Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ventana Canyon, Catalina Mountains April 19, 2014

                            Arizona black rattlesnake

Location: To get to the trail head for Ventana Canyon take Sunrise Road to Kolb Road. Turn left onto Kolb Road and drive through the Ventana Resort. Follow  the signs to the trail head and park in the employee lot not in the lot in front of the resort.

After a week  filled with stomach problems  I needed to get into the field. I chose to hike at Ventana Canyon because it is close to where I live and beautiful. When I started out I had thoughts about hiking up to the window at the top of Ventana Canyon. After a mile on the trail I recognized that my strength hadn't returned. I stopped many times on the trail to catch my breath and look at the scenery. I arrived at Maiden Pools around lunch time so I stopped for 15 minutes. After lunch I continued on for another mile before turning around. Above Maiden Pools I saw an ornery Arizona black rattlesnake on the trail. At that point I was daydreaming and not really paying attention. It is scary to hear the rattle and not know where the snake is. The snake would not stop rattling for over 15 minutes. After getting by the snake the rest of the hike was uneventful. Overall mileage was around seven miles with about 1500 feet of elevation gain.(Info from "Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country" by Erik Molvar).

                            Invasive Bufflegrass on the canyon stream bed

                  Cholla Cactus flower

                            Pusch Ridge Wilderness flora

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