Beauty of Seven Falls

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Romero Pools - Catalina State Park

On Wednesday, Feb. 29th we hiked in beautiful Catalina State Park in the Santa Catalina Mountains.  Our fearless leader Joanne gave us a choice between two trails. The reason for this was because of the difference in the difficulties of the trails.
Hike A was an easy hike of a total of a little more than three miles.  The Canyon Loop Trail was 2.3 miles with an elevation gain of 100ft.  This was combined with the Ruins Interpretive Trail of 3/4 of a mile.
 Hike B was The Romero Pools Trail. This hike is considered a moderate plus trail.   It is a total of five miles long – 2.5 miles up with an elevation gain of 1000 feet and then 2.5 miles back down.  WHEW!
Of the two choices and I had decided waaaayyyy last week that I felt more comfortable following the first hike, the easier hike.  After all, I am still a novice at this.  This would just be my 5th hike.
Don't let this innocent smile fool you

The blog title indicates trails and trials….well, I think you know where I’m going with this one, and this one was a bit of a trial.  As we gathered in the parking lot of the community center, I allowed one of the seasoned hikers, Ernie a seemingly nice guy with an honest enough face to talk me into Hike B.  He told me he was SURE I could do it.  And yes, you guessed it, I fell for it. 
Our group of 13 hikers headed off to Catalina State Park at 8:30 a.m. with confidence high and arrived approximately 30 minutes later. Today, as in previous hikes – the weather was gorgeous.
Peeling off layers as the sun warms

This trail is very popular because of the beautiful scenery, it’s not too hard, and leads to the natural waterpark of Romero Pools.
The first 15 or 20 minutes of the trail is over the desert floor, but then it gets very rocky and starts climbing steeply up the north side of Montrose Canyon. About 45 minutes in from the trailhead you get to the top of the ridge between Romero and Montrose canyons, and then head up canyon near the top of the ridge. This area on the top of the ridge is very beautiful, since it has rock formations, great views, and it takes some work to get up there.
 The trail winds through the rocks at the top of the ridge for about 20 minutes, generally climbing, but with some short descents, until you drop down to the stream crossing at Romero Pools. There are pools and waterfalls up and down the stream from this point. To return, you just retrace your route back to the trailhead.

The Fork

Both trailheads started at the same place and our group divided in two.  One group of 5 took the trail to the nature trail to the left and the other group of 8 took the fork to Romero Pools.  This would be my last chance to change my mind and go on the easier hike….I didn’t.  I believed in my ability (and Ernie) and I wanted to try it. 
The wildflowers were spectacular! We saw poppies, foxgloves, brittle bush (I have since purchased several of these for my yard), fairy dusters, daisies, and more.  I am sorry I could not take photos of these beauties, because if just wasn’t that type of hike.  I had to keep my eyes on the trail and on my feet and the person ahead of me.  I just was too whimpy to try to take pictures while I hiked. 
The pictures I was able to snap of scenery were mostly when we stopped for a quick drink or at our lunch break. 

One of the things that kept me going and from complaining too much was a young man on the trail with his four, yes I said four children.  One was in a child carrier on his back and the others were probably ages 4, 7 and 10.  These ages are approximations but the skill of these kids was amazing.  I refused to be beaten by this group of super-humans! 
Reaching the pools
 I have to say once we got back down and were walking back to the parking lot, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.  I am glad I took the high road. 
People dive off the rocks into this pool-CRAZY!

Heading back down

Until next time…keep tumbling along like tumbling tumbleweed.

1 comment:

  1. Who would ever think this could be soooo much fun? I'm sorry the group suspends hikes in the summer because of the heat. Maybe we could start some sunrise hikes....