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Table Mountain - Catalinas
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mini location map2010-12-01
8 by photographer avatarkeepmoving
photographer avatar
 
Table Mountain - CatalinasTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2010
keepmoving
Hiking9.04 Miles 4,275 AEG
Hiking9.04 Miles   7 Hrs   6 Mns   1.27 mph
4,275 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hit the trail early and was shivering as I worked my way up canyon. I was a little concerned I would have difficulty locating the right drainage and did not want to take the wrong one and cliff out. Fortunately the hike description describes the location perfectly and I was soon working my way up the drainage as the sun began to bathe the canyon walls in early morning light.

As I made my way up the drainage I couldn't help but wonder how the drainage was not supposed to be the most difficult part of the hike. It was steep, rocky, and filled with some very aggressive plants. I even had a very close encounter with a skunk that forced me to take an escape route through a large patch of prickly pear!

I had assumed after leaving the drainage that the trek to the summit would be easy: this is not the case! Working along the grassy slope and through the boulder strewn juniper fields was more difficult than I imagined. However the views from the top are AMAZING! Standing on the edge of Table Mountain and taking in the views of the many cliffs and rock filled canyons below after such a strenuous hike is a fantastic feeling.

After a well deserved rest I left the summit and began to make my way back downhill. Tired as I was, I knew Bighorn Mountain was close enough that I would regret not hiking it. So instead of heading back down the drainage, I worked my way west along the ridgeline.

The hike to Bighorn Mountain is not difficult, especially when compared to Table Mountain. The shindaggers are nowhere near as dense and the slope is relatively gentle. It is also much easier to see your final destination without having to work your way through juniper and does not take long to reach the summit. The summit has a small register and provides some decent views of The Cleaver, Table Mountain, and Oro Valley.

I decided not to backtrack to the drainage and instead worked my way south from Bighorn Mountain along the ridgeline and dropped into the canyon below. In retrospect this was a bad decision and the hike down was much tougher than I expected! I had to down climb several dry falls, squeeze between/under/around boulders, and once I reached the bottom I was forced to fight through the same brush that tried to stop me from summiting The Cleaver on Monday.

Exhausted, bruised, and bloody I eventually intersected the Pima Canyon Trail again and hiked out to the parking lot. It's a challenging hike, but the views are amazing!
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275 Photosets

  2011-08-30
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  2010-12-01
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  2010-03-30
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