2015 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLEThiking archive
Scenic Drives Archive Photo
Gnarled trunks of Arizona sycamores add interest to the verdant landscape along the Bog Springs/Kent Springs Loop.

© Randy Prentice

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.

Editor's Note click to expand
Arizona Hiking Guide BookFrom "backyard"
hikes to overnight
excursions, our
Arizona Hiking
guidebook has
something
for everyone.
To order, call
800-543-5432
or click here.

Bog Springs/Kent Springs Loop
Overeat over the holidays? This trail is a great way to shake off the cookies and mashed potatoes.

By Robert Stieve

elegant trogons are rare. In fact, Sasquatch has probably been spotted more often than the trogon, a colorful bird that migrates from Mexico to Madera Canyon in the spring. For bird-watchers in Arizona, the elegant trogon is the Holy Grail. It's related to the quetzal, and if you see one, consider yourself lucky. If you don't, don't worry. Your trip to Madera Canyon and the surrounding Mount Wrightson Wilderness Area won't be without reward. That's because this is one of the most beautiful places in the Southwest.

In addition to the elegant trogon — and 199 other species of birds — the area is home to black bears, mountain lions, deer, coatimundis, coyotes, bubbling springs, green grasses, big trees and panoramic views. There are hiking trails, too, including the Bog Springs/Kent Springs Loop, which offers a quick and easy introduction to the area.

The trail begins in the Bog Springs Campground at site No. 13. The parking area, however, is located around the corner at the upper end of the campground. It's a short walk from one point to the other. From the trailhead, you'll follow an old road lined with yuccas and junipers for about 20 minutes to the intersection of the two trails. Bog Springs goes left; Kent Springs goes right. You can go either way, but you'll be happier going clockwise. Not because of the Coriolis effect, but because the Kent Springs Trail is steep in places, and you might prefer doing that section as a downhill, rather than as an uphill. It's up to you.

Veering left, the Bog Springs Trail follows a shallow basin cut into the western slopes of the Santa Rita Mountains. A forest of silverleaf oaks and ponderosa pines shades the trail as it meanders between springs sheltered by gnarled Arizona sycamores. After about 40 minutes, you'll come to a second intersection with the Kent Springs Trail, which heads right. To the left is a short spur (0.1 miles) to Bog Springs. Before continuing the loop, head to the springs, where communities of moisture-loving plants cluster around the reliable water source, including Arizona bamboo, Arizona walnuts and colorful clumps of wildflowers. It's a nice diversion, and a great place to stop for a snack. Also, if you happen to have a Yorkiepoo in tow, it's an opportunity for man's best friend to get something to drink.

From Bog Springs, head back to the nearby intersection with the Kent Springs Trail and continue the loop. As you head southward you'll climb gradually, with a few switchbacks thrown in. In all, you'll gain about 800 feet, and along the way the trees will open up from time to time, offering great views of Mount Wrightson and Madera Canyon. On clear days, the panoramas stretch all the way to Kitt Peak Observatory.

After another half-hour or so, you'll come to Kent Springs, which is the highest point on the hike and another great place to refuel. When you're ready to leave, don't be confused by the trail that continues uphill. Instead, take the Kent Springs Trail, which drops sharply to the right and follows an old jeep road that winds around to the trailhead. Heading back, if you're lucky, you'll see water running in the adjacent streambed. And if you're really lucky, you'll see an elegant trogon. But don't hold your breath. Your chances of seeing Sasquatch are probably better.

Trail Guideclick to expand

Map of Area Length: 5 miles round-trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 4,820 to 6,620 feet

Directions: From Tucson, take Interstate 19 south to the Continental Road/Madera Canyon exit (Exit 63). Go east and follow the signs to Madera Canyon Recreation Area and the Bog Springs Campground. Turn left into the campground and drive around the loop to the trailhead.

Special Consideration: A $5 day pass is required.

Vehicle Requirements: None; accessible by all vehicles

Dogs Allowed: Yes (on a leash)

USGS Map: Mount Wrightson

Information: Nogales Ranger District, 520-281-2296 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado  

Leave No Trace Ethics:
  • Plan ahead and be prepared.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly and pack out your trash.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife and minimize impact.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • >> Visit Hiking Archive


    Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

    Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

    Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

     

    Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

    Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

    Best of AZ50 of our favorite things around the state, including photography, nature, dining, adventure, lodging... [more]

    site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

    Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

    © Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.