Redington Pass

3.3/5 (19 reviews)
Tucson, Arizona (Pima County)
Last Updated: 07/19/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

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.
This area can become quite crowded on weekends and user conflicts can arise. Use caution, particularly on the west slope as trailers for OHV's, Shooters, Hikers, Bikers all use this area to recreate.

Trail Reviews

3.3/5 (19 reviews)
Status: 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.
Tom
15000
Status: 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.
Status: 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
Tom
15000
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 08/25/2021

Decided to take a trip around the Santa Catalina Mountain using Redington Road as part of the path. It's an easy trail with some interesting sights. The roadway seems to have had some work done since it is not as rough as Jim's recent pictures show.
Jim Long
Official Crew
15150
Status: Open
Visited: 07/19/2021

KGUN9 Did a Story on the Pass tonight

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