Redington Pass

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3.6/5 (21 reviews)
Tucson, Arizona (Pima County)
Last Updated: 05/30/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

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Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
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Overland Category Icon Overland
Sand Category Icon Sand
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
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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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Redington Road is a well-maintained dirt road that provides scenic views of both the San Pedro River Valley to the east and the city of Tucson to the west as it crosses Redington Pass between the Catalina and Rincon Mountains. Redington Road is maintained by both Pima County and the United States Forest Service, making for a fairly easy drive in dry conditions. However, this road is not a high priority to keep maintained, and as such can be washed out and rutted in sections requiring a high clearance 2wd vehicle at least. There are three sections to the road:
  1. The Western Slope: A fairly good climb up from 2,500 - 4,800 feet in just 6 miles. You will encounter several switchbacks with stunning views of the Tucson valley floor, and numerous pullouts. The Upper and Lower Tanque Verde trailheads are here as well as the Information kiosk at mile 5. This is where you will find most traffic from Tucson as hikers, sunbathers, quad riders, etc. all flock to this area when the weather is nice.
  2. The Central Plateau: Here you will find numerous points of interest such as the staging area for Chiva Falls, shooting area #3 (Now open by the USFS), the turnoffs to several side trails and the Alhambra staging area with loading ramps, shaded picnic areas, and a vault toilet - the only one currently in the entire length of Redington Road, the turnoff to Belotta Ranch (Start of the Chimney Rock trail), a secondary access point to Chiva Falls (FR4424), the Arizona Trail crossing at mile 12, along with FR37 to Italian Trap are all found here. Several of the fields and hillsides are part of the cattle lease owned by the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch
  3. The Eastern Slope: This area is far less populated, and contains many nice roadside campsites. The A7 Ranch, (Owned by Pima County for the promotion of Conservation goals), the eastern exit of FR4430, the Chimney rock trail is just past it, through some winding saguaro-strewn hillsides to the exit at the tiny ranching hamlet of Redington.

Trail Reviews

3.6/5 (21)
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300
Open
Visited: 08/27/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The road is open and passable but be prepared for washboards on the West side of the trail coming from Tucson due to the monsoon and heavy traffic on the weekends. We were in a Bronco Badlands Sasquatch with the tires down to 18 psi which maintained a comfortable ride and pace... only to be outdone by a Rav 4 (assumed rental car) driving at highway speeds. I highly recommend continuing to the town of Reddington which is currently very green due to the rain. The barrel cactus are in full bloom and the ocotillo are fully green and likely going to flower soon.
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Official Crew
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19000
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/30/2023

Visited Redington Road from MP 3 - 27 today in my relatively new Silverado 1500. I have 1600 miles on it and since it has a lot of plastic stuff hanging down in the front, it' is not the best offroad warrior. The road is quite rough between about MP 4.5 and MP10. Beyond MP 10, travel was quite easy. Great day on the trail. The wildflowers including the Saguaro and Ocotillo cacti were in marked attendance. Ran this trail early in the morning, so the sun angle was poor for photography.
Trail Review: Redington Pass - Jim Long
Trail Review: Redington Pass - Jim Long
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900
Open
Visited: 04/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We drive a well equipped Jeep 2020 Gladiator, so this trip was just for the purpose of taking cool pictures of the scenery. A couple of comments are worth mentioning. We came in from the Tucson side and headed (north) east. The beginning of the trail was annoyingly washboarded so we aired down. If you have this capability, sooner is better. On this side of the route there are a lot of blind, tight switchback turns. It was Sunday, so plenty of opportunity for accident if one is not paying attention. This is a great trail for one who is just getting into off road adventuring. Lots of scenery. Lots of camping sites. A few "challenging" sections of road with some rocks and dips. The good news is that over the weekends there are bound to be plenty of people who can help if you get into trouble. For those who seek further challenge, this trail is the gateway to other more difficult trails. Have fun. Be safe.
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15100
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 03/02/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran Redington Pass again today to get to a couple of trails off of it. This was the first time we've run in from Tucson to the city of Redington. That direction has yields some very scenic views of the San Pedro River Valley near the north end. If you have a choice, I recommend that direction of travel for the best views. And, yesterday Redington Pass was very wash boarded near Tucson, but surprisingly smooth near Redington.
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Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/06/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We had such a great time on this trail! Amazing views!
Trail Review: Redington Pass - Jod Woods

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