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mini location map2013-12-07
24 by photographer avatarchumley
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Bonita CreekTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2013
chumley
Hiking15.83 Miles 2,773 AEG
Hiking15.83 Miles
2,773 ft AEG
 
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JoelHazelton
After December trips to Aravaipa for the last two years, it was time for something new this year. Timing colors in a new area is a challenge, and as with everything else on this trip, there was great diversity, from peak color to it-might-as-well-have-been-winter barren. The cold front that came through Thursday provided nights in the low to mid 20s. Luckily the beavers had cut down plenty of firewood and with a couple of overnight rekindles, I was able to keep the fires burning from 3pm to 10am for total warmth and comfort.

This place has to be the healthiest ecosystem I've seen in Arizona. We saw 4 separate bands of female white-nosed coatimundi, each 20+ strong, as well as a solitary male. At least 3 great blue heron and a surprising number of duck share the stream with the countless beavers. I spooked a small herd of javelina. Additionally we saw coues deer, squirrel, raccoon, a few hawks, and countless other birds.

With high temps just in the 40s, and nearly 10-miles of stream hiking, it was nice to get some fireside time and warm up. It was strange to be decked out in a down coat, hat, and gloves, while hiking in shorts, knee-deep in an icy creek, navigating undergrowth and countless beaver dams while observing the amazing fauna, flora, historical, and geologic wonders of the area.

Needless to say, not only did we not see another person, we didn't even see a sign of anybody having been there. No trash, no fire rings, not even any boot prints in the sand. Surprise and discovery, amazement and wonder: emotions met with every few steps along the way. A true remote wonder and somewhere I will definitely return to!
Fauna
Fauna
Coatimundi
Geology
Geology
Slot Canyon
Culture
Culture
Corral Stone Dwelling
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