Hiking the Mountain Empire – North Loop 2.1 Miles


This 2.1 mile loop hike is close to downtown Patagonia and takes about an hour, It is an ideal “before-breakfast walk” for anyone staying at the local hotel or bed and breakfast lodgings. Your route follows reasonably level back roads with the exception of one of those “roller coaster hills” that will get your heart pumping. You will have nice views of the country north of Patagonia to Mount Wrightson and, if you are lucky, you might also see a mule deer, javalina, or roosting buzzards along the way.  The hills also make for a good short workout on a mountain bike.

Please note that this route is adjacent to private property. Please respect the owner’s need for privacy and tranquility.

Mile 0.0
Begin your walk on First Street, just west of the Patagonia High School football field. Walk north on First.  Soon a wash appears on your left, parallel to the road.

Mile 0.4
The Black Dove B&B is on your right. Just past the Black Dove and before an old cattle guard you will see a signed road (Paseo de los Suenos ) crossing the wash.  Follow the road as it heads west across the wash to the entrance to private residence. Here, if you look very closely, you may see the remains of another old cattle guard. Do not cross the cattle guard. Instead head north (right) on a dirt road that runs along the fence line.

Mile 0.5
Shortly the road crosses a paved drive way (Do not enter the private property.) and proceeds to climb steeply. This is the beginning of several “roller coaster” hills that will provide the aerobic benefits of this trip. About halfway up the first hill the road bends and heads west. For just a moment you are on top of a ridge with nice views to the north. The two rather impressive peaks on the northern skyline are Mount Wrightson and Mount Hopkins. Mount Wrightson is one of the most beautiful and challenging climbs in southern Arizona. Mount Hopkins is a nationally known astronomy center. Information about hiking Mount Wrightson or touring Mount Hopkins is available at the Patagonia Visitor Center.

Now the road plunges down, crosses a wash, and then immediately climbs steeply again.

Mile 0.6
The road bends southward and you come to a three-way junction. Take the road to your extreme left.( Please do not enter the roads that go to the right as they are private entrances.) If you look left at this point you may see an old windmill. Far to the south on the skyline is Red Mountain, a more vigorous hike that offers great views of the area south of Patagonia and into Mexico.

Submitted by Reed Mencke 
In this legalistic age I feel compelled to add the disclaimer that I take no responsibility for any mishap which may befall you or even for the accuracy of the directions. When you hike things happen. This guide is as accurate as I could make it. But it comes with no guaranty written or implied. When you hike you are responsible for your own safety.