Beauty of Seven Falls

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Picture Rocks Area Trails in the Tucson Mountains

Well, the long summer hiatus is over guys.  Back to the trails. 

This was actually our second hike of the season.  Our group was pretty good size - 12 strong.  We did a little over 5 miles of the Picture Rocks Area Trails on the eastern border of the north Tucson Mountain foothills.  The trails - Ironwood Forest, Brittlebush, Thunderbird, Canyon Cactus, Picture Rocks Wash, Prophecy Wash, Cam-Boh Trail Gila Monster and some other trails connect in a 10.7 mile loop. We did several of the trails - Picture Rocks Wash, Canyon Cactus, Gila Monster Trail, and maybe a part of another trail. 

Ernie leading the way with Connie a close 2nd
We were just following the amazing rocks with petroglyphs chipped into the surface.  Some are thought to be as old as 1,000 or more years and were created by the ancient Hohokam natives that lived in this area.  No one knows just what they mean.  The images of the sun, snakes, lizards, game animals and humans may have had religious or ceremonial significance.  We found many of the carvings quite by accident.  The group would stop to take a drink or a snack and there in front of us were markings.

Walt pulling cactus spines from his hand

The weather was perfect and it was a pretty moderate hike.  Some of us (myself included) found the loose gravel and sand in the washes pretty difficult to manuever.

 We even had one member of the group that slipped on some of the loose footing and fell right into a prickly pear cactus.  He was okay, but poor Walt was pulling the cactus spines out his hand for the rest of the hike.

 I actually had an encounter with a jumping cholla that attached itself to my boot and rode along for a couple of miles.  Didn't pierce that hard rubber sole though....

It's all fun and games until a jumping cholla attacks your foot.
We came across a few lone hikers, but I don't get the solitary bit.  We have such a good time with each other on the trails - talking, laughing, catching up with family news, and oh yes - eating lunch!

The 3 pictures below shows some of the group having lunch.  We all tried to find a shady spot and it ended up looking like a seek and find puzzle.  Can you find George, Bonnie, Walt, Jim and Justin?

Walt and JoAnn
George and Bonnie

Barb, Jim and Justin


Oh My Gosh!  I almost forgot!  Not only did we see plenty of cacti, petroglyphs, and a little wildlife, we also came upon an old - AND I MEAN OLD - Bonnie and Clyde type car in the wash.  It was very cool and totally riddled with bullet holes.  We couldn't resist a few pictures of that. 

Closer shot of car to show holes

That's me holding Walt at bay with my hiking pole.  lol
Well sports fans, that's all til next week.  
Happy trails to you!