Tag Archives: the AZT

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.

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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.

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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.