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Sabino Canyon to Catalina State Park
5 Photosets

2016-04-30  
2013-02-10  
2011-01-29  
2010-03-28  
2001-01-27  
mini location map2013-02-10
10 by photographer avatarPrestonSands
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Sabino Canyon to Catalina State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2013
PrestonSands
Hiking19.86 Miles 4,778 AEG
Hiking19.86 Miles   8 Hrs   59 Mns   2.84 mph
4,778 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break16 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
After talking about it for years, Nick and I left embarked into the Catalinas on a sub-freezing Sunday morning for a trans-Catalina hike. Sabino Canyon was just as rugged, scenic, and amazing as I had remembered. It was the start of an unforgetable day...

Leaving the Sabino Canyon Road behind, we climbed higher into the canyon, and arrived at the West Fork Trail for the second leg of our journey. We turned west, crossed several roaring side creeks, and soon reached Hutch's Pool.

On our last hike to Hutch's Pool, we had contemplated a Hutch's Cannonball, but it hadn't happened. Today, we vowed it would, despite the cold, breezy weather. After all, the sun was out. :D I positioned my iPod on a rock to record the event. Nick went first, leaping from the rock wall. Splash! He emerged from the icy abyss with a shriek, and realized his glasses were missing. No!!! :o Thankfully, he found them quickly, and made a painfully cold swim to the shore. It was now my turn. I picked my landing spot and jumped. I surfaced from the coldest water I had ever been in, screaming something that has escaped my memory, and scaled the rock wall like a spider. Wow!!! That was incredible (or insane :lol: ) and totally worth it. Quite envigorating.

Having dried off and warmed up, we continued on, higher into the Catalinas. We entered oak woodland dotted with Schott's Yuccas (I love that classic Southern AZ combo :D ), and then snowy pine forest, as we worked our way up the canyon. Mighty Cathedral Rock and the snow covered Rincons came into view as we neared Romero Pass, where we paused for lunch.

Dropping into Romero Canyon, the temperature dropped sharply, and we donned our winter clothes again, as we slid down a snow blanketed trail. I was blown away by the Romero Canyon Trail. Rugged topography, pines, mighty oaks, waterfalls, sweet campsites, distant desert views, and a very "sky island" experience: Romero had it all. After several amazing miles, we arrived at Nick's playground, Romero Pools. A beautiful place, indeed. I could have stayed there for the rest of the day admiring the scenery. We continued on...

We peered into lower Romero Canyon's rugged serpentine gorge, studying the pools and waterfalls, as we began our descent into saguaro country. To the south, the impossibly rugged cliffs of Pusch Ridge captured my attention. I longed to hike to the summits of Table Mountain and Bighorn Mountain, if only I had the time.

Nick and I entered Catalina State Park, where the mountains gave way to foothills, and human traffic increased. My eyes returned to Romero Canyon and the Catalina highlands. "I want to go again!" One more creek crossing and we were back at the parking lot, where clean shirts awaited. Nick and I made a quick trip to the Quick Trip for beverages, then drove back to Sabino to retrieve my truck, which was on its final Tucson visit.

Thank you, Nick, for a most excellent adventure! :D :D :D :D :D :D

I'll be back, Tucson. One of these days, for good. :y:

Hutch's Cannonball and more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZUZEmkL ... In84XU1cQw
_____________________
"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
HAZ Member
PrestonSands'
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