Douglas Spring Trail

April 3-4, 2010

I enjoyed last week's hike to Bridal Wreath Falls so much that Dennis and I returned Easter weekend to continue above the falls to Douglas Spring.

If you're considering this hike, there are four things you should know:

  1. You need a permit to camp in the Saguaro Wilderness area.
  2. The official trail distance of 5.9 miles is certainly off by at least a mile.
  3. From a distance, the Rincons look like one long ridge you could scramble up in a couple of hours, but you don't see all the hills, valleys, high plateaus and miles of hiking between you and that elusive summit.
  4. Most Rincon water sources are unreliable — except of course in the well-watered Spring of 2010.

And of course, that's why we're here!

It took us five hours to reach the campground, but the unusual views of the east side of the Catalinas and sunny slopes festooned with blue phacelia, fairy duster, tackstem, fleabane, blackfoot daisies, fiddleneck, brittlebush, apricot mallow, Mexican poppies, desert verbena, Arizona lupine, wild hyacinth and penstemon helped us keep on trudging.

While cars overflow the Douglas Spring trailhead parking lot and spill onto the shoulders at the end of Speedway every day of the week, we only encountered four other hikers above Bridal Wreath Falls, and there was only one other camper at Douglas Spring.