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Table Mountain Catalina Mts, AZ
mini location map2017-11-27
19 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Table Mountain Catalina Mts, AZ 
Table Mountain Catalina Mts, AZ
Hiking10.90 Miles 3,750 AEG
Hiking10.90 Miles   9 Hrs   10 Mns   1.91 mph
3,750 ft AEG   3 Hrs   28 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Have not been on this hike since I was 10 years old with my father and thought I was time to do again. I either got older or the mountain got steeper because this hike was a real workout. The first 3.7 miles along the Pima Canyon Trail were fairly easy. I did get to see my first Bighorn Sheep in Pusch Ridge Wilderness. I've always heard of them being here but never got the opportunity to actually see one, was beginning to think it was a myth. I heard a sound on the south side of the canyon and stopped to see what it was and after staring at the hillside for a few minutes the ram moved and then I spotted him. Medium sized Ram.

The real fun begins with heading up the side canyon to get onto table mesa. There is no trail here but there are some cairns that indicate someones idea of a good route. The route follows pretty much along the east side of the canyon just above the creek for the first third, then in the canyon creek for the next third. involved lots of decision making to pick the right route but as long as you are heading up your doing good. The last third you can see the rock cairn above that marks the destination and the canyon appears to open up. Don't be deceived, this looked like it might be easier than what was just done but here is where it gets steep. Lots of hands and feet scrambling up to the marker. The good thing is it does go quickly and there appears to be a faint route that others have taken (beast or human). On the route up along the second third I hung close to the east wall of the canyon which appears to be a game trail (this is where my GPS wasn't getting a good reading). On the return trip I stayed more in the creek bed and that seemed to work out well. Once on the mesa to Table mountain I thought it would be an easier hike up to the peak, one look at the peak and I realized I was wrong. While not as steep as what was just done this portion is no cake walk, what lacks in steepness is made up for by the shin daggers. A piece of advice that I read on another review is stay closer to the east side of the mesa to avoid the ups and downs of the west side approach. I knew this while I was hiking but I kept ending up closer to the west side with its ups and downs. Made it to the top around noon and the views along with the exceptionally clear skies made the journey up worth it. Stayed on top for about an hour before heading down. The trip down was almost as hard as the trip up but not as tiring, constantly searching for the best route. The trip down the canyon was really difficult because its dangerous and you have to go slow. This is probably not a good hike to do solo, find another crazy person to go with you. I injured my knee a week or so ago and thought I would try one of those knee braces to see if that would help. Even though It didn't bother me much it probably wasn't the best hike to try out the brace. The up side was I was more cautious because I knew I didn't want to re injure it. Great hike.
This was the driest I have seen this canyon, no water anywhere
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