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mini location map2020-05-15
5 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
photographer avatar
 
Grant Hill LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking4.20 Miles 485 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles
485 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked the portion of the loop to the nice viewpoint a couple times over the weekend. Once on Friday and then Saturday morning with Katie.

Large potions of the loop were scorched by the fire, however, in about 15 years this is going to be a pretty spectacular aspen forest. The amount of aspen coming in along the hillsides and along the old road bed is mind boggling and pretty cool to observe.

Some Thoughts

I had avoided going to Graham since the last fire out of fear of seeing one of my favorite areas in the southwest devastated. However, much to my surprise the devastation was not as bad as I feared. We def lost some gems in Ash Creek, Webb and some other areas etc. However, in general most of the mountain we interacted with remained minimally impacted and probably impacted in a positive way. The fire also seems to have lit a fire with the FS (pun intended) and they seem to be undertaking some pretty aggressive forest management projects along the major roads and even up into areas as high as the upper Big Creek Trail.

Finally, just open the campgrounds already. Graham is a free fall for camping right now, every pull out next to the road was occupied, people were camping in front of closed gates and carrying their stuff to their campsites, the place was a mad house. Every single trailhead had multiple campers at them blocking access to the trails. We had to walk through two full trailers and a tent just to reach the Grant Hill Loop Trail. People have nowhere to camp legally and responsibly, so they are flooding to anything they can back a trailer into or piece of flat ground they can set a tent up on.

I am not going to debate the merits of closing these campgrounds to begin with here, but the unintended consequence of it has been the trashing of the natural areas surrounding them. If the feds wanted us out of the forest they should have closed them outright. You can´t encourage people to use their public lands responsibly during this pandemic and then take away the ability for the majority of them to interact responsibly with the land.
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