Thursday, February 27, 2014

So Long Tucson, We've Loved all the Trails Right in Our Backyard

We're finishing up a month in Tucson, for the second year in a row. Having done most of the things we really wanted to do in Tucson last year, this year has been a pretty relaxing stay. We've redone some hikes, found a few new trails, spent time with new and old friends, got Rosie outside for long stretches of time every day, and read a lot of books.

We've enjoyed Desert Trails RV Park; its friendly vibe and immediate access to miles and miles of excellent hiking and mountain biking trails right from the park made it a great place to hunker down for an extended period of time. 

Here's a wrap up of the past few days...

We hiked a new-to-us section of Tucson Mountain Park. We attempted to do a lollipop loop consisting of 36th Street, Starr Pass, Rock Wren and Yetman trails. I say attempted because TMP has virtually no trail signs and many additional trails that are not shown on the map linked above so it is very easy to take a wrong turn. No matter, we were familiar enough with the area that we couldn't get lost and the scenery was wonderful! I highly recommend the 36th Street trail head, the 1.3 miles to Starr Pass trail is beautiful.

Lots of colorful rock along 36th St trail, I liked these little cacti making their way out of the rock!

The Kiss

This crested beauty is found along the Starr Pass wash.

Another new-to-us hike in Tucson Mountain Park was a lollipop loop of the Ringtail, Cougar and Orcut trails for a nice 5.5 mile jaunt. The Orcut trail took us up washes along power line trails, providing wonderful views of the Tucson Mountains and Gates Pass.

The Tucson Mountains, looking towards Gates Pass.

Crested barrel cactus.

Today was our last full day in West Tucson and we biked from our park with Bill and Christine and Fred and Joyce. This was Fred and Joyce's first long mountain bike ride out beyond the easy trails right behind the park and they did really well! During our 12 mile loop we checked out an owls nest in a saguaro, had a nice break at Gilbert Ray campground, and messed around getting photos among the saguaros.

Christine, Hans, Fred, Bill, Joyce.

Owls nest in a saguaro.
Last year folks saw the owl, this year the nest has been abandoned.

Makin' friends with the saguaros.

Tomorrow we have a really short drive to Catalina State Park, just barely out of Tucson metro area. Rain is finally in the forecast for Saturday...this area needs it badly and we are looking forward to it.


  1. Great pics of some real "finds" in the beautiful desert! I think that little rock peeker is a "fishhook cactus" and very hard to find these days. Growing up in the desert of SoCal, they were one of my favorites. And the tall "kissers" with the blanket around them is fabulous! If our storm gets to Tucson with any water left you'll need to strap on the pontoons or make for higher ground - can't beat the smell of rain in the desert, enjoy!

    1. Hi Jodee, thanks for reading! I just checked out your blog and see you are heading for the full time RV life, YAY!

      We've seen those little cacti all over the place here

      I can't wait for rain. Having lived in San Diego all my life I was hoping to experience more weather on the road...but have not had much luck and I suppose that is a good thing really!

  2. Wow, you found some amazing cacti! I've never seen a crested barrel cactus before. Very cool. And I love the photo of the six of you posing with the saguaros. So creative! Have fun at Catalina - can't wait to see what fun hikes and bikes rides you find.

    1. Thanks Amanda! I've got a really neat sounding new hike lined up while we are in Catalina. Hopefully the weather cooperates!

  3. It looked liked you pretty much have done Tucson. Will you still be in the desert when the saguaro blooms in a few weeks.
    Great photos especially you guys peeking out of the saguaro.

    1. We'll be further North around Cottonwood/Sedona and I don't recall saguaros up there.

      Yeah, I feel done with Tucson!