Martha and I took our new Jeep Renegade for a ride through Redington Pass just outside of Tucson. The total mileage of the trip was 59 miles with steep ascents and decents, shelf rock, deep ruts, mud, lots of deep water filled holes, gravel and sand washes. large chunk rocks, numerous water crossings (likely dry during the summer), very narrow sections and some that were wide enough for 10 Renegades side by side. There some smooth road just to throw you off your game. The area has a lot of dispersed camping as does most of the Coronado National Forest. We began our trip on E. Tanque Verde Road which becomes Redington Road at its intersection with Catalina Highway.
We arrived at the intersection and began our climb into the mountains around 1pm and returned home at 5:30-ish pm. The total length of Redington Pass Road through the mountains is 62 miles from Tucson to San Manual. From there you can catch Highway 77 and get back to Tucson.
Alltrails.com says this is a very easy ride suitable for passenger cars but, that is a load of BS. If you don’t have high clearance you are going to tear stuff up. I had several areas where one of the four wheels was off the ground a bit and one water crossing that was close to two feet deep. This is a good starter trail for a beginner Jeep adventure. The Renegade is more that capable of handling this road and I only used four wheel low in one section, most of the run was done in four wheel lock.
If you are in Tucson and you have the right vehicle (high clearance) this is a close in road/trail that is worth going on. The scenery is beautiful but remember that you won’t be able to make good time unless you have a high clearance vehicle.
There is ample dispersed camping but if you have a camper van or RV you will want to camp near the start of the run just at the up into the mountains at the east end of E. Tanque Verde. The road then changes names to Redington Road and climbs abruptly into the Santa Catalinas. Up about a mile or mile and a half are some nice RV spots but you won’t want to go much further up with anything other than a jeep with a roof tent or take a tent with you.
The road is a pass between the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains and serves ranchers in the area with open range grazing for cattle. It’s a beautiful run starting in lowland desert transitioning into semi-arid alpine desert and back again.
Know Before You Go
What to bring: Warm clothes in case, food or snacks, water (there is no place to get water along this run.
Length: 62 miles round trip from Tucson to Tucson
Directions: From the intersection of Tanque Verde and Houghton roads in Tucson, go east on Tanque Verde Road, which turns into Redington Road, for 28.5 miles to Redfield Canyon Road. Turn right onto Redfield Canyon Road and continue 1 mile to San Pedro River Road. Turn left onto San Pedro River Road and continue 2 miles back to Redington Road. Turn left onto Redington Road and continue 30.5 miles back to Tucson.
Note* Since it is open range be on the lookout for cattle.
I will let the photos do the rest of my talking
Recent rains have some of the Barrel Vactus and Ocotillo’s blooming
About a mile outside of Tucson on Redington Road looking back toward Tucson
This ole girl didn’t much like us on her road and faked a charge at us before wandering off
Dropping back into the valley headed for San Manual
Ancient Saguaro Cactus