Beauty of Seven Falls

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bear Canyon Trail - My First Hike

I have been in Arizona now for 17 months and have managed to make some pretty amazing friends. The newest group of friends I came upon quite by happenstance. I go to the community pool every afternoon for a couple of hours and while there several weeks ago, one of my new friends there mentioned a hike he was going on the next day. I have never been a hiker so I listened, but was really not interested too much. Well, two days later he was back and talking about what a great time they had on the hike, where they had gone, yada, yada, yada, yada. Don't get me wrong...I don't consider myself a real athletic person, but I like to keep moving. I swim, I walk a couple of miles every day and I bike. I just never was a hiker. Well, slowly but surely it started sounding like something I might want to try and I think it may be one of the best decisions I have made lately. I was told that the next hike was going to be at Sabino Canyon's Bear Canyon Trail. It sounded so interesting (and it sounded like a good way for me to start seeing some of the local sights) that I decided to go. Keep in mind....I'm not a hiker so I did not have any of the proper gear. I borrowed a backpack, and a walking pole and I wore K Swiss walking shoes...not hiking boots. I felt totally unprepared when I showed up and saw the group in stylish hiking boots, wide brim sun hats, the whole 9 yards. But I was there and I was going.

Sabino Canyon is the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Bear Canyon trail is approximately 9 miles round trip. The trail head is approximately 2 miles from the parking lot and it takes another 2 ½ miles to reach Seven Falls. The trail crisscrosses over Sabino Creek (hiking boots would have been a blessing crossing the creek - 7 times going up and the same 7 times coming back down). When the creek is dry, the footing is stable at most of the crossing points, but when water is present, it can be more challenging. I admit I slipped more than once trying to find a path across. The funniest - and thank goodness there are no pictures to document it - was one time I slipped and one foot went into the creek and it looked like the rest of me would follow. Everyone was yelling "Use the walking stick!" I realized I was holding the walking stick up in the air instead of steadying myself on the rocks with it. Oh well, live and learn. After crossing over the creek several times, the trail rises up the side of Bear Canyon, leveling off at Seven Falls-pictured below.

I am happy to say I was able to keep up with the best of them, and other than getting one foot wet in one of the creek crossings everything was wonderful. I think I may be hooked....

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