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Rock Corral Canyon, AZ
mini location map2016-11-26
26 by photographer avatarrwstorm
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Rock Corral Canyon, AZ 
Rock Corral Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2016
rwstorm
Hiking2.88 Miles 675 AEG
Hiking2.88 Miles   2 Hrs   44 Mns   1.38 mph
675 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to get out of the house and do something different Saturday. I decided to do a little exploring in Rock Corral Canyon, in the Tumacacori Mountains south of Tucson. I rarely get into this range, even with it being not very far away. I had only been on the road into the area once before, many years ago to hike Tumacacori Peak. That time we took the right fork for the hike up the mountain. I had never been on the left fork (a continuation of the main FR 4145 road) which drops into the wash and works its way upstream, eventually ending up high on the hillside near an old prospect. Saturday was nice day and I wanted to take advantage of the warm weather before winter blasts in. :o

The road is rocky and eroded, but after dropping into the main drainage it improves. I drove in a good distance and parked. The plan was to walk the road further in and see some new country. I thought I was the only one back there, but I soon passed a parked truck, so figured I might see someone eventually. Sure enough, I heard voices and caught up with two gentlemen who were out exploring like me. Turns out they are two retired college biologists (herpetology), one specialized in studying turtles and the other lizards. How 8) ! Fellow nature lovers...yay. I walked up the road with them and we had a grand time talking about this, that, and the other. :D One of them lives in Tubac, west of the interstate and the other down by Leslie Canyon near the Swisshelm Mountains. Nice. We got to talking about the Chiricahuas and some of our experiences there. I told them about my mountain lion experiences in West Turkey Creek, and one of them told me about he was once face to face with a jaguar in Central America! :scared: After awhile, I decided to stop the uphill slog and head back down to the canyon area. They continued on. I was taking my time heading back, snooping around and looking for things to photograph.

One of the things I had hoped to find is some of the wild chile plants that occur in the area. It is one of about 10 documented locales in Arizona where the chiltepines have been found, with this probably being the most populated. Gary Nabhan of Native Seeds/SEARCH worked with Coronado National Forest to reach a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the 2500 acre Wild Chile Botanical Area in 1999 in this canyon. I did not find any today, maybe because I was having so much fun talking with the professors, but also because I didn't wander off the road much. Others have posted some photos of them on HAZ in conjunction with hikes in the area, and I get the impression the best bet is to explore some of the side drainages away from the roads. So, today was an overview. I'll be back. I will find them. :)

The biologists caught up with me around the old well site and we spent some time looking at that. When I got to where they were parked, they offered me a ride back to my truck (not very far, but I accepted, as my knee was giving me great pain, as is usual of late). Got back to Tumacacori around 3:00, and saw that the wonderful Santa Cruz Chile & Spice Store was open. It was on my to do list for the day, so stopped in! The overpowering aroma of comino and other spices hits you as soon as you walk in the door. Mentioned to the saleswoman that I had just come from looking for wild chiles in Rock Corral and that made her smile. She said she used to go horseback riding there many years ago as a young girl. That store is really neat...highly recommended if you are in the area. You might walk out sneezing, but you will be :D !

After talking about doing it for 2 years, I finally stopped at DOS! in Tubac for some tacos and one of those great margaritas just like the ones at the other Wisdom's in Tumacacori. :) I like the vibe at DOS! better I think; you know a little more modern.

Yes, this certainly was a serendipitous Saturday!
Fauna
Fauna
Raccoon
Culture
Culture
Water Well
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