Beauty of Seven Falls

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sweetwater Trail in Saguaro National Park

Me and cactus flower
Well, I’ve been off the trail for several weeks because of personal obligations.  Translation: I had family visiting for a week, I had jury duty the following week, and the third week I was a no account slacker.  That being said, our hikes are dwindling down to a precious few now.  The main group disbanded last week because the temperatures reached way up in the 80s and several people showed signs of heat exhaustion.  We are now operating with a much smaller group and we are abbreviating the length and difficulty of the hikes because of the heat. 


We have decided to gather an hour earlier figuring we can get started earlier and end the hikes before the heat gets dangerous.Whereas our normal hiking group ran between 12 and 18 members per hike, we only had four in our abbreviated group Wednesday.

We left the community center bright and early at 7:30 a.m., which means I was up at 6:00 a.m. so I could walk my dog before starting out. Needless to say….I was not bright eyed or bushy tailed in the least!   


This week we hiked the Sweetwater Trail in Saguaro National Park in the Tucson Mountains.  We were aiming for the 3.4 mile mark as our turnaround spot.  This point is called Sweetwater Saddle and is the point where the trails from the west side of the park meet the Sweetwater Trail and from here all the trails share the same route to Wasson Peak, the highest point in the Tucson Mountains.   
Jumping Cholla Cactus

We had agreed at onset to hike 1 ½ hours one way, stop for a brief lunch and head back.  We had plenty of breaks to drink water and take pictures.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking! 

The most notable thing of this hike was the flowers.   The desert was definitely in bloom and we had a wonderful time just trying to identify all of the flowers, cactus, plants and birds along the trail.  There were blossoms of every size and color.   We even took picture of this one cactus flower that looked as if it were coming out of a rock.   
Jorge snapping pics of flowers

This was a most enjoyable hike.  We didn’t quite make it to Sweetwater Saddle before we stopped and turned around, but that’s okay.   We were close enough and we didn’t have any problems – heat or otherwise. 

Me, Connie, Stan and SAGUARO

Hike Statistics (We only did 3 hours, with a break in the middle so we didn’t make the total mileage )

Distance Round Trip 7.36 mile
Trailhead Elevation 2,543 feet
Elevation Gain 412 feet
Accumulated Gain 536 feet
Average Time Round Trip 3.5 hours


  1. Way to get it in. Yeah, Hiking can be fun. Passing out and dizziness, cold sweats and what not...not so much.

  2. So true Cros. Some of the people I hike with have hiked the Grand Canyon and other difficult hikes. If we 'novice hikers' listen to them I'm sure we'll stay out of trouble.