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Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.


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Name: AZ Trail - Twin Tanks Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Bike Difficulty: (Medium)
Time: 1 - 3 hours Region: SE Arizona
Length: 8.4 miles (total) Elevation gain/loss/change: +500 / -500 ft / +0 ft (total out-and-back)
Type: Out-and-back Avg Elevation: 4000 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: Medium
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: December, 2010
Short Description: A nice, smooth all singletrack ride on the Arizona Trail
Geocaches:Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Ghost Dance; Rat Stash #4; Tanked in the Desert
References / Contact Information: Arizona Trail Association
Points of interest: Rolling foothills, Twin Tanks (fishing)
Special Considerations: Part of the Arizona Trail System
How to get there: From Tucson, take I-10 east to exit 281. Head south on Hwy 83 toward Sonoita. Drive about 17 miles. Turn right onto the dirt road at Waypoint 001. Either park here if you have a car, or drive to Waypoint 002 if you have a truck or 4WD. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a small section of the Arizona Trail System that runs through the rolling foothills west of the Santa Rita Mountains. It's a smooth, wide trail without steep climbs or many rocks to negotiate. You won't visit any spectacular vistas, but the terrain varied enough to get your heart pumping. If you're into desert fishing, have a license and a pole, you can even try your luck at fishing in the Twin Tanks.

General Information and History

From the Arizona Trail Association website: The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a continuous, 800+ mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It links deserts, mountains, canyons, communities and people. Currently 96% of the trail is complete.

The Arizona Trail is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people. It serves day hikers, backpackers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, trail runners, nature enthusiasts, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and mule and llama packers.

See About The Trail page on the Arizona Trail Association website for more information.

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The Trail

I started this trail around the Twin Tanks area which is a few miles south of I-10 on Hwy 83. At Waypoint 001, there's a dirt road leading off to the west. If you have a car, you can park in a small area here and ride the 1/2 mile to the Arizona Trail (Waypoint 002). If you've got a high-clearance truck or 4WD, you can drive up to where the trail intersects the 4WD road.

Whatever you choose, you access the trail at Waypoint 002. The trail skirts the edge of a large set of cattle tanks (really one) called Twin Tanks. It's like a large pond and I believe the Forest Service stocks it with fish (I usually see people fishing here, but don't know if they actually catch anything :-).

Start heading north on the Arizona Trail at Waypoint 002. When I did this trail, I followed the dirt road to Waypoint 003, then took the AZ Trail back. That's okay, too.

Keep on the trail at Waypoint 003 as it skirts the western edge of the Twin Tanks. The trail starts a gradual climb up to the pass at Waypoint 005.

Catch your breath at Waypoint 005 where you'll go through a gate at the saddle and begin a slow descent down the foothills. The trail intersects a couple of small 4WD trails near Waypoint 006. Continue on the trail as you pass a marker at Waypoint 007.

Near Waypoints 008 and 009, you'll come to a small cattle pond. It was dry when I passed through, but there were some nice shade trees in the area. The trail is a little more rocky in this area, but not too bad.

Cat-Dog and I turned around at the graded dirt road at Waypoint 010, but you can go for as long as you want.

Have fun and be safe!

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