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Gibson Canyon Trail #308
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2016-11-29  
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mini location map2011-01-02
14 by photographer avatarPrestonSands
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Gibson Canyon Trail #308Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2011
PrestonSands
Hiking5.40 Miles 1,660 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
1,660 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With the upper Pinaleno's snowed in, I decided to check out the bottom end of the Gibson Canyon Trail. Driving in on FR 57, I reached Marijilda Creek and discovered that the road crossing had been repaired. :y: The crossing is now high clearance instead of freaking nuts, and will likely remain that way until the next flash flood.

I drove all the way in to the "official" trailhead, where there was a sign for the Gibson Canyon Trail. The lower section (2.5 miles) of the Gibson Canyon Trail was easy to follow and well cairned, and climbed steadily through grassland and scattered oaks, following the route of an ancient, eroded road (an old sawmill road?). High snow covered peaks were in constant view. S Canyon contained a few small waterfalls.

I hit solid snow at 5400 feet, reached the Round The Mountain Trail at 5500 feet, then followed it south for a fridgid third of a mile to the signed junction of the upper section of the Gibson Canyon Trail. Saw several trail cameras in trees along the way. I struggled up the snowy slope, trying to follow the upper trail, but had a tough time (which I had always expected I would) due to the fire damage, regrowth, and snow covering. I turned around at sunset after 0.25 miles, and headed back down.

Several years of procrastination due to a belief that this trail was likely vanished ended today, and I got to experience some new territory and a great little hike. If you go, avoid summer on the lower section of this trail, there is no shade.

FYI: The upper end of the Gibson Canyon Trail near High Peak Cienega is totally gone, so the entire section of trail above the Round The Mountain Trail will likely be very challenging.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
_____________________
"I'm going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out." -Jim Gaffigan
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PrestonSands'
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