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2013-11-29  
LITA Tortolita, AZ
mini location map2013-11-29
60 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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LITA Tortolita, AZ 
LITA Tortolita, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2013
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.13 Miles 680 AEG
Hiking4.13 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.29 mph
680 ft AEG   2 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
LITA is the name of a triangulation station located in the relatively flat desert, just east of the Tortolita Mountains. The Tortolita Mountains are just west of the western edge of the Catalina Mountains, near Tucson. In 1936 surveyors monumented LITA, and installed two reference marks and an azimuth mark. I’m sure the surveyors had fun picking the name for this benchmark. :)
Although the Tortolita Mountains have some excellent trails, none exist in this desert area near the foothills. The hiking is easy however.

Most of the land in this area is owned by the Arizona State Land Dept. Some ranchers did own small parcels and leased the vast holdings of the Az Land Dept for cattle grazing. I hiked south of LITA and visited a ranch (Rail X) that had been very active up until just a few years ago. It appears to me (a non-rancher), that it wouldn’t take much to reactivate the ranch as it’s corrals, cattle feeders, water tanks and spinning windmill etc appear to be in good shape.
However, housing developers have been buying alot of this Az Land Dept. land, reducing the grazing area enough to deter ranching on the scale it used to be. There are cattle out there, but not many. The cattle I did encounter participated in their usual staring contest with me.
I always lose those staring contests. :)

Once done touring (and photographing) LITA benchmark, its associated disks, and the ranch, I hiked up into the eastern foothills of the Tortolitas and just wandered around, taking photos and taking in the sites from that higher level. The Catalina Mountains to the east however, would have photographed better in the afternoon. They were still in the shade on this hike.
The foothills are strewn with boulders that must be navigated. There are no hiking trails in this area either, so boulder hopping is the main means of travel.

I found many extensive rock walls in the foothills, most likely built by ranchers to keep their cattle from ‘cliffing-out’, or wandering off too far. Wow, those rock walls took alot of work to build.

It was excellent hiking conditions, with nice breezes and temps in the 60s. Plus, our recent rains prevented any dust from kicking up. This hike was the day after eating too much on Thanksgiving, so I burned off some calories also. :)
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
HAZ Member
FLYING_FLIVER's
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