|Hiking||8.20 Miles|| 4 Hrs 30 Mns || ||1.82 mph|
|1,645 ft AEG|| || || |
Right in my own back yard and as usual, never paid much attention. Wonderful day for a loop hike, not too long, a fair amount of solitude, and rocks, rocks and more rocks.
This loop was from the top of Mt Lemmon, you park by the old Trico Electric Generators. I chose to loop thru beautiful Lemon park on the Meadow trail, then shortly joined the Mt Lemmon trail.
At the start the area vascilates between burn and some old growth forest. Pretty flowers and ferns in the parks. The Mt Lemmon trail for a while is an old road, then becomes part of the Arizona Trail while another trail --the Sutherland--takes off downhill toward Catalina State Park.
This part of the Arizona Trail is beautiful. Some trees down and trail erosion, but cairns find the way for you. The trail starts in the pines then passes thru some awesome rock formations as you journey downward. You link up with the signed western end of the Wilderness of Rocks trail and follow that. Nice to see some springs flowing some not a half mile off the AZ trail.
Not much water about except in Lemmon Creek, which you cross a couple of times. Great weird rock formations in here, and some nice campsites. Some shade, but as it is a lot of places, evidence of fire.
My return was a steady 1500+ foot climb up the 2 miles long Lemmon Rock Lookout trail(better than 3000 feet on the Mormon Ridge!!). You can glimpse the little house of the fire lookout perched out on the huge boulder. The trees in here are largely torched. The undergrowth in ferns is very thick. Some great views out that were at one time blocked by the trees. The trail switchbacks and is steep but not hard to follow. You climb toward some great large monolithic boulders. Clouds were coming over, and that kept things cool. At the top the parking lot was full and people milling about, I think I saw 6-8 people on this trip and that was camping in the meadow and on the climb out.
The Wilderness of Rocks is like a playground, lots of exploring to do there.