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Las Cienegas Creek Upper, AZ
mini location map2020-04-27
19 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Las Cienegas Creek Upper, AZ 
Las Cienegas Creek Upper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2020
markthurman53
Hiking11.28 Miles 476 AEG
Hiking11.28 Miles   5 Hrs   9 Mns   2.55 mph
476 ft AEG      44 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I Finished the upper portion of Cienega Creek to E Yucca Farm Road. The creek actually continues on up toward highway 82 but it is just a small drainage in the grass land so I'm calling it done. This will complete the creek form north of vail where it is Pantano Wash all the way onto the Empire Ranch, for a total of about 40 miles. There is no trail just a route along the creek.This is probably the longest non trail stretch I have ever done. There are stretches that are along some of the most scenic Riparian areas in Southern Arizona and then there are a few stretches that are just your average run of the mill desert washes. I was quite impressed with the area and I don't know why it took me 60 years to check it out especially since the last 37 years it was practically in my back yard.

Today's hike was from the Empire ranch road at Cienega Creek to E Yucca Farm Road at Cienega Creek. I took a 1 mile cross country over to Gardner Creek and followed that down to Cienega Creek and returned along the creek. Most of the walking was on either side of the creek because the creek bed is as the name implies, a marsh. The Empire Ranch (Las Cienegas Nature Conservancy) is still a cattle ranch and therefore there are quite a few barbed wire fences to cross, I lost count but at least a dozen. Each of these requires getting on your belly and crawling under, I should be able to count this in my AEG. The route along side the creek was mainly through waist high grass and makes for slow walking, if you're lucky you find a cattle or game trail to pick up the pace. I've been reading the posts about snake gaiters and spent a lot of time thinking about them as I pushed through the grass. When I wasn't thinking about that I was wondering if the Rattle snakes were going to warn me ahead of time or had they all got the memo saying not to rattle anymore. Luckily I saw no rattle snakes but I did see a gopher snake . It had the same effect on me though, got my heart racing at least for a moment until I saw the tail, smooth taper, no rattle. Other wildlife I saw was a couple groups of ducks (do ducks come in groups? Flocks? I know it's not herds), some very large turkeys and a couple of white tail dear. There were also a lot of birds that will remain unnamed except for the golden Eagle and White Tailed Doves (didn't actually see the doves but I could tell it was the White Tailed Dove because they were all saying "Who Cooks for you".

Finished around 12:30 with temps in the low 90's, it was getting a bit warm for hiking. I started at 7:00 when the temps were in the low 60's but should of started an hour earlier. Beautiful area but probably better done in early spring.
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