2017 Peppersauce Roundup – 9/23/2017

Starting the 8 mile Peppersauce Stampede - part of the 2017 Peppersauce Roundup. September 2017.
Starting the 8 mile Peppersauce Stampede – part of the 2017 Peppersauce Roundup. September 2017.

The start line of the Peppersauce Stampede – light rain, cool temperatures and beautiful light on the Galiuro Mountains across the San Pedro River. A great morning for a run – down the Control Road, dirt roads up to the High Jinks Ranch and a loop back to Arizona Zipline Adventures via the Arizona Trail/Cody Trail.

After the run I ate breakfast and watched as more and more people arrived – it was great to see so many people out and enjoying this part of the mountain! The Oracle Ford Peppersauce Roundup includes the Stampede Runs, Gravel Grinder Mountain Bike races, music, gear expo, camping, food, beer and, of course, the Zipline.

This was the 2nd year for the event and it is hard to imagine that it won’t happen again next year!

Eating breakfast at Arizona Zipline Adventures after the Peppersauce Stampede during the 2017 Peppersauce Roundup. September 2017.
Eating breakfast at Arizona Zipline Adventures after the Peppersauce Stampede during the 2017 Peppersauce Roundup. September 2017.

Flowers along the Bear Canyon Trail – 4/9/2016

A Prickly Pear along the Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.
A Prickly Pear along the Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.

It was sunny and beautiful – Molino Basin Trail up to Shreve Saddle, Sycamore Reservoir Trail down to Sycamore Saddle, Bear Canyon Trail down – the surprise for the day was the amazing display of flowers on the Bear Canyon Trail.

Hedgehog cactus and bee along the Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.
Hedgehog cactus and bee along the Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016. 
Desert Chicory - Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.
Desert Chicory – Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.

There flowers at the top of the switchbacks are incredible! Below I can see that it is a busy day at Seven Falls – see 25+ people enjoying the water – I am glad that so many people are outside experiencing the mountain, but also happy that the mountain is big enough that I can be alone with the flowers.

Fairy Duster and cliffs - Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.
Fairy Duster and cliffs – Bear Canyon Trail. April 2016.

Bug Spring and Soldier Trail – 2/14/2016

Power poles along the Soldier Trail - at one time these provided power to the Prison Camp. February 2016.
Power poles along the Soldier Trail – at one time these provided power to the Prison Camp. February 2016.

We started at the Lower Green Mountain Trailhead in Bear Canyon – dirty snow was piled near the start of the Bug Spring Trail and there was occasional snow on/near the trail for the first few miles – but it disappeared too quickly, as we ran thru the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site and on to the Soldier Trail the temperature seemed oppressively hot for February – we were grateful for the wind and occasional shade as we made our way down to the Soldier Trail Trailhead.

Grassy hillsides above Soldier Canyon on the Soldier Trail. February 2016.
Grassy hillsides above Soldier Canyon on the Soldier Trail. February 2016.

Lower Green Mountain Trailhead to Soldier Trail Trailhead  (Bug Spring Trail, Molino Basin Trail and Soldier Trail) – 8.1 miles, + 740’/-3,200′ of elevation gain/loss.

Cody Trail in the Snow, Ski Valley open for Skiing – 1/10/2016

Cody Trail - in the snow! January 2016.
Cody Trail – in the snow! January 2016.
Oracle Ridge Trail at the junction with the Cody Trail. January 2016.
Oracle Ridge Trail at the junction with the Cody Trail. January 2016.
Snow near Point 5466 off the Oracle Ridge Trail. January 2016.
Snow near Point 5466 off the Oracle Ridge Trail. January 2016.
Sunset from just off the Oracle Ridge Trail. January 2015.
Sunset from just off the Oracle Ridge Trail. January 2015.

The elevation in Tucson is around 2,600′ – too low for snow to collect on the ground during the recent storms – but at 4,400′ the American Flag Trailhead outside of Oracle is high enough that there is snow at the trailhead!

At the beginning the Cody Trail alternated between well trodden snow and mud, as I climbed higher the snow became slowly deeper and once I passed the Hijinks Mine there was no trace of anyone coming this way since the storm.

Eventually I reached the junction with the Oracle Ridge Trail – covered in tire tracks – and wandered up to and around point 5466 off the Oracle Ridge Trail before finding a spot to photograph the sunset. Eventually I turned on my headlamp and headed back down the Cody Trail…

 

The incredible snow in the Santa Catalina Mountains has allowed Ski Valley to open for skiing and snowboarding for the first time this year! But restrictions on travel on the Mount Lemmon Highway have changed a number of times in the past few days – consider calling (520) 547-7510 for ‘nearly current’ road conditions before trying to head up the mountain – Tucson News Now reports that this afternoon there is a long line of cars waiting to go up the mountain and because of over-crowding they are only letting a car go up when one comes down….

Agua Caliente Canyon, La Milagrosa Loop, Colors – 11/21/2015

Gnat Tank - covered in color. November 2015.
Gnat Tank – covered in color. November 2015.
Flowers covering the ground alongside the Agua Calinte Canyon Trail near Gnat Tank. November 2015.
Flowers covering the ground alongside the Agua Calinte Canyon Trail near Gnat Tank. November 2015.

The colors were the highlight on this Agua Caliente Canyon and La Milagrosa Trail loop – the yellowish green covering Gnat Tank with patches of purple and yellow flowers nearby, subtle hints of fall color in the bottom of Agua Caliente Canyon and fallen fall color in the cool clear water. 

A hint of fall color in the bottom of Agua Caliente Canyon - from the Agua Caliente Hill Trail. November 2015.
A hint of fall color in the bottom of Agua Caliente Canyon – from the Agua Caliente Hill Trail. November 2015.
A fallen fall leaf floating in clear water in Agua Caliente Canyon. November 2015.
A fallen fall leaf floating in clear water in Agua Caliente Canyon. November 2015.