Mount Wrightson (Removed)  LbNA # 10693 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 4 2004
CountySanta Cruz
LocationGreen Valley, AZ
Planted ByToucan    
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

***NOTE*** This box has been removed. I've been told the Wilderness Management doesn't want boxes up there. I will replant it out side of the Wilderness area and update this post then.

Mount Wrightson is one of the tallest points in Arizona and is the tallest peak in the Santa Rita Mountains. It even over looks the observatory on nearby Mount Hopkins. It was named after a Nogales mining superintendent, William Wrightson, killed by Apaches near Sonoita in the 1860s. The entire range is the result of massive thrusting and faulting that has been going on since at least the beginning of the Cenozoic era some 70 million years ago.

Starting Point:
Madera Canyon. From Highway 19 take exit 63 Continental Road. Follow the Madera Canyon Road to the end of the pavement.
There are several routes to the top. I took the Old Baldy Trail (about six hours round trip). There is also the option of taking the Super Trail which is not as steep, but a longer route. Or you can start out on the East side of the Santa Rita Mountains and go up via the Gardner Canyon Trail. I believe to reach this trail-head on the East side you need a four wheel drive with high clearance. I havenít tried either of the other routes and donít know the conditions.

Once at the summit, follow the path beyond the welcome sign. Pass a 3 by 3 foot concrete hole in the ground (an old ammo box) Ė watch your step there! Next youíll see an old stone foundation where a fire look out building use to stand. Go inside the stone structure to the far side. Youíll see two pieces of rebar sticking out of the wall. With your left hand grab the one sticking up. With your right hand measure over about 3 feet. At that point, look over the wall and down to locate a pile of rocks. The letterbox is nestled up under those rocks. Once located, its best to retrieve the box from the outside of the stone structure. You may have to time your approach to the box when there isnít a crowd of people there. Itís a popular place for resting hikers to sit. But, most people will want to get back down the mountain and donít seem to hang out too long up there.

Notes: This hike is rated difficult. Be aware of the weather conditions before setting out. Itís best to summit between March and November and early in the day before thunderstorms roll in. Take plenty of water. Dogs on leash are allowed. Donít feed the Bears. Enjoy the best 360 degree summit view in all of Southern Arizona. On a clear day you can see South to Mexico and North to Tucson.