During much of the year I avoid hiking in the Tucson Mountains and try to escape to the higher elevations in the Santa Catalina Mountains. This weekend ADT and I took advantage of ‘mild’ (actually a little warm in the sun…) temperatures and headed out for a short hike up Brown Mountain. The Brown Mountain trail heads up a nice ridge west of Tucson and ends near the Desert Museum. We had a little luck with our timing – we arrived at an area that overlooks the Museum just as a raptor presentation was getting underway, it was beautiful to watch the raptors flying above the Museum.
To loop back to our car we decided to have a little bit of fun… A split in the trail on the hill above the Juan Santa Cruz Picnic Area parking lot takes you on an easy hike down into the wash below, which – by using the road as a short connector to another wash – takes you back to the Brown Mountain Trail very close to the parking lot. The map shows this quite nicely:
As always exploring a bit can pay off and we were rewarded by seeing no less than four beehives (thankfully without incident – be really careful in/around the washes) and a small dam that we did not know about!