Flowers and Fire on the Babad Do’ag Trail – 8/14/2017

Pringles Cluster Vine on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Pringles Cluster Vine on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.
Yellow Trumpet Bush on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Yellow Trumpet Bush on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.

The Babad Do’ag Trail is surrounded by flowers and green! I am more familiar with the trail in winter when the hillsides are shades of brown and tan, amazing to see it so green – but the trail is quite low on the mountain and, even with a few clouds and a little wind, the heat was… oppressive…

In April of this year the General Hitchcock Highway was briefly closed due to the Molino Fire. News reports at the time indicated that the suspected cause of the fire was recreational shooting. Ultimately the fire was fairly small – around 80 acres – and after the summer rains/growth it is hard to see the fire’s impact. The fire did touch the Babad Do’ag Trail – but only lightly, occasional burned agave mixed in with new growth.

Green growth and black burn from the Molino Fire. August 2017.
Green growth and black burn from the Molino Fire. August 2017.
The April 2017 Molino Fire perimeter in Black - the Babad Do'ag Trail is shown in red. August 2017.
The April 2017 Molino Fire perimeter in Black (a little over 80 acres) – the Babad Do’ag Trail is shown in red. August 2017.
Signs of the April 2017 Molino fire on the Babad Do'ag Trail. August 2017.
Signs of the April 2017 Molino fire on the Babad Do’ag Trail. August 2017.

Snow and Ice, Lambs, Babad Do’ag, Missing Hiker – 2/2/2016

Light Snow in Bear Canyon. February 2016.
Light Snow in Bear Canyon. February 2016.

By mid-day the highway had re-opened – low on the mountain there was no sign of yesterday’s storm – but somewhere before Bear Canyon snow started covering the ground. There was more snow higher on the mountain – and an impressive display of ice on the roadcut above the pullout for the Ridgeline Climbing Area.

Road to Mt. Lemmon closes as storm makes for a chilly Monday – Arizona Daily Star, Storm closes road to Mt. Lemmon – KVOA.com, Monday’s winter storm brings fresh snow to Mount Lemmon – KVOA.com, Road to Mount Lemmon open – Tucson News Now.

Ice on the road cut above the Ridgeline Parking Area. February 2016.
Ice on the roadcut above the Ridgeline Parking Pullout. February 2016.

The latest Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project update was recently released:

  • 8 lambs have been confirmed this season!
  • The past several updates have talked about the collars dropping off as the batteries run out – 3 of the collars failed to drop off, but “This does not create any added potential risk to the animals since they are mature adults”.
  • Since the end of 2013 there have been published updates on the project every two weeks – starting in March the plan is to go to once a month updates: “With the continued positive indicators on this project (including a successful November 2015 release and 2013 collars now dropping off as anticipated) the Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project is running smoothly and requiring less intensive management. Coupled with this milestone is an anticipated reduction in the frequency of the current routine bi-weekly project updates. Beginning in March we intend going to a monthly update schedule (issued on the last Friday of each month).”

Hiking around Babad Do’ag Trail – Toni Savanna Photography: a great set of pictures from the Babad Do’ag Trail!

Mt. Lemmon search crews looking for missing hiker – Arizona Daily Star, UPDATE: Hiker who went missing on Mount Lemmon found safe – Tucson News Now: A hiker missing after going for a hike on the Bug Spring Trail was found in good condition.

The Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center recently made a Facebook  post about Sahara Mustard, an invasive species in the Sonoran and Mohave Desert – while I am not aware of Sahara Mustard being found in/around the Santa Catalina Mountains it was interesting to learn more about it – some information from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – and from the TUBB CANYON DESERT CONSERVANCY SAHARA MUSTARD: FAQS:

Sahara Mustard threatens to bring a real “Silent Spring” to the Anza-Borrego Desert and other deserts of the Southwest. Sahara Mustard quickly multiplies to overshadow, poison, and rob water from the wildflower fields and blooming cacti that bring so many visitors from around the world to see the. Eventually, Sahara Mustard can kill even tough creosote, cholla and barrel cacti, literally taking over the desert and turning it into a mustard wasteland devoid of the biodiversity needed to sustain desert wildlife

Ice on the roadcut above the Ridgeline Parking pullout. February 2016.
Ice on the roadcut above the Ridgeline Parking Pullout. February 2016.

 

Babad Do’ag Trail and Sunset on the Highpoint above the End of the Trail – 1/20/2016

Cliffs and shadows from the Babad Do'ag Trail. January 2016.
Cliffs and shadows from the Babad Do’ag Trail. January 2016.

Close to the highway, not notably long or strenuous and without a dramatic ending the Babad Do'ag Trail is sometimes overlooked – but the short ridge before the end of the trail is a fun section of trail, the sunsets are great and with a bit of extra work and skill there are several off-trail destinations in easy reach – the highpoint just above the end of the trail, Point 4780 east of the trail and the cross-country journey over to Soldier Trail to name a few – certainly all worthy small adventures!

Sunset from highpoint above the end of the Babad Do'ag Trail. January 2016.
Sunset from highpoint above the end of the Babad Do’ag Trail. January 2016.
Just below the highpoint above the end of the Babad Do'ag Trail - front to back: Babad Do'ag Trail, Weather Top, Agua Caliente Hill, Mica Mountain. January 2016.
Just below the highpoint above the end of the Babad Do’ag Trail – front to back: Babad Do’ag Trail, Weather Top, Agua Caliente Hill, Mica Mountain. January 2016.

End of the day on the Babad Do’ag Trail – 12/25/2014

1412 Babad Do'ag Vista
Sunlight thru the clouds from the Babad Do’ag Vista. December 2014.

 

Happy Holidays!!! We found time, late in the day, for a hike on the Babad Do'ag Trail – a storm provided beautiful views, and eventually rain on the trail.

Light beaming thru the clouds, headlights screaming down the highway and rain rolling across the Tucson city lights – 4.7 miles, 1250′ of elevation gain and loss.

1412 Rain Rolling Across Tucson
Rain rolling across the Tucson City lights from the Babad Do’ag Trail. December 2014.

 

Babad Do’ag Trail at Night – 9/1/2014

1409 Stars from the Babad Do'ag Trail
Stars and a moonlit view – looking towards Agua Caliente Hill and the Rincons. September 2014.

The weather has been hot lately and there is no hint of relief in the perfectly clear blue skies – but there are still some surprisingly lovely nights…

1409 White-lined Sphinx Caterpillar by Headlamp
The first White-lined Sphinx Caterpillar I have seen this season. September 2014.