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Matt Marine

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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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Name: Incinerator Ridge Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Hike Difficulty: (Learner)
Time: 1 - 2 hours Region: SE Arizona
Length: 2 miles (out and back - not including the extension) Elevation gain/loss/change: +450 / -450 ft / +0 ft (roundtrip) - not including the extension
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 8000 ft
Best time to go: Summer, fall, winter, spring Fees: N/A see permit info
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Medium Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: July, 2012
Short Description: A short, but extremely scenic hike along a ridge line on Mt. Lemmon leading to some tall rock faces
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Dad & Son; Pack 832 Stash; Kellogg Mountain
References / Contact Information: Hike Arizona; USFS Incinerator Ridge Extension; Hike Arizona (Knagge Trail)
Points of interest: Mt. Lemmon, Leopold Point, Barnum Rock
Special Considerations: Climbing the rock faces can be very dangerous. High elevation. Snow may be present in the winter and will add to difficulty and danger.
How to get there: Head up Mt. Lemmon via the Mt. Lemmon Highway. Travel about 19 miles up from the bottom until you reach Incinerator Ridge Road (Waypoint 001) on the right. Travel 0.4 miles on this graded dirt road until you reach the parking area at the end. Not a great deal of parking here (for maybe 6 cars or so). Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a short, but scenic trail near the top of Mt. Lemmon. This trail has recently been extended down to the San Pedro Vista parking area (though I did not take it this far). The top portion of the trail is very easy and has awesome views and can be a nice one with the kids. The elevation here can make this trail more difficult than it seems. One of my favorite trails on Mt. Lemmon!

General Information and History

I do not believe parking in this area requires a Mt. Lemmon pass or permit. My understanding is that these are required only for areas that are developed (have restrooms, etc.), but you may want to verify if you have any questions.

The first part of the trail takes you along Incinerator Ridge (makes sense) and you will be presented with beautiful views on both sides. The view to the north looks down toward San Manuel and Mammoth, will the view to the south toward Tucson. You can also see Rose Canyon Lake from here. I had never seen the lake from this view before and thought it was an interesting and beautiful perspective (though hard to see in pictures).

The trail also goes to a nice saddle and a few different rock formations and cliff faces. There are side trails that lead up to these, but we did not take them on this trip (we were pressed for time). These views from these formations would have looked awesome and next time I go, I will be climbing up there!

Although we stopped at Waypoint 005 (near the base of Barnum Rock), the trail appeared to lead up to the top. Also, the FS recently extended this trail down to the San Pedro Vista parking area. We hope to take it all the way down the next time we do the hike. Caution: this is not a trail for beginning mountain bikers.

FYI. The Knagge Trail is named after an Arizona pioneer family that ran a pack train from 1913 to 1921 to Soldier Camp for the families that had cabins up at Summerhaven. They also had a small mining operation near Kellogg Mountain in which they pulled out an unknown amount of silver ore. The sparse remains of the cabin can still be seen. This can be viewed by taking the Knagge Trail about 1-1.5 miles (one way) to the cabin.

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The Trail

The trail starts at the end of Incinerator Ridge Road (Waypoint 002). There's a few trails that lead off from this parking area. When we went on this trail, there was no sign for it at the trail head. Take the trail leading off to the east.

The first part of the trail is very easy, with a shallow climb up to the ridge. When you get near Waypoint 002, you will come to the Knagge Trail. This trail heads down the mountain to the Knagge Cabin (and beyond).

Keep straight on Incinerator Ridge. This area has awesome views on either side of the trail. If you look south, you can see Rose Canyon Lake. You will also come to some nice rocks for climbing and getting better views.

Soon, the trail heads down toward a beautiful saddle (Waypoint 004). The trail is a little steep here (in just a few spots) and you will be going down some new trail construction and rock steps. The saddle has a nice log to rest on if you want to take five and sit down.

Head down the trail for a short distance and Leopold Point will be on your left. There are some unofficial trails up to the rocks (I want to do this next time). I bet the views are incredible.

After exploring Leopold Point, keep on the Incinerator Ridge Trail as it heads to Barnum Rock (a steep cliff face to the south). There are some really nice round rocks in this area that Cat-dog enjoyed climbing and getting a better view.

We turned around at Waypoint 005 (next to Barnum Rock). The trail has recently been extended down to the San Pedro Vista parking area, but we didn't have time to go all the way down. You can either turn around here or take it down to the parking area (which connects to more trails).

Whatever way you decide to go, have fun and be safe!

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