Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rose Canyon Lake - Mt Lemmon Hiking

Rose Canyon Lake is located 30 miles from Tucson, AZ in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Mount Lemmon. Rose Canyon Lake is the only lake in the area that has recreational fishing. It is a pretty small lake (7 acres) and is set in a picturesque stand of  ponderosa pines up near Mt. Lemmon.  There are quite a few hiking trails in the area, and a pretty easy trail that goes most of the way around the lake except the damn in uncrossable.

We headed to rose canyon on November 25, 2012.  Most of the area had already closed for the season but we were able to hike down to the lake.  The area is a great place for the dog to take a swim!  Not sure where else in the Tucson area we can do this.  There were about a dozen people around the lake fishing but still plenty of room for max to take a swim.  Weather was perfect, the water in Rose Canyon Lake was probably around 50 degrees.  Max enjoyed it a bunch!

My dog swimming in Rose Canyon Lake
Max swimming in Rose Canyon Lake

Katie hiking around the edge of Rose Canyon lake

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Madera Canyon - Dog Friendly Hiking November 2012

The first cold front of the winter finally arrived today.  A bit of rain and cooler temps means we can finally take the dog out to a few trails that he doesn't prefer in the summer.  Madera Canyon, south of Tucson in the Santa Rita mountains, is one of the most scenic areas around town.  It's a great area but there isn't much
Dog friendly hiking at Madera Canyon in Southern Arizona
Max checking things out at Josephine Saddle
water as you climb the trails and the dry hike slowly irritates the dog's paws.  Temperatures around 40 with a little rain and snow made it perfect.

To get to Madera Canyon, drive south out of Tucson on I19.  Take the exit in Green Valley for Continental Road.  Make a left off the highway and follow the signs about 13 miles up to the canyon.  You'll pass a few trail options and a couple of B&Bs before the road dead ends at the Old Baldy and Super trail heads.

We opted to take the Super Trail from the trail head.  This is a great trail, winding about 3 miles up the mountain to Josephine Saddle.  Along the way there are great views of Mt. Wrightson, the tallest peak in the area.  There was a bit of water in the creek on the way up today.  Under dryer conditions the first water you'll get to is at Sprung Spring, almost all the way to Josephine Saddle.

Picture of Mt. Wrightson from the Old Baldy Trail
Mt. Wrightson from the Old Baldy Trail
From Josephine Saddle there are a number of connecting trails.  You can opt to hike another 3 miles or so up to the summit of Mt. Wrightson.  A challenging hike with another 2500 ft of elevation gain, but amazing views of the surrounding area even down into Mexico from there.  We took the Old Baldy trail back down to the parking lot.  Tallying a total of 5 miles and close to 2000 ft of elevation...just about as much as Max could handle before his paws starting getting a bit sensitive.

Here are a few pictures from the hike:

hiking the super trail in madera canyon
Looking back towards Green Valley from the Super Trail

Hiking in Madera Canyon with our dog
Max and Katie hiking up the ridge

Max and Katie getting some water at a creek in Madera Canyon