Box Camp to Sabino Canyon – 12/13/2014

1412 Rain on the Box Camp Trail
Rain on the Box Camp Trail. December 2014.

The rain turned to sleet sometime after we passed Ski Valley, the drive up had been slightly faster than usual on the empty highway, when we got out of the car at the top of the mountain the area was a wet mess – no winter wonderland, just frozen slush – a change of plans and down…

The clouds were just as solid at the Box Camp Trailhead – but the water falling from the sky was not nearly as frozen. As my ride pulls away the cold makes me shiver, no where to go now but up the trail.

1412 Ridge Disapearing into the Clouds on the Box Camp Trail
On the Box Camp Trail – for an hour all I saw was the trail under my feet and the ridge twisting into the clouds… December 2014.

Lower on the trail, normally home to vast views, I spend a dreamlike hour alternating between watching the loose trail under my feet and the ridge twisting away into the clouds.

1412 Storm from the Box Camp Trail
On the left you can see the saddle where the Sycamore, Bear Canyon and East Fork Trails meet, a bit to the right the East Fork Trail is barely visible as it switchbacks down to the canyon. December 2014.

The grass is heavy with rain and the trail occasionally obscure – lower still the clouds break and views of Palisade Canyon, Sabino Canyon and the East Fork trail emerge. By the time I arrive at the end of the Phoneline Trail the rain is gone – I pull off my shell and head down the empty trail towards the city. Box Camp Trailhead to the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, 12.8 miles, +680’/-5800′ of elevation gain/loss.

1412 Clouds over the Santa Catalina Mountains from Sabino Canyon
Storm – from Sabino Canyon. December 2014.

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