Canyon Wrens Sing
by Bob Gregg
This hike is an extension of the Walkin' Jim Trail. As you drive north on Castle Hot Springs Road on your way to the trailhead look out to the northwest, and you'll see a particularly dramatic peak. It's called Pikes Peak. I like to think of it as Jim's Peak in honor of Walkin' Jim Stoltz who, after decades performing songs of the earth and some 28,000 miles of wilderness walking, has now passed on (September 3, 2010).
You'll see a saddle just east of the peak. That is where the trail ends. I hope someone will scramble to the top of Jim's peak, and let me know how it goes. I've never done it. I have documented this trail as a one way trail using the north side of the Walkin' Jim loop trail for GPS purposes, but you can also do it as a side trail off the Walkin' Jim loop. There is signage where the Big Jim departs from the Walkin' Jim trail. Along the trail you'll see classic Sonoran desert scenery, and almost certainly a few wild burros. As you ascend to the saddle, canyon wrens can be heard in spring and summer. In the fall when the blooms of Brittlebush and Globemallow have long departed, a dramatic splash of color adorns many rocks in the form of lichens. Great views to the south and east from the saddle.
2010-11-19 Bob Gregg
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.