Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yetman Trail Tucson Mountain Park December 14, 2013

                    Golden Gate Peak in the Tucson Mountains

After lunch, I drove into the Tucson Mountains over Gates Pass to hike the Yetman Trail. The Yetman Trail is one of the longer trails in the Tucson Mountain Park at over five miles starting on Gates Pass Road and ending near the International Wildlife Museum on Speedway BLVD. I hiked for about three hours with total miles around 5.5.  This last week I have been suffering from a head cold so I did not want to over exert myself.  The hike was beautiful with lots of views of Golden Gate Mountain near Gates Pass and  surrounding desert vegetation. On this hike I saw more young Saguaros under nurse trees such as Palo verde or Creosote bush. Most people think Saguaros are hardy cacti but they can easily die during periods of cold temperatures and low rainfall. Saguaros are also a keystone species providing habitat and food for many species of wildlife.

Special Note: Bikers and hikers have created lots of unincorporated trails in the Tucson Mountains. Be sure to carry a topographic map so you do not get turned around.

                 Golden Gate Peak and Bushmaster Peak (to the right) in the background with desert vegetation   in foreground

                         Saguaro using a Palo verde as a nurse plant

                  Afternoon light on the Tucson Mountains

                     Looking east toward Saguaro National Park