes, the hike was fabo! As you know, I am always ready for a return to the Camino, can’t help it – I was bitten the first time I went and now it seems I must go back at least once a year. But you know very well of what I am speaking, you are training for your return and to conquer the Via la Plata this June. I’m anxious to hear how cycling that route goes.
      ¡Buen Camino!


  5. Maybe. But I think in terms of Flagstaff country and that is more like Wyoming.


    • Hmm, never been to Wyoming, so that is something I will take notice of and put in my blog posts once there. Maybe Wyoming is like upstate NY, time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

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