November 24, 2000
On Sunday Nov 24, Hill and Peterson took Chuck Wells
on a trip
up Rice Peak and then up the Mt. Lemmon Control Road. The weather
was again gorgeous -- shirt sleeves on the summit at lunch time.
The only breakage was some loose U-bolts on Chuck's rear axle.
These were fixed in Bob's garage on Sunday evening.
Chuck claims that he didn't have breakdowns until he
started running southern Arizona trails. So do we have tougher
trails than those weenies up north? Or is Chuck's Cherokee worn
December 17, 2000
This was a "big iron" trip with participants J. Hill and T. Herbst in
the K2500 Chevy and E. McCullough and B. Holbrook in the F-250. We
left Oracle and Magee at 11:13. It is always fun checking out the 1200
million year old "Barnes Conglomerate" rocks down in Peppersauce Creek
and on the summit of Rice Peak. And a dent in your truck made by a 1200
million year old rock can really give you some perspective! We had
lunch about halfway up to Rice Peak. We passed both mountain bikers
(from Steward) and horses along the way. The weather was sunny and
warm (as long as you didn't go in the shade). Some of the shady upper
parts of the trail still had an inch of snow on them from earlier in
the week. We had a great time admiring the view from the summit. It
was easy to see mountains from Comobabi to Chiricahua to Pinalenos to
Superstitions. On the way out, we followed FR4478 over to the Mt.
Lemmon Road near Peppersauce Cave. After trying 4 restaurants that
were closed or having a baby shower or a Christmas party (we didn't
look that bad), we got back to Tucson about 7PM and had a nice Mexican
dinner at Club 21 on Oracle.
Photos by Tom Herbst, 17 December 2000
Airing down in near Peppersauce Campground
John runs his 35x12.50R15 Mud Terrains at 24 psi.
Snow on the trail in the shady places along Oracle Ridge.
Barnes Conglomerate (1200 million years old) and some graffiti (1 month old) on the summit of Rice Peak.
View toward the summit of Mt. Lemmon with telescopes and ski slopes.
Looking Northwest toward Pichacho Peak.
Looking North over the Biosphere.
Looking Northeast over Mammoth and San Manuel in the San Pedro Valley.
Steep decent from the summit of Rice Peak.
One tight switchback requires backing down.
FR 4478 rejoins Mt. Lemmon Road near Peppersauce Cave.
(Photo by Bill Holbrook).
Trail Description If the weather permits (if there isn't ice
on the trail), we are going to drive up the road to Rice Peak on the
north side of the Catalinas. We go to Oracle, after going through
town turn onto the Mt. Lemmon Road and follow it up Peppersauce
Canyon. At Peppersauce Campground, turn right (leaving Mt. Lemmon
Road) and then follow the trail along Oracle Ridge to Rice Peak. The
scenery is quite nice down in Peppersauce, and the 360 degree view
from the top of Rice Peak is fantastic. The lower part of the trail
is F.R. 29, then take F.R. 29C and finally F.R. 4478 to the summit of
Rice Peak. There are several alternate routes and loops for the way
down. We'll rate this one a "3". Stock 4x4s can make it without any
vehicle damage, but there are places where those with open
differentials will be challenged, such as the steep climb to the
summit. This is a trail where a long wheelbase actually helps. It is
plenty wide for big iron from Chevrolet and Ford.
John Hill <email@example.com>
Last modified: Wed Dec 20 20:04:33 2000