Thursday, September 19, 2013

Evening hike at Sabino Canyon, Arizona September 14, 2013

                        Sonoran Desert vegetation with the Catalina Mountains in the background

                            Of all the hiking opportunities in Tucson, Arizona, Sabino Canyon in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains is one of the best. The views of the Tucson Mountains to the south and the Rincon Mountains to the west are extraordinary. Picturesque Saguaro Cacti and Cholla Cacti  are also prevalent. At least three trails radiate out from Sabino Canyon into the Pusch Wilderness. An adventurous hiker or backpacker can hike from Sabino Canyon to the top of Mount Lemmon. Because of its beauty Sabino Canyon is very popular. In fact most weekends the parking lot fills up by mid-morning. To park a visitor's pass is required: $20 for the Coronado National Forest (good for a year includes Mount Lemmon and Madera Canyon to the south) or $5 for the day.

                  Today I arrived at 5 pm to enjoy the desert in the evening and watch the sunset. Daytime temperatures are still around 100 so early morning or late afternoon hikes in the lower elevations is recommended. I left the visitor's center and walked to Sabino Canyon and then off-trail (I don't recommend doing this in the Sonoran Desert to the Phoneline Trail and back). Overall mileage was only 3 miles but I saw a beautiful sunset and some wildlife including a Roadrunner, Mule Deer and many different species of birds.

                 Ocotillos and Saguaro Cacti with the Rincon Mountains in the background

                          Desert sunset with Tucson Mountains
                   Evening in the desert

                                Ocotillo and sky

                     Ocotillos and Saguaro with last light

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