I didn't see a single person hiking from Juniper Basin Campground to Manning Camp, I was completely alone. But I loved it. I really enjoyed hiking up this portion of the trail, realizing that I'd hiked up from cactus to pines! The views were beautiful, I've always wanted to see the Rincons from this perspective, you can't see it from Tucson and only get a glimpse of it from the Catalinas. I love exploring new places and I felt gratitude for yesterday's decision to continue on, otherwise I would have missed these views!
I was excited to finally get back out there by myself but I was feeling trepidation as well. What if I no longer liked backpacking? What if I got lonely? What if I ran out of water? What if this is too hard for me and I haven't trained enough?
The system of trails here allows you to choose whatever length trail you'd like so if you want to do a short one mile hike or a longer 5 mile meandering loop you're able to do that at the Sweetwater Preserve. Just keep an eye out for mountain bikers as this is a popular place for them.
For our last Art Hike of 2022 we visited one of my favorite hikes: Seven Falls in Bear Canyon. I love recommending this hike to people visiting Tucson because you get a little bit of everything: desert landscape, plenty of saguaros, canyon views, many, many creek crossings, and of course a waterfall at the end!
October's Art Hike was full of beautiful fall colors! Bear Wallow on Mt Lemmon is my favorite place for fall colors when the autumn season comes to Arizona. This unofficial trail is one of the top 5 places to find fall colors in Arizona according to Arizona Highways Magazine.
Gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe the beauty of this trail. I was grinning the entire time, I could. not. stop. grinning!! And also crying every now and then, from pure amazement of the scenery and also of my body slowly taking me up the trail.
Our August Art Hike allowed us to explore the Bigelow Trail after an incredible week of monsoons in Tucson. The Santa Catalina Mountains have been gobbling up all of this rain, turning the mountains lush and green, and sending huge amounts of water down to the thirsty washes and desert below.
This month's Art Hike took us to one of my favorite areas of the Catalinas: Bear Wallow. I love this trail because it's fairly flat so it's accessible to most people and you get a lot of "bang for your buck" in terms of beauty. Gorgeous aspens, conifers, ferns and wildflowers can be found along this trail.
For June's Art Hike we headed back up Mt Lemmon to one of my favorite trails: Marshall Gulch. We got incredibly lucky with some cloud cover because this trail can get warm in the sun. We had another great group come out to hike and paint, some new faces and some who joined us last month.
Torrey pine trees are a rare pine species only found in this area near San Diego and on Santa Rosa Island, 175 miles away off the coast of Santa Barbara. There's been a concerted effort to keep them protected since they are so rare.