An End To Summer, September 2013

Alison and I found the end of Summer on top of Blackett’s Ridge – sitting in the Tucson city lights we – for the first time in months – had to bundle up in our jackets, gloves and hats to stay and enjoy the view.

1309 Star and City light from the top of Blacketts Ridge

It seemed like a long summer this year – but don’t all Tucson summers seem to stretch on and on? This summer I made more time to venture into the higher reaches of the Santa Catalina Mountains – beautiful places…

1309 Flowers along the Red Ridge Trail
The lower miles of the Red Ridge Trail – where it makes its way from the East Fork of the Canada del Oro down to the Canada del Oro proper – were new to me. This section of trail obviously gets less use than the upper section of Red Ridge and on my first trip there were a few spots that seemed a bit obscure… On this particular trip I took the CDO Trail back to the Summit Parking area.

1309 South Fork of Edgar Canyon
For some time I have been curious about the lower stretches of the Knagge Trail – beyond the cabin ruins and old mine the obvious trail currently ends about 2 miles down – I thought with some time/gps/map surely I could find useful traces of this old path… I cross-crossed the supposed location multiple times as I headed down to the South Fork of Edgar Canyon but is seems time and nature have erased this particular trail.

1309 Clouds along Oracle Ridge
The best storms waited until later in the summer this year – it was a joy to hike the Red Ridge/Oracle Ridge loop again this year with Alison and Traci – Oracle Ridge was exploding with flowers/green and the clouds rolled over the ridge as we hiked – an amazing day!

1309 Ridge along the Brush Corral Trail
The Brush Corral Trail was new to me – the Brush Corral/Brush Corral Shortcut ‘loop’ was nice enough – but the part of the trail that I will be back to visit is below the junction of these trails – fire has burned across the ridges and the now faint trail heads down and out of the range, spectacular!

1309 Keebler Tree
The ‘Keebler Tree’ on the Crystal Springs trail – this area was lovely and fabulously overgrown, this trail always seems to take a bit more effort than I expect…

1308 AM Reflection Molino Basin headed to Box Camp
A view of the clouds and a reflection on the car – taking a break at Molino Basin on the way up to the Box Camp Trail – while climbing back up the Box Camp Trail from the East Fork/Box Camp junction I watched the clouds for hours – finally, at 7000′ I enjoyed my first storm of the summer…

CM

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Above the Falls in Pine Canyon, July 2013

The Palisade Canyon Trail starts – unsurprisingly – along Palisade Canyon – within the first mile you might be tempted down to the water and rock, after that Palisade Canyon is a memory… a few miles later the trail has traversed to Pine Canyon, coming within a few feet of it and then running high along the west side – a look down into the canyon and it is hard to resist exploring…

0809 Pine Canyon Falls and Canyon

0606 Pine Canyon Falls

The falls – marked on the USGS maps of the area – are a favorite.

0407 Pine Canyon CliffsThe tall cliffs above the falls – about a 6 mile round trip to the top, part of the hike is off-trail.

0209 Camping above Pine CanyonThe top of the cliffs is a special spot – a picture from camping with Alison in 2002.

1110 Frank above Pine CanyonWith Frank in 2011 – taking pictures for the Summit Hut.

1307 Above Pine CanyonAnd visiting in 2013…

Incinerator Ridge Trail – Kellogg Mountain Trail – Mount Bigelow, July 2013

1307 A Climber on Ridgeline
Taken from the extension of the Incinerator Ridge Trail down to the San Pedro Vista was completed last year – a climber at the top of a climb at the popular climbing area Ridgeline.

1307 Clouds behind Mount BigelowNice view of clouds behind Mount Bigelow – taken from the Incinerator Ridge Trail – Kellogg Mountain is hidden by trees.

1307 Mount Lemmon SunsetMount Lemmon – Sunset – from just below Mount Bigelow.

Almost 7 miles, 1800′ of elevation gain, Upper Green Mountain Trailhead, Green Mountain Trail, San Pedro Vista, Incinerator Ridge Trail, Kellogg Mountain Trail, Mount Bigelow – and the back the way I came.

There are plenty of scenic hikes in the Santa Catalina Mountains – but with the new section of Incinerator Ridge finished San Pedro Vista to Mount Bigelow surely becomes one of the best.