5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
NOTE: I haven't done this one yet but am pretty sure you need a high clearance 4x4 to get all the way to the trailhead. From Forest Service Description: emporal Gulch Trail is one of the least traveled routes in the Santa Ritas.
That’s not because this remote backcountry trail isn’t worth a visit, but because it’s more than just a little hard to get to.
The north end of the gulch is accessible from Madera Canyon by hiking up the Super Trail #134 or Old Baldy Trail #372 to Josephine Saddle and then contouring around Josephine Peak to the head of the drainage.
You can drive to the downhill end of the trail, but that requires winding over dusty roads for a considerable distance and bouncing the last couple of miles up a jeep track that can require a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Those who go to the trouble, however, generally find that the reward is well worth the effort.
Temporal Gulch Trail wanders up a broad canyon along a picturesque stream punctuated with stepping stone crossings and a bubbly waterfall–when it has water in it.
When it doesn’t, the riparian area is still a pleasant place to be, shaded by spreading sycamores and other desert canyon species clustered along the streambed.
Other desert dwellers congregate here, too, and if you proceed quietly and watchfully you’re virtually assured of having a close encounter with a number of them.
Colorful songbirds flash through the trees, and soft-eyed deer browse in the grasses and brush, sometimes scarcely taking notice of you.
If you’re a history buff, there are a number of old mining works in the area; small diggings that have left only a tailings pile and a few pieces of litter-become-artifact to tell their story.
All this is framed within a panorama that includes the peaks of the Santa Ritas and their foothills.
Temporal Gulch Trail extends between the mouth of the gulch and Josephine Saddle where it intersects a number of other Santa Rita trails.
One possibility for a loop trip is to take the trail to the saddle and then pick one of a number of routes up, around or over Mt.
Wrightson to Gardner Trail #143 which leads to the Walker Basin Trail #136. Directions: Drive north out of Patagonia on 1st Avenue and continue 2.5 miles to the National Forest boundary where the road becomes FR 72.
Follow FR 72 for 4 or 5 miles depending on the condition of the road.
Usually this route is passable by passenger cars to the FR 72/FR 72A junction–a good place to park your horse trailer.
Walk/ride 2.5 miles up FR 72, now a rough jeep track, toward Walker Basin to the trailhead.
Trail #595 stays within the streambed.