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Tanque Verde Creek, AZ
mini location map2014-06-01
9 by photographer avatarmdfabbrini
photographer avatar
 
Tanque Verde Creek, AZ 
Tanque Verde Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2014
mdfabbrini
Hiking3.32 Miles 51 AEG
Hiking3.32 Miles   1 Hour   47 Mns   1.86 mph
51 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I've always wanted to explore the washes of Tucson within the wash beds themselves. Today was as good as any day to start. I live near the confluence of Sabino Creek and Tanque Verde Creek, so this is where I started. The "trail head" is at Pantano and River Forest Place. Here you can drop down a ramp into the wash itself. From here, I turned upstream (east) to begin exploring Tanque Verde Creek.

The first half mile the creek has an improved bank constructed some years ago to control flooding and improve recreational opportunities. The bank is has a railing installed, and a semi-improved surface suitable for walking or mountain biking. Someday this may be improved and officially added to the Tucson Loop system of walking and cycling paths that exist throughout the metro area.

Once you get east of the Tanque Verde Road bridge, the improved banks end, and the rural character of the properties that line the creek emerge, as well as evidence of the power of raging, flooding waters that flash down these drainages after summer monsoon storms. In some places you can see where some property owners fight an never ending, and somewhat futile, battle with nature to keep their property from being washed away. Along one stretch, old cars at one time were used to shore up the bank, something that probably wouldn't be allowed under current regulations.

Along the bank, large mesquite and cottonwood trees can be found. In the wash itself, creosote and other brush abound, as well as the occasional cottonwood. Under a couple of trees, makeshift benches have been constructed using salvaged wood washed into the stream. Trash litters the stream bed, though not as much as I would have expected - beer cans, lawn furniture, fence material, and a few shopping carts as well. However, its possible to look past all this and take in the relative quiet found here, watching the curious coyotes pass in front of you, look up at the Rincons in the east, and contemplate what it must been like here a hundred years ago when water more than likely ran through the creek year round, flush with trout, and imagine native peoples making camp on the banks during the cooler months of the year.
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