We returned to Bear Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains for our recent hike. This is one hike none of us ever tire of because of the awesome views we are rewarded with when we visit and revisit over and over. You can never take in everything when you go, so it never gets tiring (except the climbs up to the falls).
We gathered at our usual meeting place at 8:00 a.m. and were really not surprised that our group - we had a total number of 16 - was the largest so far this season. The weather promised to be perfect, warm and sunny and this is always a favorite hike.
|The more the merrier|
We arrived at Sabino Canyon and purchased our tickets a few minutes before the trams were to leave the visitors center at 9:00 a.m. The tram takes us to the Bear Canyon Trailhead which we use to hike to Seven Falls. One member of our group, Gina didn’t wait for the tram,
she hiked up the tram road and was sitting at the trailhead when the rest of us arrived. Show off! LOL
The weather was beautiful, the views were beautiful, and our group enjoyed each other as we traveled up the trail in Bear Canyon. Not really sure why they named it Bear Canyon, but I am extremely happy that we have never seen any dangerous animals, only spectacular views….
|Nothing like it....|
The seven streams we have to cross on the way up to the falls were pretty full this trip. We have had a nice amount of rain and some snow up in the mountains and it all runs down to the streams. We had to be very careful because footing was a little slippery as we crossed.
|Slow and steady....|
It was hard for us all to be together at all times because the group was so large, but I felt confident that the 3 groups we seemed to break into were taking care of each other. There were quite a few other hikers out on the trails for it not to be a weekend, but I guess everyone is anxious to see the falls when they are really running.
|Sparkling clear pools|
The trail is only 5 miles when you take the tram to and from the trailhead, and the elevation is about 700 feet. We made plenty of stops for water along the trail though it really is hard to think about hydrating when the weather is so perfect. I tend to think more about whatever food I have packed for our breaks.
When you reach that last set of switchbacks before the falls, and you can hear the water running, you get a feeling that is hard to describe.
|View from the trail across from the falls|
|Pool up above that the kids jump into|
Maybe that’s just me….but it seems like everyone enjoys our breaks, whether we're eating or just resting.
|Jim and Gina|
|Chun and Steve|
|LaNeta, Connie and Eugenia|
While we were enjoying our break at the falls, a group of young people arrived. Most were clad in just swimwear and proceeded to climb up to the falls. Young people like to dive off the rocks into the deep pools right below the top falls. It's very hard to watch because you hear of kids getting injured doing these stunts, but it never deters them. They were having a ball! Keep in mind it's January and the water that's in there is from snow melting up above!
|Getting his mind right for the leap of faith....|
|Jump! Jump! Jump!|
Oh, did I mention we return the same way, so of course those same 7 streams were waiting for us to cross....
|Oops! I'll let LaNeta tell you what happened....|
|Come on Lynne and Bill|
|Yay! Eugenia made it!|
As I said, I never get tired of this hike, and have already made plans to return with another friend - soon, before the water dries up. After all, we are in the desert you know.
And speaking of desert. It looks like we deserted one of our members on the trail, but this was Barb across from the falls. She opted to stay on that side rather than have to climb back up after having lunch down on the beach. I think it makes for a very pensive, solitude, lovely moment. That's her with the white shirt just about in the middle of this picture. I could only zoom in so much....
|Barb's moment of solitude across from the falls...|
See you on the trails.....