OverviewRice Peak is in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson. Rice Peak sits just north of Mt. Lemmon near the Pima/Pinal County Line. Rice Peak is important because about 300 ft below the summit on the north side is the County Highpoint of Pinal County .
Getting ThereThere are different ways to get to the summit of Rice Peak. The trailhead we used is from the east through Peppersauce Campground . To get to Peppersauce Campground from Tucson, drive north on Oracle Road (US 89). Continue for 27 miles to State Highway 77. Turn right (east) and drive 10 miles to the town of Oracle. Take the first Oracle exit and travel 4 miles through town to Forest Road 38. Follow FR 38 to Peppersauce Canyon. Due to the Bullock and Oracle Hill Fires of 2002, Peppersauce Campground is NOT accessible from the upper Control Road from Summerhaven.
The road turns to gravel not too far out of the town of Oracle. At Peppersauce Campground, set your odometer to zero and prepare for a rougher road. Go up the hill 2.5 miles where there is a little saddle. Turn right onto a rougher smaller road. Follow this road .9 mile to a wash out and park. As of November 2006 this road was pretty washed out and only Quad OHV and Motorbikes were going through. There are actually 3 washouts in this area with the second one about 100 yards across. We parked here.
You can probably take alternate roads into the area including one directly up Peppersauce Canyon and another from Campo Bonito. If you have details on those routes, please post them as routes. Another approach is from Summerhaven on Mt. Lemmon and hiking down Oracle Ridge.