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Ventana Canyon is one of the most beautiful canyons in the Santa Catalina Front Range, and one of the least visited. The main reason for that, most likely, is because getting to the trailhead requires deciphering a set of access instructions that would challenge Sherlock Holmes (see below)! Another reason may be the fact that this Front Range trail includes several sections of steep and rocky switchbacks.
Ventana means window in Spanish. The window in this case is a 15 by 25 foot opening in solid rock that tops one of the peaks in the Santa Catalina Front Range. The route up Ventana Canyon leads to "The Window", presenting memorable views of sheer canyon walls and a steadily broadening panorama along the way. The stream that the trail follows for much of this route is dry most of the year, but you can usually find water in some of its pools during the spring and early summer. The riparian habitat it nourishes provides good birdwatching.
The trail becomes steadily more difficult to follow as it climbs farther from the trailhead and higher up the canyon. As you climb, occasional pools and widening vistas provide reasons to stop, take a breather, and look around. The Window comes into view well before you get to it, as does the 100-foot drop at its base.
Attractions: Desert canyon, waterfalls (in season, access to The Window, and magnificent views!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.
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This hike is listed as One-Way.
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