Pontatoc Canyon Trail – 2/5/2017 and 2/9/2017

February 2017.
Shallow water near the start of the Pontatoc Trail – this area is more often seen completely dry… February 2017.

It is always a treat to start the Pontatoc Trail and see water flowing in the first wash – as you might expect farther up the Pontatoc Canyon Trail there was water at each crossing of Pontatoc Canyon. New-to-me on this hike was watching the moonrise over Pontatoc Ridge – I wonder if, or how many times, it has risen behind me on other hikes, but tired and staring down at the rocky trail in front of me I missed it…

February 2017.
Looking into Pontatoc Canyon from the Pontatoc Canyon Trail – in the lower right section of the picture you can see a section of the trail (sometimes bypassed by a scramble up the canyon!) February 2017.
February 2017.
A small spill in Pontatoc Canyon. February 2017.
February 2017.
Sunset on the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. February 2017.
February 2017.
Saguaros – end of the day looking down towards Tucson from the Pontatoc Canyon Trail. February 2017.
February 2017.
Moon over Pontatoc Ridge. February 2017.

Pontatoc Ridge – 12/18/2016

December 2016.
Javelina near the start of the trail. December 2016.

The houses near the Richard McKee Finger Rock Trailhead crowd against the forest boundary and many of the views from the trail include Tucson and the surrounding communities – some days the city pulls me back down with thoughts of friends and the warmth of home, other days it is a sprawling terror that pushes me up the mountain.

I don’t quite make it to the top of the ridge today – too bad since it will be my last chance in 2016, the route up the ridge is not an official Forest Service Trail and it will be closed at the beginning of January to help protect the Bighorn sheep that have been reintroduced in recent years. Something for next year…

December 2016.
End of the day on Pontatoc Ridge. December 2016.
December 2016.
Tucson city lights and the remains of the sunset, coming down the Pontatoc Ridge Trail. December 2016.

Pontatoc Ridge Trail – 9/4/2016

Houses and private property push up to the southern edge of the Santa Catalina Mountains near the Pontatoc Ridge Trail and Tucson is nearly always in view – but the area, views and wildlife are beautiful and there is still plenty of wildness to be found!

A hillside across from Pontatoc Ridge. September 2016.
A hillside across from Pontatoc Ridge. September 2016.
A desert tortoise in the brush at the end of the Pontatoc Ridge Trail. September 2016.
A desert tortoise in the brush at the end of the Pontatoc Ridge Trail. September 2016.
Pontatoc Canyon in shadow at sunset from the end of the Pontatoc Ridge Trail. September 2016.
Pontatoc Canyon in shadow at sunset from the end of the Pontatoc Ridge Trail. September 2016.
Saguaro and moon. September 2016.
Saguaro and moon. September 2016.

Window View, Flight from DFW – 11/14/2015

Flying into Tucson from Dallas/Fort Worth I had a little luck – window seat facing the mountains, decent light, good weather – and was able to take a few pictures of the Santa Catalina Mountains –

Looking down on Agua Caliente Hill on a flight coming into Tucson from DFW. November 2015.
Looking down on Agua Caliente Hill on a flight coming into Tucson from DFW. November 2015.
Molino Canyon and the Highway with Airmen Peak, Guthrie Mountain, Green Mountain, Barnum Rock and Windy Point in the distance. November 2015.
Molino Canyon and the Highway with Airmen Peak, Guthrie Mountain, Green Mountain, Barnum Rock and Windy Point in the distance. November 2015.
Ventana, Bird, Rattlesnake, Sabino and Bear Canyons with the Summit Crags and top of the mountain in the background. November 2015.
Ventana, Bird, Rattlesnake, Sabino and Bear Canyons with the Summit Crags and top of the mountain in the background. November 2015.
The Cleaver, Bighorn Mountain, Table Mountain, Wolf's Teeth, Prominent Point, Finger Rock, Mount Kimball, Pontatoc Ridge. November 2015.
The Cleaver, Bighorn Mountain, Table Mountain, Wolf’s Teeth, Prominent Point, Finger Rock, Mount Kimball, Pontatoc Ridge. November 2015.
Pusch Peak rising from the southwest corner of the Santa Catalina Mountains. November 2015.
Pusch Peak rising from the southwest corner of the Santa Catalina Mountains. November 2015.