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7 triplogs
Jan 02 2004
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2004
Wildcat04
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   2.35 mph
1,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My father and I hiked the Butterfly Loop, starting at the trailhead at MP 23. We hiked east to Bigelow Peak and the radio towers, then returned to our vehicle via Bigelow and Bear Wallow roads.

There was plenty of ice and snow, making the trail quite treacherous at some points. There was great variation in which kind of frozen precip we had to deal with: ice as smooth and slick as a skating rink during the first mile; soft, powdery snow after the Davis Spring Junction; and ice chips that looked like they had been put through a shredder near Bigelow Peak. When we got to the towers, large chunks of ice were melting from the top of the structures, and pieces that were the size of a kitchen stove were crashing down into the trees. This made me extremely nervous, so I suggested we move on down Bigelow Road.

If you do choose to hike the trails in the winter months, be aware that the ice and snow doubles the effort and will probably prolong the hike a bit.

In terms of fire damage, it wasn't completely devastated with the exception of the last mile leading up to Bigelow Saddle. This is reportedly the area where the 2002 Bullock blaze raced up to the radio towers and threatened to damage millions of dollars of equipment.

Overall, it was a beautiful hike with plenty of gorgeous views. I recommend it to everybody.
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Dec 15 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Mount Kimball via Pima Canyon TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking12.00 Miles 4,355 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs      2.00 mph
4,355 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked Pima Canyon today for the first time in almost 2 years. Since I had just been on top of Kimball this past Friday (via Finger Rock Trail), I decided to take it easy and just head up to Pima Saddle for some great views. I was not disappointed!

There was still alot of snow near the saddle from the storm that passed through over the weekend. Some parts on the trail after Finger Rock Spring (5.2 mi) were icy and fairly difficult to navigate in regular boots. It was really nice to see the frozen precip again, though.
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Nov 12 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Camelback Summit - Echo Canyon THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking2.30 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking2.30 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.53 mph
1,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not one of my preferred hikes. I'm glad I live in Tucson with more wilderness opportunities. If I had to look over the city of Phoenix with every hike...well, I'd simply go insane.
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Nov 09 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Old Baldy Trail #372 to Wrightson SummitTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,050 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.88 mph
4,050 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
*The temporary closure of the Madera Canyon Picnic Area forces hikers to access Old Baldy via a "nature trail", adding 2 miles each way. Hence the 15 mile trip, not 10.8.*

This hike was one of my all-time favorites. It provided a physical challenge, abundant wildlife, plenty of shade, and the views from the summit were among the best I've seen from any peak in Arizona.

The weather at the trailhead was immaculate: clear, sunny, and a chill in the air but not uncomfortably so. I was a bit annoyed by having to hike in via the nature trail, but I had no complaints- I just wish I would have known ahead of time. Once at the Old Baldy route, the real hike began.

The 2.2 miles leading up to Josephine Saddle were fairly steep, but could be easily handled by going slow and steady. The saddle itself was a great rest/snack spot, with towering pines and great views to the north and south. Old Baldy Saddle, though more barren than Josephine, was also a pleasant hangout.

As for the summit, it's already been said numerous times: the views just don't get any better. I've never seen anything like it, perhaps with the exception of Yosemite and elsewhere in the Sierras.

The only negative part of the hike for me was going up the switchbacks on the final 1/2 mile to the summit. They probably weren't really that frightening, but when I saw them I think I had a Mount Whitney flashback and got spooked (bad experience, long story).

All in all, I loved this hike and I'll definitely be back for another go.
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Apr 06 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Cathedral Rock via Esperero TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking9.10 Miles 5,102 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.02 mph
5,102 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Once again, the Cathedral Rock hike left a lasting impression on me. This time the weather was a bit warmer, considering that I normally hike the Esperero Trail in cooler months, but luckily, I brought plenty of water and food to last the day.

If any HAZ readers choose to hike this trail between April and September, I would suggest taking extreme care to avoid stepping on rattlesnakes. I have recently read several articles on the behavior and preferred shelter of snakes in Arizona, and with its grassy and rocky terrain, most of the Esperero Trail has the potential to be rattlesnake habitat. I did see a small snake (non-rattler, non-venomous) near Esperero Saddle, but even though I came close to it, it merely slithered away harmlessly.

As always, I encourage every Tucson hiker to try this venture. It is a very strenuous and tiring hike (like running a cross-country race at times), but very rewarding. 'Tear it up' out there, and stay safe.

-Albert
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Mar 30 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Thimble PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking14.00 Miles 2,375 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.15 mph
2,375 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I completed this hike the 'long way' (14 miles from the Sabino Canyon Visitor's Center and back).

The first 4 miles to Seven Falls are anything but exciting. Apart from a few creek crossings and some switchbacks at the end of the section, the only scenery is some canyon walls and sagebrush. Once you get to the falls, the real hike begins.

The rest of the way up to Thimble Peak made for a very satisfying hike, especially Thimble Flat, which is a large, open, grassy savanna area, and the final 1/2 mile to the peak, which provides one with incredible views of Tucson, the Mount Lemmon Highway, etc. Climbing around the actual 'thimble' (rock spire) was quite adventurous, especially considering the 40-45 mph winds I encountered near the top.

I made the mistake of doing this hike on a Sunday, and thus, was forced to stop and let about 80-100 people pass by me on the trail leading to the falls. Seven Falls is very attractive to tourists and non-hikers, so if you're looking for solitude on this section, you may want to traverse that way during the middle of week.

Speaking of 'falls', as I was returning from the side trail that leads away from the chaos of the billion people gathered around the pools, I encountered somebody (age/gender unknown) who had fallen from a slick rock and incurred a fairly nasty head injury. Family members were tending to the person, so I figured they had already called Search and Rescue, which was confirmed by the chopper flying overhead about 20 minutes later. I felt bad for whomever this was, but I assume that one must take responsibilty for their own actions when they are in a recreation area. *Which reminds me, if you have children, hopefully they are aware that jumping on slick rocks is against common sense, and by them knowing such, perhaps you will not need Search and Rescue if you ever take them on hikes.

Overall, the entire made for some worthwhile stories. I rate this hike a 4, and would definitely recommend that every Tucson hiker try it at least once.
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Jan 19 2003
Wildcat04
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 Guides 3
 Triplogs 7

38 male
 Joined Feb 24 2003
 
Mount Kimball via Finger RockTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2003
Wildcat04
Hiking10.00 Miles 4,200 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.82 mph
4,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great hike! Mount Kimball, as always, was well worth the effort.

I have summited this peak several times, and it has become a favorite of mine. Plenty of physical challenge and awesome scenery.

The previous time I attempted Kimball was on December 23, in fresh, deep snow, with an ice storm devouring the higher areas as I ascended. Unfortunately, I was forced to turn back and head down at about 3 miles due to a dangerously icy spot in the trail, which could have caused a tumble into Finger Rock Canyon.

Otherwise (when the weather is good), the trail is not so difficult, except for the physical part of it. The trail is steep for about 95% of the way up to Kimball, but for those in good shape, it's not impossible.
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average hiking speed 1.97 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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