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Upper Lemmon Canyon & Pools
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mini location map2010-09-24
11 by photographer avatarsirena
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Upper Lemmon Canyon & PoolsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 24 2010
sirena
Canyoneering8.20 Miles 2,300 AEG
Canyoneering8.20 Miles   5 Hrs      1.64 mph
2,300 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my backpacking gear on a dayhike for Grand Canyon training purposes. I usually have to work on Fridays, but my appointments cancelled this morning, so I had a bonus hiking day this week. It was already 8am when I found out, so I decided to make a trip up the mountain for cooler weather. I was originally going to do the Mt. Lemmon/Lemmon Rock loop. As I turned off onto the Meadow Trail I realized that a trip to Lemmon pools would accomplish similar elevation gain/loss with a bonus waterfall and swim. I also happened to have my floatie with me because I'd thrown a bunch of gear in my pack to add weight. Fortunately, I'd only walked a short while on the Meadow Tr., so I turned around and called Mr. Sirena to let him know my change in itinerary.

I got hiking by 10:45 am, under Fraleylicious skies which made for a great video from the Lemmon Rock Lookout:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o0tcKgVdSQ

The exposed switchbacks were pretty warm, and there are quite a few wildflowers proliferating in the burn area. I was happy to reach the forested canopy. The water level was over the stepping-stones on the first creek crossing from the recent rains. My new shoes felt good on the steep downhill. I reached the Wilderness of Rock trail and quickly made it to the second creek crossing where the route to the pools take off. I noticed a new cairn before the creek with some stomped-down branches and decided to give that a try. I briefly got off the route, which was a little irritating because by this time it was hot and exposed and I just wanted to be at the pools already. I reached the pools at 12:45 and went for a float- it was so cold I had to put my legs up on a ledge and stay in the sun to be comfortable. Since I had my gear with me, I had my air mattress for a siesta in the shade. I had some time to kill because my plan was to hike out when it was a little cooler and catch the sunset from the Lemmon Rock Lookout. While I was there, the level in the pools lowered by about 2 inches.

At 3:30, I started my hike out from the pools. My environment went from cool and comfortable to hot and exposed in a matter of minutes. The route was very clear on the way back to the Wilderness of Rock and I could see where I'd gone astray. The lookout loomed high above me. The bottom of the climb out on the Lemmon Rock Tr. was shaded and I took a break where it crosses the creek to kill a little more time before tackling the final switchbacks. It was still really warm at 5pm, and I was surprised to see that the upper part of the trail remained in full sun. Even so, I much preferred this route to the pools over the Marshall Gulch route. I got to the lookout and settled in to watch the sunset. The best part of the evening was watching the growing shadow of Mount Lemmon to the east. I could see a light way off to the south and I looked it up when I got home. It was the reflection off an observatory 20 miles south of the Mexican border.

As I was driving home, the moon rose, giant and orange and a perfect end to my day on the mountain.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
HAZ Member
sirena's
208 Photosets

  2010-12-01
  2010-11-24
  2010-11-22
  2010-11-17
  2010-11-10
  2010-11-07
  2010-11-04
  2010-11-01
  2010-10-16
  2010-10-15
  2010-10-11
  2010-10-07
  2010-09-24
  2010-09-23
  2010-09-20
  2010-09-16
  2010-09-13
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  2010-09-02
  2010-09-01
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