|Name: Bathtub Tank (Hog Canyon)||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: 4WD||Difficulty: (Easy 2WD/4WD) trail recently graded|
|Time: 4-6 hours||Region: SE Arizona|
|Length: 40 miles (roundtrip)||Elevation gain/loss/change: +3474 / -3308 ft / +166 ft (roundtrip)|
|Type: Semi-loop||Avg Elevation: 5000 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, spring, winter||Fees: NA|
|Fitness rating: Low||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Low||Scenic Beauty: Medium|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: April, 2012|
|Short Description: A very easy, but remote 4WD trail that leads to a beautiful tank/dam with unique rock features|
|Geocaches: Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Hog Heaven; Walker Canyon in AZ; The Tunnel at Tunnel Springs|
|References / Contact Information: None at this time|
|Points of interest: Bathtub Tank; nice remote camping spots under large trees|
|Special Considerations: Remote area, seldom used trail.Trail is located in illegal immigrant and smuggler high traffic area, see page regarding warning (it's not as bad as it sounds).|
|How to get there: The trail begins 21.5 miles south of I-10 from exit 281 heading toward Sonoita on Arizona State Road 83. Follow SR 83 as it travels through the beautiful rolling hills and historical ranch grasslands of southeastern Arizona. As you get closer to the start of the trail, the scenery will change from rocky, cactus-laden hillsides to large working ranches. The trail starts upon a right turn onto Gardner Canyon road (FR 92) at waypoint 001. Click here for directions.|
This is an easy 4WD (actually during the time I ran it, I did not need 4WD at all due to the recent grading) that ultimately leads to a beautiful dam and tank. The trail zigzags it's way through some very scenic canyons, then back along the tops of the ridges between them. There are some nice remote camping sites along Hog and Adobe Canyons (mostly Hog). The grasslands and views along the ridges are wonderful. Although this is a long trail, I was able to do the entire trip in about 8 hours (from Tucson). This was due to the road being recently graded and fairly smooth. I kept up a relatively fast speed (no 4WD LO required). If the road conditions change (it becomes rougher), then a day trip out to Bathtub Tank may not be feasible.
It was my understanding that there was an actual old cast iron bathtub at Bathtub Tank. Reportedly, this was installed by the miners to guess what? Take a bath! I am not sure that this is true. Information is scarce on this area and I could not spend any amount of time above the dam (Cat-dog couldn't climb the ladder and I didn't want to leave her alone down below). It is entirely possible the reported bathtub is there and I didn't see it. The steel ladder to get to the top was there, which was great. It would be a long climb around the rocks to get to the top of the dam if there wasn't a ladder.
I would be greatly appreciated for anyone with information on this area to contact me.
At Waypoint 001, head west along Gardner Canyon Rd. I won't go into detail about this road (see Gardner Canyon Rd Adventure for more info). You can also see GPS coordinates for info on intermediate GPS points. Keep driving along Gardner Canyon until you reach Waypoint 005, the turn left to stay on Gardner Canyon (straight takes you to Cave Creek).
Drive along this road (passing Waypoint 006 which heads up the hill on the right for the singletrack portion of Kentucky Camp hiking and biking adventure) until you reach Waypoint 007. A small kiosk will be on your left at the intersection of Gardner Canyon and Hog Canyon Rd (FR4111). Maps of this area are usually stored in the kiosk.
Take a left, head down to the creek. Although this small creek doesn't flow year round, I've found water here when none could be found for miles. Cross the creek, head up the hill. There's a small two track leading off to the right at Waypoint 008 that I have not been on. Continue straight up the hill.
Continue straight at Waypoint 009 (at the top of the hill). A left here is an optional way to SR 83 (which I took) via FR4104 and Santa Rita Rd. Everything from here on out ultimately is a dead end and you will have to return to this point. Drive along the ridge with Fort Canyon on your left and Hog Canyon on your right. This is wonderful grassland with beautiful views down into the valley and beyond.
Drive past Waypoint 010 and head down into Hog Canyon. When you reach the canyon (Waypoint 011), take a right onto FR627. A left turn is another dead end (which I haven't explored yet). At Waypoint 012, keep straight onto FR4088 to stay in Hog Canyon. A right (FR627) leads up into another valley before it dead ends. This looked like a nice trail and I could see people camping up there. I really want to take this next time I go.
The road at Waypoint 013 (FR4854) ends up looping back further west at Waypoint 014. Keep straight at Waypoint 013, then make a left to head up the canyon wall at Waypoint 014. As you climb up the ridge, look to your right (at approximately Waypoint 014a). You will be able to see Bathtub Tank across the valley floor. I wish I'd had a nice pair of binoculars at this point. Next time!
Then you're up on the ridge again. Continue on this route as it dips and winds its way to Mesa Tank (Waypoint 014b). Then you start the long drive down into Adobe Canyon.
At Waypoint 015, take a right (FR234) to head to Bathtub Tank. I did explore the left dead end here. It dead ends fairly quickly at a private property gate (nothing too interesting here). You will see a corral off to the right fairly quickly and another at Waypoint 016 (along with an interesting pump house).
Continue along Adobe Canyon floor until you reach Waypoint 017. You can park here and hike the short distance to Bathtub Tank up the wash on your left. There's a nice place to camp or have a picnic here too. The road continues up Adobe Canyon for a short while before coming to a dead end. Not much to see there.
When you're ready to go, retrace your path to Waypoint 009. You can go straight to Gardner Canyon, or turn right for another route to SR 83. I took a right. The road's easy and skirts by a couple of ranches. You will notice that the road takes a wide detour past one of them. A little ways past Waypoint 018, the trail turns into a graded dirt road. Head east until you reach SR 83. Then it's a left to go back to I-10 or a right to visit Sonoita.
Be safe and have fun!
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