Of all the hikes I have done in the Pusch Ridge area, this one has got to be the best. It has the steep trail, the water, the scenery and great views, and yet somehow, it has solitude, peace and quiet, and a feeling I don't usually get on a hike like Elden or my other regular ones. That peaceful, easy feeling of evening serenity during a break spent in the shade of a leafy tree (a cottonwood) as a lone bird chips with a chorus of crickets in the background, all the while the sun is setting and the thousand foot high granite walls are turning a pleasant orange hue. I was strongly reminded of my time in the Gila NF during my 2010 back packing trip.
I was a little let down by the tourist crowd early on, but they thinned fast. I managed to spot a Gila Monster, too. I went to the Pima Saddle mistakenly believing it to be the correct way. Realizing it wasn't, and not wanting to go back down that steep loose section of trail, and thinking myself closer to the trail than I really was, I made a long arduous bush-whack to the last section of trail below Mount Kimball. It was more of an adventure than a serious issue, but it did cut down on the summit time. It was great being back on the very scenic summit of Kimball, and it is hard to believe it has been a year since my first one, and 10 1/2 months since my last time up. That went fast.
Going down was great. Pima Canyon really doesn't disappoint for views, wildlife, or shear beauty. Late day sun, bird calls, being unbelievable alone (or not seeing anyone) on a trail right next to a major urban area, there isn't much else to ask for. Well, I have to ask: do people hike in Tucson? As the sun was setting, the canyon walls lit up with an attractive orange color, and the birds were singing pretty well, too. I was able to hear numerous species, including an owl. I was almost back to the trailhead before I was able to see Tucson, and once I did it was dark out and the city lit up, so it was really nice. A little distracting on the way back to my car. All in all the best hike of the 3.
||Wildflowers Observation Light