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Madera Canyon - Nature Trail to Wrightson
38 Photosets

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mini location map2012-04-29
47 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
page 1   2   3   4
 
Madera Canyon - Nature Trail to WrightsonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2012
tibber
Hiking4.00 Miles 506 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.29 mph
506 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I just wanted to do a quick hike while Ambika finished off her photo workshop session so this trail was the perfect fit. I did think the trail would stay in the creek bed all the way to Wrightson Picnic area but that was not the case AT ALL.

I took off from just above the Santa Rita Lodge down across and along the creek before joining up with the official trail. About a third of a mile later I was at the amphitheatre and the very cool looking bridge. It looked like you could possibly continue along the creek but the trail sign indicated Roundup Nature Trail to the right so that's where I went.

Before long I was hiking away from the creek and up the mountainside :o ; not at all what I expected. I continued up and up observing the Interpretive signs showing you the flora that for the most part doesn't exist in that spot anymore. Pretty soon the trail switches back across the side of the mountain and eventually you round a corner and start heading toward the Wrightson Picnic area.

Off to the left, across the road I could see where I had hiked the day before. The trail was pretty much level by this point so I just enjoyed the terrain and looking up toward the top of the mountain I was traversing. As I got closer to the creek/canyon area I eventually came to an unmarked fork :-k . I decided to take the high path as it looked like the other might lead down to the Chuparosa Lodge. For once, I made a good decision :) .

Interestingly enough, part of this trail from the fork is cemented. Before you know it you are in the creek bed. I saw some water flowing and a beautiful stance of Indian Paint Brush so I went to check it out. I then went back to the trail arriving at the sign that says You Are Here (that being the Wrightson Picnic area). I studied the sign for a moment as it looked like I could go up to the Wrightson TH and then hang a right and hook up with the Nature Trail; but since I wasn't sure, I decided to head back the way I came.

The hike back, of course, is much easier as it's pretty level, then downhill :) . I did stop at the area where I could see where I had hiked yesterday. I studied the terrain more closely to examine my route up Kent Spring and down Bog Spring Trail. I zoomed the camera to see if I could see a trail but I didn't. I could see part of the road I had hiked on and I could see Tonto parked at the Lodge.

Before I knew it, I was back at the Lodge, changed shoes, grabbed some chips and went to the bird watching benches. There weren't very many people today so I had the prime bench for the rest of the morning. I overheard the owner talking about the place she had owned for the last several years. I am pleased to say that they are taking an active role in trying to continue to improve the Lodge and the grounds : app : . She absolutely loves the place.

Once Ambika's session was ended we headed out and stopped at Sahuarita to have a Carne Seca lunch at El Charro (thx for telling me about this place Randy). I LOVE carne seca and even tho I ordered a carne asada burro by mistake, I savored every bite! :y: As I got closer to Phx, I noticed several large dust funnels to the west. They are so fascinating. I had a great weekend in Madera Canyon. Just what I needed so thanks Ambika!

This is a list of some of the birds I saw:
    Flame-colored Tanager
    Broad-Billed and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds
    Acorn and Arizona Woodpeckers
    many, many Mexican Jays
    Black-headed Grosbeak
    Lazuli Bunting
    Lesser Gold and House Finches
    among many others I can't identify
Here are a couple videos of the bird watching including some very entertaining turkeys:
Flora
Flora
Periwinkle
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
HAZ Member
tibber's
951 Photosets

  2012-06-01
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