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Forums › Reviews › Arizona Trail Reviews › Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - *Update* BLOCKED
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Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - *Update* BLOCKED
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Jimbolio
Master Wheeler
Master Wheeler


Joined: Oct 19, 2008
Posts: 11323
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - *Update* BLOCKED Reply with quote

Helvetia Ghost town description <click here

Synopsis
This trail shoots off Santa Rita Rd South of Tucson. This travels by and through a former Mine town (Helvetia) and climbs up 4,000 feet to a breath taking view of the Tucson valley to the west, and the soon to be destroyed by Rosemont Mining - Rosemont valley to the east. (SO NOW's the time to check it out before it becomes a pit). 100 year old Cemetery next to road. Not much left of town...Old wall corner of school, and remains of Smelter (Which burned down in 1909 due to hot slag spilling on the floor). Slag still there. Good side trips to Turquoise mine With fun turn obstacle, and Steel Boiler wash.

2010 UPDATE: Big steel boiler has been removed. Sad The melted Adobe ruins are now Fenced in. (So you can't get to the Geo Cache)

Difficulty 1.5 (If following W - E Climb) UPDATE Jan 6, 2012- The weather and time have worked their magic on this road and there are several new off camber washouts that make this a little tougher than before. Consider raising this to a 2.0. the rocky areas are starting to get more exposed, the Last Switch back is returning to it's former glory, but it's still a 1.5 (Maybe a 2.0 soon), but compared to the Oracle Control Road, it is WAY harder so it is now a 2.0! (Maybe even a 2.5) Lot's of vehicle traffic tearing it up on the WEST Face, the East side, is so smooth that you can drive 40mph
Previous:UPDATE 05/30/2011 - This road was recently graded by the USFS - most of the rough rock climbs are gone. There are still a few optional lines that might make your wheel's slip but it's a shadow of it's former self.
This used to be a decent 2 wheel drive scenic run, (I did it in a high ground clear VW Camperbus in 1984) but time and weather have deteriorated the road to the point where there are a couple of rocky climbs, Nothing technical, and easily handled by a stock FJ. You won't see any Honda civics on this road to be sure. This is a pretty fair climb with some respectable drop offs.

UPDATE - JUNE 2015
We did a night run here on 6/11/15. The road was much more washed away than it had been. There were some careful tire placement sections and the upper switch back was much rockier than it used to be.
THUS, bumping up the rating again to 2.0 - 2.5
Some sections required 4Lo. However, the Eastern downslope was very well manicured by the Rosemont Mining folks I would guess.


Length
The trail is little over 30 miles and can be run in about 3-4 hours (As you'll have plenty of stop to look at stuff).

Location
This trail is accessed by several means, Easiest would be to take I-19 S to Sahuarita rd, East to Country Club, then snake through trailer-ville to Santa Rita Rd. From there, you take Santa Rita until you see a hill with a nice 4x4 test road on it (Now closed Sad ) The trail has a side trip to an old steel boiler. (No longer present - but the road is fun) At the very top is gun sight pass (Named for it's obvious resemblance to a front and rear sight view) which is sometimes snowed in in winter. Room at the top for 10 - 20 vehicles easy. The back side snakes along the ridge and meets up with the Greaterville rd (Which goes through a nice canyon) back out to I-19

There were numerous signs on the back side that said "This is private property and can be closed at any time without notice". Funny, all the roads were Forest service roads. Your public lands at their best.

Pictures
This expedition photos: Helvetia-Gunsight Pass-Rosemont valley run
How it looked in it's Heyday (circa 1909)


The road goes over to the L of the rocks (NOTE: Only a small portion of this adobe corner is left as of 10/2008) and now it's enclosed by a Fence (5/2011)

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Last edited by Jimbolio on Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:55 pm; edited 32 times in total
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Miss_Artoo
Trail Leader
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2547
Location: SoMo

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) Reply with quote

Woo hoo! Another trail added to the list! Thanks for contributing and doing such a great write up...I like the elevation chart as well. Can you take a look at the rating scale and throw a number up there for us?

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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 5574
Location: Tucson, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) Reply with quote

Awesome, thanks for the writeup! Very Happy

I'd say this is a 2.0/2.5... East->West over the pass you could easily 2WD it since you descend everything, West->East that might be more challenging trying to climb but still very easy.

Here are some pics:








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Miss_Artoo
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) Reply with quote

ohh very nice...

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Jimbolio
Master Wheeler
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Joined: Oct 19, 2008
Posts: 11323
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) Reply with quote

OK my new Friends,
I put it at a 2.5 based on the fact that I locked my Diff x2 spots. (Really wanted to try it out more than needing it). Didn't deflate my tires, or anything.
Tiball89, your third picture will soon become a classic I'm afraid. That's the valley soon to be an open pit mine.

One big whoopdeedo and one rough climb section with a big drop off to the side of the road were about the only times I had to lock in the ATRAC. (Tire did spin).


If you let me know how to make a track file, I'll make one and attach it. (I use MAPSOURCE from garmin). I looked this morning and didn't see an export.
EDIT: Well Lookey here "Save AS" allows .gpx files. It's saved AND posted. (Note I had to edit the track because it went all the way from my house to my house.


Last edited by Jimbolio on Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pumbaa
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2529
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Jessa and I did this trail when we met Sonic... great trail! The only trail in Tucson we have done so far...

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FJ4JESSA
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
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Location: Superstition Mountains

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

What an AWESOME Trail....Loved it....Once we found it ha ha ha

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tibaal89
Trail to Destruction
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

I heard about it from Jesaa! Very Happy

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Mr_R2FJ
Obstacle Crusher
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Awesome writeup, thank you very much for the new trail contribution. Looks like fun!

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neomonk
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Joined: May 27, 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

I'd like to know if anyone has done this trail recently? I'd like to visit it but not if its be destroyed already. The mine in Rosemont has started but certainly hasn't finished. Information?!?!

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Angry_Tim
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

neomonk wrote:
I'd like to know if anyone has done this trail recently? I'd like to visit it but not if its be destroyed already. The mine in Rosemont has started but certainly hasn't finished. Information?!?!

They have only done some exploration type work. They may have built some small structures. Go do it before it goes away if it does. They are having trouble getting permits from the feds.

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TrAiLbUs1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

There was an advertisement at the Tucson Toros game this evening for ROSEMONT mining corp in the out field ARGggggGGGGG!!!

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Jimbolio
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Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - 2.5 Reply with quote

Expedition planned for this SUNDAY to Gunsight pass. WHO'S IN?

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cruiser_ss396
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - *Update* 1.5 Reply with quote

Are there places to turn around if you don't want to do the entire trail?

Sorry new to the area and still trying to figure out how to even get the the trail...LOL!!

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Jimbolio
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Gunsight Pass (Tucson) - *Update* 1.5 Reply with quote

yes plenty I can even guide one day but not this week

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