|Hiking||14.25 Miles|| 8 Hrs 42 Mns || ||1.64 mph|
|3,360 ft AEG|| || || |
I'd been itchin' to do this since Nick posted it a couple weeks ago. Left home about 5:30am and arrived at Gordon Hirabiyashi at 8am. At which point I realized I didn't have my hiking pants nor a pair of socks. So I layered up three shirts to make up for wearing shorts in thirty degree weather. Having nearly froze last week at Romero I opted to bring my Five-Ten canyoneering boots for the water crossings. Bright yellow boots, shorts and a balaclava... I was head turner indeed. I gave it a try but turned around at a half mile and headed back for my tevas.
One mile down and started over. Lingering storm clouds made for a nice morning drifting through the peaks. Just over a mile in you come to a saddle (Shreve Saddle) that was apparently the trailhead long long ago. The views are nice. The mountains look like... mountains. Tall, steep, numerous, sweet. Couldn't help but think about never ending ups/downs in store. Heading down to Sycamore Reservoir you're trekking through scorched terrain. I passed a family that camped for the night and moved on through the creek. This is a pretty cool area that resembles portions of Big Bear in California. My interest started kicking in.
The creek turns into what only Mt Lemmon can produce, white granite? boulders with dark yellow running water. At this point I'm getting pretty excited about the hike. Then I took a wrong turn which took me to the Bear Canyon? junction. It all turned out okay. Minus a couple hundred feet elevation and a tad more mileage you skirt a cliff with views worthy of the effort.
Now on the next saddle I got a peek of the Sabino labyrinth ahead. First thought was wow, followed by a quick ugh that sucker goes down! It's big lazy switchbacks down to the oasis. Most of which is sound. The sound of waves crashing on the beach. Actually it's just a creek in the East Fork of Sabino Canyon. At the bottom the trek over to Sabino is brushy. The creek was rippin' through more white boulders. There's one really nice waterfall cascade and several other smaller ones. The foliage is packed tight. It's cool passing shade trees with saguaros in sight.
The switch from East to West was beyond words with the snow melt. The creek was turned on to Alaska flow. It's the same deep yellow water only volumes more and the boulders just get bigger too.
So I headed up to Hutch's pool. This canyon was stunning too with pristine saguaros and wicked steep cliffs in view. I came to a creek crossing that looked more like a swim than anything. At this point I was a half hour past my turn around time as I had taken a zillion photo stops. Since I didn't have a clue how much further it was and I seriously doubted any pool could match the Alaskan waves I'd already witnessed I turned around.
The climb I feared most out of Sabino East was actually pleasant. The ascent back up to Shreve is a little more of a huffer.
Wow, what a hike!!! This is hands down my favorite Tucson hike now.
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated