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Las Cienegas - AZT #7
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mini location map2016-11-05
36 by photographer avatartibber
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Las Cienegas - AZT #7Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2016
tibber
Hiking9.67 Miles 567 AEG
Hiking9.67 Miles   4 Hrs   29 Mns   2.56 mph
567 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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desertgirl
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Northbound, Part 1 Set up: Part 1 Well after missing the turn to the shuttle stop and then backtracking to leave Tonto Jr we attempted Part 2, parking at the TH. We drove by it and then barely found it just past a guard rail. We went thru the gate and up the hill, parked and checked out the area where we saw a trail sign. We had already decided Tonto Jr would not be able to get up the hill because of the ruts and angles so thot better of it and parked by the gate.

We started our hike from the road by the gate where there is little room to park. We hiked up past where we went the first time which is up another hill to the top of a rise to finally start from the official track. Whew! We walked to the Twin Tanks/Lakes area and saw another road coming up from there so it might be a better road to use to access the start of the trail but we didn't have time to investigate how you even get to that road. We did see a blue heron hanging around at the lake though he took off in short order when he sighted us.

As to the hike, there was sure no chance you were going to have to tackle any kind of sizable hill due to the routing :lol: . The track was pretty nice though some areas I could see where some cat claw removal would be helpful. If you're wearing shorts, you might get a couple scratches; especially if you are biking this lower section.

The hike itself is typical desert though I was surprised to see only a dozen or so cholla and in single units; that just seemed odd. We did see some soap tree yucca in a few spots and the cactus had really big ears and some had sizable roots/trunks. Oh, and some rather large barrel cactus too. There were sections of ocotillos as well and we found a cockelburr pond as we stopped for a quick fuel break. I pointed out to everyone where I had been a couple months ago in the Rincon Mountains which rose above us in the distance. Of course, we have to tackle that some time.

We didn't encounter any other hikers, only three bikers coming and going. One of them had worked with Shawn the day before on a gate install; he is also a steward on one of the AZT segments so that was kind of fun. That's happened before to us on the trail. We didn't have to do any sawing and moving logs; only kicking off some rocks for our trail work today.

We had left Tonto at a pullout just a short away from where 7 crosses the Old Sonoita Hwy. We haven't been hiking much so we just got our feet wet today. The AZT Section Crew will be on the trail again the 19th and 20th. This was a nice hike thru some lovely desert on a beautiful day :) .
Fauna
Fauna
Great Blue Heron
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
Mammilaria in one rockier section, cane cholla, one christmas cholla, a few chain cholla, one resurrection plant, some hedgehogs, LOTS of prickly pear, it wasn't a hop bush that we investigated that had the seeds, Lots of barrel cactus, mesquite trees, a few groups of yuccas.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Twin Tanks 26-50% full 26-50% full
_____________________
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.
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