Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tucson Mountain Weekend

I know I seem to post a lot about hiking in the Tucson Mountains but a) they are basically in my backyard and b) they just don't get enough PR as everyone is always talking about the Catalina's.  I thoroughly enjoy hiking out here in the winter and the crowds are minimal.

Tucson Mountain Wash Hike
On Saturday we took all of the dogs for once and headed up to a wash just across from the Desert Museum.  If you go over Gates Pass and then make a right on Kinney just after the desert museum there is a parking lot on the right.  Park here and follow the trail head down into the wash.  From there just follow the wash uphill for some great secluded scenery.  There are a few areas where the wash has created some interesting canyons and colors.  It's an interesting little hike for a mile or two up  into the mountains.

Saturday night a storm rolled through and we awoke to snow in the Tucson's!  This is a rare event so we rushed out the door to get out and hike before it melted away.  We headed up the Hugh Norris trail, one of our favorites.  After reaching the first saddle we were greeted by great valley views of the snow covered Tucson and Catalina Mountains.  We hiked from there about another half a mile to the second saddle.  After that the urge to explore our own path took over and we headed up a couple of peaks off of the trail.  We found a couple of nice "windows" in the rocks and had a good time scrambling up the mountain.


Love the Saguaro!!

Another window in the mountains

Window in the side of the Tucson Mountains

Great view of the Tucson and Catalina Mountains

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hugh Norris Trail - Tucson Mountains

We took a quick morning hike on the Hugh Norris trails yesterday in our backyard - the Tucson Mountains.  We have hit Wasson Peak a couple of times before but not sure if we would make it today.  We brought the puppy with us and his paws sometimes get sore quickly on the rocky hikes out here.  The weather was great in the upper 40's when we started.  We ended up making it a quick fitness hike to the saddle of the other trails and headed back from there as Max started showing signs of his paws getting tender.  A beautiful trail with great views of the Tucson mountains and the surrounding valleys.  The Hugh Norris trail really offers some great desert views and some fun off trail rocks to scramble up.  Check it out before it starts heating up out there!