Starting the day at the Fairbank Historic Townsite.
Memories of the heat on my last San Pedro adventure – and climbing temperatures across Southern Arizona – motivated me to get an early start, after a few errands and a bit of driving I arrived at the Fairbank Historic Townsite. I wandered around the site for a few minutes inspecting buildings and reading signs – but I was quickly on the San Pedro Trail.
A fallen cross in the Fairbank Cemetery – overlooking the San Pedro River.
The Fairbank Cemetery was a short (well signed) side trip from the main trail – I didn’t know what to expect but the hill-top location overlooking the river and feeling of the place surprised me a little, a bit lonely and distant. I lingered a few minutes and moved on.
Beautiful single track along the river – temporarily lost in the grass…
After Willow Wash the wide trail became single track – sometimes overgrown – and I followed what I think were Mountain Lion tracks along the trail to the Contention area. After a nice break in the shade I decided to take the river bed back – it was dry near Contention and stayed dry for sometime, but eventually there was a bit of flowing water.
Green grass beginning to appear – almost to flowing water!
I took the river back to Highway 82 and then followed a small path along a fence line until emerging at the old rail platform under the highway near Fairbank – just a short walk from the car – finished before the worst heat of the day!
Undammed and flowing north from Mexico into the United States the San Pedro River is amazing – I recently started doing some reading to understand a bit more about the area – some links that I thought were interesting/useful:
- San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area – BLM’s site for the San Pedro RNCA.
- Wikipedia – San Pedro – a nice place to start.
- Friends of the San Pedro River – “dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the river through advocacy, education, and interpretation.”
- The San Pedro River Valley – a tour of the river – pictures, maps, links, information – a great resource!
- Wyatt Earp Explorers- by John D. Rose – Quite a bit of interesting information about Historical Sites from the author of several books about the area.
- The San Pedro River: A Discovery Guide – Nice print guide to the river.
- Reintroduced beavers branching out in San Pedro – Beavers where extirpated by the 1920s and reintroduced in 1999.
- The Latest: Pumping Arizona’s rivers dry? and Death of the San Pedro: Not if, but when – Several recent articles in the High Country News – hard to imagine a time when water in the west will not be an issue…