Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sweetwater Trail to Wasson Peak Saguaro National Park West December 7, 2013

                         Looking southeast near the summit

On November 12, 2013, I summited Wasson Peak by hiking the Sendero Esperanza an Hugh Norris Trail. On Saturday I drove out Ruthrath Drive to summit Wasson Peak from the northeast side using the Sweetwater Trail. Total mileage of todays hike was 9.2 with a total elevation gain of 1900 feet. The Sweetwater Trail takes visitors through a classic Sonoran Desert community with Saguaro cactus, Palo verde, Ocotillo and Prickly pear. Vegetation did not change during the hike. The first mile and half the trail is not steep as it runs perpendicular to Wasson Peak. The last mile and half on the Sweetwater trail is considerably more steep as it climbs up to a saddle. From the saddle it is another 1.2 miles to the summit with 800 feet of elevation to gain. The trail is rocky but the views start to open up near the top. As always this is a desert hike so bring water, hat and sunscreen. REI and Summit Hut in Tucson have good Topographic maps to plan and execute any hike.

                    Sweetwater Canyon with Catalina Mountains in the background

                  Almost on top

                       Me on the summit.

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