Monday, June 14, 2010

Mt. Wrightson and Madera Canyon - 6/12/10 - Hiking with the dog!

High temperature of 87 in Tucson in June? Wow! What a perfect weekend to get out and do some hiking in the desert. We had not climbed Mt. Wrightson from Madera Canyon all the way to the summit since last June. It was time to try it again. Last year it was one of our first hikes out here and we were sore for days afterwards. I wonder how much better our bodies are conditioned for the climb now?

We met up with a couple people from a local hiking group at the Old Baldy trail head at 8am. It was about 55 degrees out and windy! Brrrrrr. Once we started moving however we warmed up quick. We headed to Josephine Saddle using the Old Baldy trail to get started. Max, our chocolate lab, didn't seem to realize how long of a day it was going to be. The dog was running up and down the trail at full speed. That slowed down pretty quick as we ascended up the trail. We made it to Josephine fairly quickly and stopped for a few minutes to give the dog a break (and us). From there we continued to hike up Old Baldy towards the summit. The last few switchbacks up to Old Baldy saddle were pretty rough. From there it is only about a mile to the top of wrightson. The first half a mile from here are a pretty easy hike but again the last few switchbacks up to the peak seem to take forever!

It was just a beaitful day at the peak. It was actually pretty downright cold. It was probably around 60 degrees with the wind gusting up to 40mph. But at the least the bugs couldn't battle the wind so we were bug free on top of Wrightson for some pictures and a snack. Max was worn out so we hung out for a while and let him relax. This was by far his toughest hike already.  I wonder if he knew we had another 6.5 miles to get home?

From there we decided to take the super trail back to Josephine. This trail is nice and goes around the outside of the mountain heading south and then eventually to the west and then back north to josephine saddle. It is about 4 miles to get to Josephine so a bit longer than Baldy but it is nice so have some decent new scenery on the way back. Max was flat worn out but a few 15 minute breaks got him back to the car in one piece.

A great day at Madera Canyon. If you haven't climbed Wrightson yet you need to get out there!

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