Beauty of Seven Falls

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Green Mountain Trail, Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado National Forest

Our small group of 4 – Stan, Gina, Ernie and me – started out at 7:30 a.m. and made our way through town to the Catalina Highway.  So extraordinary that within an hour or two you can leave town and be out among the ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and Arizona cypress.  This is a nice short one-way hike which can be done in any season, although spring and fall are the best times to do it. The trail goes through different types of forest, and there are very nice views at the upper end. There are also a number of short side trails that you can take.
The Green Mountain Trail starts at over 7,000 feet and winds down about 1,000 to the General Hitchcock campground, the 3.9 mile trail (one way) offers excellent views across the San Pedro Valley.  This hike is a one-way hike where you usually would do a car shuttle to get back to your starting point. Keep in mind… our hikes are becoming more and more abbreviated and modified because of the weather.  We have already had temps of 100 degrees so we have had to alter the normal trails to suit our very selfish need to hike as long as we possibly can.  That being said, we started our hike in reverse, starting at the General Hitchcock campground and climbing up. 
We started out with temperatures a gorgeous 67degrees, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before they would begin to climb.  The views were absolutely wonderful.  There were hillsides covered with rock formations and thin scrubby forest of pine, oak, manzanita, chaparral and juniper. From some points along the trail we could see Bear Canyon and see Thimble Peak framed at the far end of the canyon. The smell of the pines was amazing, but even more amazing was the sound of the wind blowing through them. 
The group was small and quiet for the most part so we could really enjoy the sounds of nature.  I tried to sing at one point – as I am known to do on hikes – but my song was very short-lived as I was having trouble with the altitude. 

We had to make frequent stops because of the altitude.  It wasn’t hot, so we didn’t have to make stops for drinks….it was only because we would become short of breath after the steep climbs.  I say “we” but maybe I should speak for myself.  I am the novice hiker and I am not ashamed to admit when I am out of breath.  The others seemed to be doing fine, but it got harder and harder for me to face another steep incline.  Finally, at about 90 minutes or so in, I felt I was really pushing myself and decided it was time for me to stop.  I offered to stay at this point while the others went ahead to the saddle – our turnaround point (which was actually in view) but the others decided we should stay together as a group.  You have no idea how happy I was at their decision, because I am a big chicken when it comes to lions, tigers, and bears! 
 I don't remember what Stan was teaching us on this one :-(
We took about 20 to 30 minutes to have our lunch before starting back down.  It seemed I picked a really nice spot to give out.  There were some incredible rock formations all around us.  One even looked sort of like a totem pole. 
Thimble Peak
After our light lunch, which did wonders to renew my strength, we started our hike back down to the campground.  Going down was much easier (as usual) than the climb up. We had a wonderful hike, no misadventures, no rattlers, bears, mountain lions or anything.  We were just enjoying each other’s stories and nature’s beauty…..until we reached the end of the trail – the campground – where we were met with a camper in the all-together walking around his campsite.  We weren’t prepared for this much nature, so agreed it was time to call it a day.
Modesty prevents me from posting pictures of the camper....
Oh yes, I would like to take this time to also mention that I didn’t mention any of our group’s unmentionables or wardrobe malfunctions.  lol


  1. Great to hear that you are having such a great time with your new hobby! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Cros! I'm just sorry that we are winding down. What to do with my summers, hmmmm? Any suggestions?