|Hiking||5.89 Miles|| 5 Hrs 41 Mns ||1.25 mph|
|2,238 ft AEG|| 58 Mns Break|
|With apologies to Dr. Seuss, this hike went to a couple of peaks in the northern fringes of Tucson that I had not been to before:|
1) Panther Peak (the cat)
2) Sombrero Peak, aka Safford Peak (the hat)
We did the loop CW by first going the standard route up to the hat. This hike was short and steep, with some loose, slippery rock in places. There was a bit of scrambling near the top, but nothing more than class 2 imho. The trail was fairly easy to follow, but for some reason a moron has taken blue spray paint to mark the trail toward the top, which was totally unnecessary.
After checking out the nice views atop the hat, we went along the ridgeline over to the cat. To me, this was the best part of the hike. This was a fun traverse, with a few short and easy class 3 moves. There was little to no exposure, although those with a fear of heights might have some issues. I enjoyed going through the hole-in-the-rock along the way.
We made our way to a saddle below the cat, and then took an easy-to-follow trail up to the summit. The grad was not as steep as the climb up to the hat, so it was not a bad climb.
We made our way back down to the saddle below the cat, and then went north to descend down to the desert floor below. There was a half-decent use trail for part of the way, but the trail disappeared, so it was more of a bushwhack for the rest of the descent. After getting down to the desert floor, we continued bushwhacking, but eventually made our way to a trail which we followed for a ways. Then we had to again bushwhack our way up to a saddle, where we hit another trail that took us back to the TH. This portion of the hike from the cat back to the TH was not particularly enjoyable. The descent from the saddle was fairly steep in places, and there was lots of loose rock to deal with, which slowed us down quite a bit.
Parts of the hike were fun, but the trek from Panther Peak back to the TH was a bit of a slog. I might do this hike again sometime, but probably not real soon.
|May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey|