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Round the Mountain Trail #302
14 Photosets

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mini location map2017-02-23
14 by photographer avatarcactuscat
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Round the Mountain Trail #302Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2017
cactuscat
Hiking7.37 Miles 2,395 AEG
Hiking7.37 Miles   5 Hrs   13 Mns   1.64 mph
2,395 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided to hike rather spur of the moment. Stopped by the Visitor Center to get my mail - was pleased to receive a box containing my two new pairs of Merrells ... promptly put on the Moab Vent mids and hiked 7.5 miles. :) First 5 miles were pure foot bliss ... last 2.5 were a bit much, and I got a hot spot in the same weird place that turned me off of Merrells a few years ago. Hoping that will go away.
Wanted to try Round The Mountain out, and get to Marijilda Creek to check out the summer swimming holes. Didn't know much about the hike before starting - I usually prefer it that way - and didn't plan on a hike quite this long or hard, but decided to go for it anyhow.
RTM is a great trail - I fell in love with it right away!
Noon Creek was flowing impressively and I mentally committed to hiking and exploring upstream soon. On the return, I saw some beautiful falls/pools just up from the RTM campground/th.
The first two miles up to Marijilda Saddle were very pleasant ... saw my only person of the day as he was heading down just before I topped out. Crossed over the saddle and was very impressed with the sight of Marijilda Canyon and the sound of the rushing creek reaching me all the way up there!
The next mile and a half was spent switchbacking gleefully down towards the creek. The trail is much less defined on this section, but that just makes following it intuitively more fun.
Travel along the creek is very difficult with all the vegetation and the very high, swift flowing water, so I only looked around a bit. I think I saw where the trail crosses, but it wouldn't be easy to do (dry) now. It also wasn't easy to picture what the swimming holes will look like in summer, just too much rushing water right now to tell ... but I'm sure they will be awesome.
The mile and a half back up to the saddle sucked, as I knew it would ... I pushed a few dead trees and large branches off that were blocking the trail, but there are a few recently fallen boulders that are a bit dicey to get around.
I was very glad to reach the saddle after that long climb out of Marijilda, and the final two miles back to the trailhead were very enjoyable - other than that painful hot spot.
Didn't see any big wildlife, just birds and lizards. Weather was close to ideal - just got a little cold when it got shady and very windy on the ascent from Marijilda.
I do believe these (Pinaleno) mountains are going to make me very happy for a very long time.
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cactuscat's
260 Photosets

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