Gates Pass Trail LbNA # 22350 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||May 21 2006|
|Last Update||Feb 8 2014|
Distance: 1.5 miles one way
Stamp: Hand Carved
This is a popular bike trail and as such is relatively flat with a few ins and outs of washes. However, there is little shade so plenty of water is recommended and a very early morning start is best in summer.
How to get to trailhead:
From I-10, take Speedway west for 7.1 miles to Gates Pass. After coming through the pass and heading down towards Old Tucson Studios, you will arrive at the stop sign. Left takes you to Old Tucson Studios and right to the Sonoran Museum. Parking area K15 is directly across from the stop sign. Park here.
To the boxes:
(All degrees are from magnetic north.)
The trailhead is on the other side of the road. Be very careful crossing the street. A short distance up the trail is a sign for Gates Pass trail and Cougar trail. You will be taking the Gates Pass Trail walking towards Gates Pass. This is a scatterbox. All 3 stamps will complete an image when stamped in order.
Beginning at the trail sign, walk 50 steps (generous ones as we are fairly long-legged people) to a Saguaro on the left hand side. Standing on the left side of this saguaro, look around for the upright ribs of a dead Saguaro. It is next to a Palo Verde at 40 degrees. 30 steps takes you to this dead Saguaro. From here, look for the large green “V” in the distance. Growing close to this living V, you will find an ironwood tree. Look under the rocks at the base of the tree for the box. There is pack rat activity in the area, so please make sure the box is secure when you rehide it.
Some distance down the trail, you will come to a wash with man-made rocks steps. After going through the wash, stand on the top step (7th step going up). Go 30 steps up the trail and stop. You are at the right place if you see another set of steps at 80 degrees and a cholla plant between 2 saguaros at 30 degrees. 20 steps takes you to the cholla. There is a Palo Verde tree here next to a slim no-arm Saguaro. The box is at the base of the tree under some rocks and twigs. After you’ve stamped in, find your way back to the trail and continue towards Gates Pass.
The next landmark you are looking for is an 8 to 9 foot boulder off to the right hand side of the trail. Make your way over to this boulder and notice a flat white rock in front. Stand on the rock. At 230 degrees is a Palo Verde with a slender Saguaro growing in it. Walk 38 steps through the cholla “forest” to the tree. The box is under some rocks at the base of the tree.
The standard warning applies when reaching for letterboxes in Arizona:
Rattlesnakes and “mean” things abound,
please take a stick and poke around.
It may save your hand or your life
and help to avoid loads of strife!