Friday, March 18, 2011

Cibeque Creek/Superstitions Hiking

I am super late in getting my report up from last weekend.  We hit Cibeque Creek and then drove back through the superstitions!  Cibeque Creek is about a 3 or 4 hour drive from Tucson.  We went through oracle, Globe and then into the Salt River Canyon.  Heading North, as soon as you pass over the bridge there is a dirt road that heads left/west.  Head down that road about 4 miles unless you come to a creek crossing.  It was probably 6 inches or so deep and this is actually Cibeque Creek.  Cross the creek and park on the right.  From there we hiked up the creek for a mile or two.

Katie relaxing in Cibeque Creek
The scenery was great, the water was cold!  After a while of trying to help the dog scale up the rocks I gave up and just started walking in the creek.  I can't imagine the water was much more than 45 degrees.  It was freezing!  We hiked a ways from there but got to an area that was tough for the dog and eventually turned around.  We didn't make it to the slot canyons I had read about so we'll definitely be going back sometime soon.

Since it was early we took the really long way home.  We heading back to the west and down past Roosevelt lake and dam.  From there we headed up the 24 mile long Apache Trail in the Superstition Mountains.  It was a long ride but we were rewarded with some great views from a nice flat area towering above the canyons near Tortilla Flat.  If you have some time i definitely suggest driving the trail!
Max posing at sunset on the Apache Trail outside of Tortilla Juntion

Friday, March 11, 2011

Organ Pipe Cactus/ Ajo Peak Hike 3/5/11

Big Organ Pipe Cactus at the beginning of the hike
It had been about a year since we drove from Tucson down to Rocky Point, Mexico.  This drive takes you west out of Tucson to Why, AZ and then you head south into Mexico from there.  Right before the border you pass through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  Since that trip I had been wanting to make it back and try out the hike to Ajo Peak.  The mountains have a totally different color and style to them as compared to the Tucson area mountains.

Since the elevation in this area is pretty low is gets really hot in the summer so please don't try this hike between May and September!  I would rate this hike as difficult due to the steep areas and loose gravel.  It gave me a good workout!

We started at the Estes Canyon trail head and headed up from there.  There was a pretty strong border patrol presence in the area but outside of that we only saw one other group of hikers all day.  It was a really windy day and until we got into the canyon it felt like 40 mph head winds which made for some challenging hiking.  The canyon itself is just amazing with different colored walls.  The hike ended up being a lot more challenging than I had expected.  The first mile or two up to Bull Pasture was pretty easy.  From there you wind around and then into the canyon.  That's where it got tough.  Going up the canyon walls up to the rim was really steep with a lot of loose gravel.  Going down was definitely trickier than the ascent.  However the views you are rewarded with at the top are amazing.  There is a really neat window in the rocks as well.  From the top of Ajo Peak there are amazing views of the surrounding desert, Mexico and Arizona.  Definitely a trip worth checking out.

Katie near the top of Ajo Peak

Neat sandstone mountain you pass by on the way up.

The window is big enough to get into for the brave!

Looking back down into the canyon.

The way back down looking back into the valleys