Beauty of Seven Falls

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recent Hikes in the Tucson Mountains, the Santa Catalina Mountains, and the Santa Rita Mountains

Peaks and blue skies along the Sabino Canyon

Yes, we have been doing our weekly hikes, but sadly no – I have not been keeping up with our blog.  Blame it on the beautiful southern Arizona weather.  There are so many other ways to get lost in the beauty down here, and none of them include sitting inside on the computer.  So, while I feel an apology is in order….I just can’t bring myself to give one.  I have been thoroughly enjoying the reason I moved to Arizona in the first place - beautiful views, sunny skies, wonderful warm temperatures, etc., etc., etc. 

That being said, I will try to catch everyone up quickly on the hikes I have done with the group.  These include Golden Gate Loop Trail, Romero Pools, Phone Line Trail, Madera Canyon, and Seven Falls.  I will just give a brief description of the hike and then add a few pictures for each one.  

Golden Gate Loop Trail - Tucson Mountain Park

It is said it got this name because early prospectors thought Gates Pass and the mountain constituted the gate to the gold in the Tucson Mountains.  Golden Gate Trail circles Golden Gate Mountain but can also be combined with other trails to form a loop that takes you back to the parking lot.  That is the trail we took - the Loop.  The hike was 6.6 miles and really was relatively easy.

Golden Gate Mountain

On our way
Kirk and Chun

Valentine's cactus - see the heart?
Heading back
Always willing to take one for the team!
Those are cactus spines in my leg.

Romero Pools in the Santa Catalina Mountains

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. 

Beautiful cliffs

Positively prehistoric!

Well marked trails

Is Gordy having second thoughts?


Besties - Gordy and LaNeta 
Our leader for this hike

As long as I can see Sombrero Peak, I'm okay
Taking a breather and searching for bighorn sheep

At the pools
Lead us home Jim!

Sabino Canyon’s Phone Line Trail

We took the tram all the way to Stop 9, the trailhead for Phone Line Trail and hiked back to the Visitor's Center.  This makes the hike a total of 5.5 miles.  This is a challenging, but very doable hike.  You get pretty high and then climb along the sides of the canyons, and then start a gradual descent back down to the visitor’s center.  

Majestic peaks

Gentle wildlife

Hiking buddies


The Phone Line Trail

Perfect spot for a rest

Sabino Canyon's Bear Canyon Trail to Seven Falls

Only the first of seven streams to cross

A gorgeous day

College kids carousing in one of the streams

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Halo of a sun

People everywhere!

Splendid view of the falls

Lunch break - we lucked out with a shady spot

Clear view of Bear Canyon and the valley beyond

Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains

Madera Canyon is located on the northwest side of the Santa Rita Mountains under the towering Mount Wrightson (elevation 9453 feet) the third tallest peak in Arizona and the tallest in the Santa Rita Range. We hiked the Madera Creek Trail which was only about six miles roundtrip, but filled with plenty of hiking challenges.  Our adventure began at the Whitehouse Picnic area and we followed along the creek, on the Nature Trail.  The trailhead is at an elevation of about 4500 feet and we gained about 600 ft. elevation on the nature trail.  This is definitely one of my favorite hikes.

Linda and Kirk enjoying a moment together

Linda and Kirk listening for - what???

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I love the nature trail, they even have names
on some of the trees and shrubs

Greenery in the canyons

It looks scary, but it was a friendly sun

Mt. Wrightson

Some of the faces you'll see on the trails -
 A LOT!!!

See you on the trails......