Saturday, December 17, 2016

Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains November 2016

                      Quintin above Madera Canyon on the Dutch John Spring Trail

Location and General Information: The Santa Rita Mountains extend 28 miles north and south east of Tucson. The highest mountain in the range is Mount Wrightson at 9,453 feet. Much of the vegetation is pine forest mixing to oak-pine forest at lower ecosystems. Wildlife include mule deer, black bear and mountain lion. The range has 100s of species of birds and visitors come from all over to observe rare birds. Popular areas are Madera Canyon and Whipple Observatory near Mount Hopkins.

Madera Canyon is located about 45 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona. Take l-19 south of Tucson 24 miles. Take the Continental Road exit. Follow the road until you see East Whitehouse Canyon Road and turn right. Follow the signs the rest of the way to the canyon.

On two consecutive Fridays I took my son Quintin to go hiking in Madera Canyon. The first trip we did about 2.5 miles total on the Dutch John Spring Trail. The second time we started near the Santa Rita Lodge hiking on the Nature Trail about 2.5 miles. If you go I would go during the weekday because Saturdays are extremely busy.

                    Quintin at our lunch spot

                     Scenery on the Nature Trail

                   The high ridge of the Santa Ritas including Mount Wrightson

                          Fall colors

                          High ridge of the Santa Ritas, Mount Wrightson is the mountain far on the right

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