|Typically Open:||Year Round|
|Highest Elevation:||4244 feet|
|Duration:||About 1 hour|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||East|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Tucson|
|Official Road Name:||371|
|Management Agency:||Coronado National Forest|
|District:||Santa Catalina Ranger District|
The route that became known as Redington Pass has been in existence for hundreds of years. It was originally used by natives and eventually improved to facilitate a military supply route used to commute between the San Pedro River Valley and the booming metropolis of Tucson, Arizona. The overland route cut roughly 70-100 miles off the alternate routes which were to go either north through Oracle and back south, or south through Benson and back north in order to reach Tucson. The route was later used by the small ranching community of Redington, Arizona. Redington Pass is now a gateway to hiking and Off-Road trails in the Catalina and Rincon Mountains, east of Tucson, Arizona and into the San Pedro River Valley as well. This route is the perfect light day trip to escape the city or just a short drive up a hill to a great view of the Tucson area. During good winters this route can be a nice place to encounter some snow at elevation that hasn't quite reached the desert floor.
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.Read more about our rating system
This section of the road is paved but offers an excellent place to stop, set your odometer to 0.0 to begin your journey. If you do this here, your odometer will roughly match the mile marker signs as you travel along the road. The trail starting point could be classified at the 3.4 mark where the forest line/dirt road begins, but this is an important point nonetheless. This is the point where the East Tanque Verde road becomes East Redington road. There is a house that resembles a Norman Castle to the southeast. Rumor has it that the person who invented the 3M Post-It note lives here.
This creek crossing is usually a good indicator of the status of creeks and waterfalls up in the pass. Chiva Falls Trail. The water here virtually guarantees water up in the Tanque Verde Creek and on the falls. Conversely, dry does not mean the waterfalls are dry. The road is still paved here. I hope you filled up your tank at the gas station on Tanque Verde road? The ranch to the southwest once housed the Grand Canyon mules in the winter and you could ride them up into Saguaro National Park. Now, this ranch is for sale.
At this point the trail turns to dirt until it ends. There is a cattle guard here and a non-standard forest entry sign.
This small 20 space parking area is a challenge itself just to enter. There is usually a washed out portion at the entrance. This results in a lot of passenger cars just parking alongside the road, making this area very congested at times. Lower Tanque Verde Falls is is a very popular day hike trail.
The Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA) has laser cut some signs in this area warning of the hazards ahead on the trail.
At one time the Forest Service maintained an information board at this location. It has since been run over and only the post stumps remain. However, the Friends of Redington Pass has jointly developed a recreation plan with the Forest Service to develop this site with a restroom, trash receptacles and a new information kiosk complying with their sign standards. There are plenty of spots here for dispersed camping. But it's such a busy place with people coming and going, trailers dropping OHV's off it would be like camping in a vacant lot in downtown Tucson.
A short distance ahead is a small unmarked foot trail that leads to Tanque Verde Falls, one of the most spectacular views in Redington Pass. This unofficial trail can be found by looking for the small parking spot to the north, and the large boulders marking the vehicle barrier to the south of the road. This view down the Tanque Verde Canyon, and of the falls when they are running is well worth the short walk. There is a small camping site with a fire ring to the north of the parking spot along Redington Road.
These are the famous Tanque Verde Falls. This upper trail (use of which is discouraged by SARA) descends steeply down into a rocky canyon and continues to the upper edge of the falls. An 80-foot drop has claimed 30 lives during flash floods. In 2017, a spectacular helicopter rescue saved some unsuspecting hikers who had become trapped. There is a small amount of camping to the northwest along a small loop road. This point marks the beginning of the portion of the western slope known as "The Switchbacks".
One of the iconic spots to pull out and take a picture of your rig against the backdrop of the Tucson valley spreading out below. This small rocky outcrop requires four-wheel drive to ascend, but you could park any rig next to it for a photo. In case you were wondering, this is an awesome spot to watch the sunset.
From the top of the switchbacks at mile marker 5.3 to mile 6.3 the Forest Service has closed the road to all parking. This is to discourage shooting along this section as there are two closed areas that were once popular areas for this activity. The only somewhat sanctioned shooting area is at mile 6.3. Before you reach this point, however, there are several pullouts along the road where one could pitch a tent.
This small open area to the north of the road is where you will usually find 3 - 4 vehicles pulled off and shooting against the hillside going on. Please pack out whatever you bring in. Shooting areas 1 and 2 were closed due to the large accumulation of trash and lead, which was very expensive for the Forest Service to mitigate.
This is a busy area. There is an Arizona State Parks funded staging area to the south and a corral to the north. The Corral is astride FR#4441 (The Bartender Trail) that leads to a bunch of cocktail named cattle tanks. To the south, FR#4417 begins on the way to the Chiva Falls Trail. Camping is not allowed here because of the two active water sources nearby.
While you don't absolutely need binoculars here, they sure help pick out the small ribbon of water that marks the end of the Chiva Falls Trail. Look for the rocky outcropping in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. The only marker here is a small Forest Service area restoration sign. There is no pull-out, you just stop along the barbed wire fence.
4436 takes off from here to the north. This fun trail heads up the Agua Caliente Hill on a very steep climb. Another impromptu shooting area can be found here at the intersection. This road is four-wheel drive only.
This road FR4435 leads into a great area to explore. Racetrack tank almost always has an acre or two's worth of water in it. Because there is a good backstop, this is also a popular shooting area. If you follow this road to its end, you'll dump out at the Alambre Staging area. Most folks just set up their camping rigs here near the intersection, but there are scores of great spots back in this area. Just be sure to stay 1/4 mile away from the Racetrack Tank.
Named for the nearby Alambre Tank to the south, this is the only (current) developed recreation area in the pass. There are multiple shade structures, ATV loading ramps, a pit toilet, trash receptacles and picnic tables here. On the north end of the parking lot, FR3335 spills out from its rough and tumble journey from Racetrack Tank.
This is a pretty big intersection - Stay to the right to follow the Redington Road. To the left is the start of the Chimney Rock Trail. A short distance down this road on the right is a campsite. (Campsite #1 on the Chimney Rock Trail)
A small pullout on the north side of the road, complete with fire ring offers an almost unobstructed 360-degree view of the pass & Rincon Mountain range. There are no shooting signs here as the 50" ATV trail passes just behind this site. The cattleguard warning sign sits on the other side of the road.
Just over the cattle guard, on the left is a short spur road up the hill, which offers yet another unobstructed view campsite. The ATV trail crosses nearby with a gate in the fence. There is a loop at the end so you only get to go out and back. The odometer reading does not calculate the distance out and back to this hilltop.
This hilltop campsite offers great views of the Rincon Mountains. (Rincon Mountain and Tanque Verde Peak) You get a great view of Spud Rock from here. The road loops around a big juniper tree and camp spots are along the road.
This spot begins the middle trail into Chiva Falls. This is the easier way to get to the falls, avoiding Three Feathers entirely. This road is, however, the end of FR#4417 which starts at the Three Feathers Staging area previously mentioned. The trail requires a four-wheel drive from here. The ATV trail follows this road for a small distance and crosses the Redington Road here on its way by the hilltop campsite.
This small campsite is off the south side of the road and would support a couple of tents and a single trailer.
This large campsite could support several fifth wheel trailers or 10 tents. There are multiple fire rings and nice oak tree shaded areas.
This small site on a slight rise to the south is situated next to a small wash. This wash leads to the ATV Trail which crosses it about 100 yards ahead. This spot overlooks the road.
Another small pull off area to the south. It is suitable for a couple of tents or a trailer.
This is a pretty major intersection of the Redington Road, FR#37, and the Arizona National Scenic Trail. It's also the start of Italian Trap Trail. This is the demarcation point of the Passage #9- Rincon Mountains to the south and passage-10-Redington Pass> to the north.
Another small campsite to the south of the road suitable for a few tents. This campsite also hugs a wash.
This spur road leads up into the rolling hills and eventually peters out at a stock tank. There is an alternate path to the west that leads over the rolling hills to a loop turn around. This makes this entire road a dead end out and back.
This small clearing on the south side of the road provides nice views of a small canyon below. It has a fire ring but not much else, being entirely exposed to the elements and roadway. Still, not much traffic makes it this far out on Redington Road so you might get to sleep here all night long.
This is the edge of the forest at this cattle guard. Beyond lies either Pima County land (Managed) or Arizona State Trust Land. A permit is not required if you just are traversing the area on Redington Road as that's Pima County jurisdiction, but if you are planning on driving on the side roads, or camping, you will need a Recreational State Land permit. This is also the working A7 Ranch property as well.
This is a large fork that looks well traveled in both directions. Stay to the left to remain on FR371. To the right is FR4425, which has one of the most interesting plastic signposts to look at there. There are a lot of dangers according to this sign.
This small clearing off to the north of the road at a fork where the road also forks again and leads down to a small pasture area. There are the remains of a significant water tending operation down here. You could camp up on top at the knob, or down below in the pasture. It looks as if there is still a lot of cattle activity here.
Another small campsite near a dry water tank. If this tank has water in it, you would not be able to camp near it. There are actually two spots, if you stay to the left when you turn, you'll end up on a promontory with a fire ring. If you make a hard left, almost 180 degrees, you will head down to the flat area with the well and empty tanks. There are quite a few mesquites here for shade.
Around a hillside corner is a small cut leading west between two hills that looks like a shooting spot. There is a fire ring there and enough room for a tent or a trailer. It's pretty exposed to the road however.
This road leads down to the ranch house. Stay on the left of the fork to stay on Redington Road FR371. Stay away from the ranch house, it's marked as "No Trespassing"
This is the intersection of the eastern end of the Chimney Rock Trail. This is the exit point of FR4430. You can also run the Chimney rock trail from east to west, starting here.
This is another short out and back (Less than 0.1 miles) that overlooks Piety Hill. This road has a flat spot with a fire ring that looks out over a small valley.
Small fork in the road, Stay right to remain on 371. This road leads along the northeast face of Piety hill and leads to FR#635, down into Beuhman Canyon and eventually exits on the San Pedro road, north of the intersection with Redington Road. There is a pretty open field area here with a fire ring. However, this camping spot is astride the road on the north side.
This is a four-way intersection with two 4x4 roads. One road heads very steeply west (left) and ends in some rolling hills at a cattle tank. There appears to be some mining activity on the hillsides. The other heads east (switchback right). This is a sharp nearly 180-degree turn heading down into a canyon, but on the left, as soon as you make the turn, you will see an ancient pickup truck that rolled down into the bottom. Stripped nearly to the bone, it's still an interesting artifact to stop and look at. This road continues on for some time over the hills but also dead ends.
This road is the trail start of the Red Tank trail. A small (0.8 mi) shortcut down into a canyon, to a large set of 3 cattle tanks, and a substantial corral. There are three spots to camp on this road.
This major intersection makes following the road slightly confusing here, as bearing right looks like a traveled road. At this point, stay left to follow FR#371. To the Right is a large, well-traveled road that leads off to the BarLY ranch. There is a sportsman's sign in here for Arizona Game and Fish and another one of those elaborate Forest Service danger signposts. This actually branches off three ways from Redington road.
Two nondescript 4x4 roads lead off to the east and west here. The one to the east leads to a metal water tank and beyond, the one to the left leads down to a wash, a couple of cattle tanks and a pretty large corral. This is the exit point for the Red Tank trail. About 0.1 miles down this road before you descend, there's a camping spot on a knoll.
This is a short out and back to a water tank out on the ridge. On the topo map, the road shows as looping back to 371 about 0.7 to the west, but, there's no longer a road there, it's completely (6' deep) washed out and grown over so it's nearly impossible to find. There's a state land sign here.
A rocky two track leads off along the side of a hill. This road does not look often traveled so it's unknown what the condition is further up.
A short road that leads down to a sandy wash. It looks as if the road continues up the other bank.
This short quick 180-degree turn to the left leads to a wood post/barbed wire gate then down to Beuhman Canyon beyond. This lush riparian area looks as if it would be a fine place to camp.
This major intersection of the Redington Road and the Cascabel Road shortcut through the small community of Redington, Arizona. This leads down and across the San Pedro River so it may not always be passable. There is a bridge further up on Cascabel road that you can use if it's blocked by the river. At one time there was a gate that said: "No Trespassing" that is no longer present. On the other end at the Cascabel/San Pedro road, there is still a "No Trespassing" sign. It's usually not a problem to travel slowly, without raising any dust, through this shortcut, but be warned, you may be challenged by the land owners.
The next large wash that you cross, there are a number of OHV tracks heading back to the west up the wash. This is the access to Beuhman Canyon and the exit point from the road that leads along Piety Hill several miles back up Redington road. This is a deep sand wash crossing that might present a challenge during rainy weather as it drains a major portion of the eastern Santa Catalina mountain foothills.
Another small road leading to the west. This road looks lightly traveled, and heads up a ridge, joining the Beuhman Canyon road.
Another deep sand wash crossing that might present a challenge during rainy weather as it drains a major portion of the eastern Santa Catalina mountain foothills. There is no need to head up Edgar canyon via the wash as there is a parallel road just ahead.
This is the end of Redington Road. This is the intersection with the San Pedro road which leads left to San Manuel and Right to Benson (about 30 miles away). The bridge over the San Pedro River is a short distance to the south (right) if the river is running and you need to cross.
Starting Point: Tucson - Mile Marker 0 Tanque Verde Road/Redington road at Wentworth road.
There is a multitude of camping opportunities in the pass. Each of these locations is detailed in the waypoint section but all are un-improved / dispersed style camping spots.