This was a late afternoon hike to Garwood Dam in the Saguaro National Monument. The monsoons are taking a short break so we started this hike at 5:30 to avoid the heat, although it was still 93 degrees out. The desert was really green and every bug that was available was out. We hiked the 2.7 miles to the dam and arrived just as the sun was about to set. There was a light flow in the creek at the dam, which has a 1 foot diameter pipe on the bottom to keep it from filling up. You could see where the dam had been overflowing during the heavy rains because the 1 foot diameter pipe could not handle all the flow. It must have been something to see because the pool behind the dam must have been 20 to 30 feet deep.
We stayed a short time at the dam but had to get back because it will dark soon. We made it about half way back before it got dark and that’s when it became interesting. There was a lot of thick grass along the trail and I was a little concerned about rattlesnakes but didn’t see any on the way in, after dark though they were out. The first one we encountered rattled and it was on the side of the trail about waist high, couldn’t see it though. Luckily Ginny had a cell phone light and with the aid of her hiking pole I located where it was at and decided it was safe to continue on. A short time later another rattler on the side of the trail all coiled up but didn’t rattle. I noticed this one when I was about 3 feet away. We were able to skirt around this one. The rest of the trail was clear of snakes but we moved slowly with the aid of her cell phone light. I do have a head lamp in my pack but didn’t feel I needed to break this out since the cell phone was working pretty well. Great hike and the temps were actually quite comfortable especially after sunset. It would have been nice to see the waterfall created by the dam. Two of the larger creeks crossing the Squeeze Pen and Carrillo trail had a light to medium flow.
Wanted to do a loop of the western trails in saguaro National Park that I haven't done in a long time. Started with the Shantz trail to Cactus Forest Loop drive and went along the road to the Loma Verde Trail Head. From the Loma Verde I took the Squeeze Pen and Kennedy Trail back to the Shantz Trail. Still had time and water left so I added the bajada Wash and returned via the Garwood and Stock Bypass Trails.
There was a lot of rain two days prior so that made the walking easier along the sandy portions of the Shantz, Bajada Wash and the stock bypass trails. Was a little muddy on portions of the Lower Shantz trail near Monument wash but it wasn't bad. There was also water pooling along the upper portions of the Bajada Wash Trail. The trails are all in good condition but portions of the Squeeze Pen trail near the end toward the Kennedy Trail had a lot of erosion. There was only one person (jogger)on the Shantz Trail near the Broadway trail head and one person on the Garwood Trail. Great day for hiking the temperatures were in the 70's but the humidity was very high. Started the hike at 175 lbs and finished just over 170. Spent the rest of the day re hydrating. I want to do the Monument and Loma Verde Wash trails again at some point but will wait for another storm to make the walking easier.
Needed to get out and hike but had to stay close to home so I decided to do some trails in Saguaro National Park. I starting at the Douglas Spring Trail Head early in the morning to avoid the heat. Took the Garwood Trail to the Carrillo Trail and then the Deer Valley Trail to the Squeeze Pen Trail. Now that I am at the start of the Carrillo Trail I can start the Carrillo three Tanks Loop. After hiking in the Mazatzals and along the Mogollon Rim in Payson these trails had fairly moderate elevation gains and the trails are in excellent condition, had no problem keeping a pace of almost 3 miles an hour. The humidity was up since the monsoons arrived and the streams while not flowing had an accumulation of water in the pools. Very nice trails to hike early in the morning or later in the evening after a rain. This was the first time along the Three tanks Trail that I didn't run into a horde of Rattle snakes along the upper part of the trail near Aguila Tank. Only ran into one other person hiking until I was returning along the Garwood Trail where I ran into 3 others.
Had a Tucson weekend and having previously gone to the west version of Saguaro National Park, decided this time to check out the east version. With only a few hours we opted for the loma verde loop as described in the park provided brochure as a 3.8 mile loop, loma verde to pink hills to squeeze pen. Nice little hike, not much elevation gain or loss, lots of desert plant life. weather was great, went up the cactus forest dr. a bit to a look out for lunch and then on to our next destination.
Went out with a group for a 10 mile loop around SNP East the day after the winter storm went through. A few muddy spots but overall great day for a hike. Lots of pools in the canyon near Garwood dam and in Wild Horse canyon. Passed a few horses on the Shantz trail portion and one mule on the Pink Hill section.
Started out at the Broadway trail head. Loop trail along the trails of the Northwest portion of the park. Started out along the Shantz Trail to Loma Verde Trail. Hiked on the Loma Verde trail both the new and old trail, The new Loma Verde Trail southern portion use to be called the Saguaro Trail. Continued on along the old abandon northern portion of the Saguaro Trail to Deer Valley Wash trail to the Carrillo Trail. Took Pink Hill Trail back to Shantz Trail. Depending on what version of the Saguaro National Park trail Map both the old and new trails are shown. This hike reminded me of driving on the Las Angeles Freeways back in the 70's, Traveling along a route seeing a different freeway and taking it to see where it goes, then on to another and eventually ending up back where you started. Nice trail for the winter when you have no destination in mind just want to get out and enjoy the desert.
Another loop hike in Saguaro National Park. The trails in this portion of the park are not a real challenge but they are nice when you just have a few hours and want to get out and do some walking. There is some interesting history in this portion of the park. A few to look up and research are the Loma Verde Mine, the old Kennedy Trail (use to be a dirt road) and Garwood Dam. Didn't see any wildlife but sometimes the tourist are more interesting.
A nice trip to Garwood Dam via Pink Hill - we had not been there before, odd/interesting site - I really enjoyed reading the information in this document - http://www.gvrhc.org/Library/GarwoodRanchUpdate.pdf - about the Garwood Ranch in the Green Valley Hiking Club Library.
Took an evening hike to watch the sunset. Ended up staying out past dark and walking back with my headlamp.
When I was walking along the road to get back to my truck I encountered some spider marching along the road with near military precision. There were two groups of them: each about 2 feet long marching in perfect straight lines, headed due west. I have never seen anything like it before and the only thing I could think of was in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry & Ron follow the spiders that are fleeing the castle to Aragog and learn that Slytherin's Monster is a Basalisk . And thats when I realized I have read Harry Potter too many times...
I decided it had been too long since I last visited the Broadway Trailhead and decided to take a quick evening run. Instead of planning my run in advance- I left my maps behind and just let my legs choose what direction to turn at the junctions. I ended up having my first snake encounter of the year, and one of my closest run-ins to date. I came out of a sharp corner and upset a rattlensake that was basking in the middle of the trail! I was forced to jump off the trail into prickly pear, but at least thorns are better than being bitten!
Went for a run from Broadway trailhead. Didn't really know how long of a run my legs were up for, so I just took off with no real destination in mind. It was nice and cloudy out for most of the time I was on the trail, I even had a couple small showers. Ended up running from the Broadway Trailhead, south to Loma Verde Trailhead, back north to Douglas Spring Trailhead, then swung south to Pink Hill and worked my way back to where I started. I think I covered nearly every trail between Speedway & Cactus Forest Drive!
Another mid day run in SNP while the thermometer read 95+ degrees outside. I was actually surprised to find another vehicle at the trailhead when I arrived, and a 2nd one pull up as I was grabbing my gear. I guess Im not the only person who loves to play outside in the heat?
Ran Shantz to the Pink Hill Lookout, then took Squeeze Pen South to Carrillo Trail. Followed Carrillo trail to the junction with Garwood Trail, then backtracked to Deer Valley Trail and returned to the parking lot via Pink Hill.
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.