I did a “photography” hike by myself on Friday. I hiked 6.2 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead.
Linda, Bob, and I hiked 11.5 miles starting from the Horse Staging Area. We hiked over to the Pemberton Trail and then took Pemberton to Dixie Mine Trail. We hiked down Dixie Mine until we got to South Wash, which is the first major wash that you come to after leaving the Pemberton Trail.
South Wash is a real treat. It heads ESE from Dixie Mine and crosses the Long Loop (in the competitive track area) twice. We saw many butterflies, a number of owls, and a snake (which happened to be dead) in South Wash. Shortly after leaving the Dixie Mine Trail, South Wash is narrow with high banks, but eventually opens up into being a very wide wash, with even higher banks. It is arguably the most scenic wash in McDowell Mountain Park.
This is a view from the Technical Loop, just prior to topping out on T-Bone Ridge.
I was fortunate enough to get a shot of a flying owl!
An owl in the tree:
This is “Convict Crossing” on the Long Loop.
Lisa, Shawn, and Jovanka joined me for a six mile hike out to Dixie Mine and back.
These are the mine tailings above the lower entrance.
Shawn, Jovanka, and Lisa at the adit (horizontal mine entrance).
Lisa, Jovanka, and Shawn:
Approaching the “waterfall”…
Ascending the waterfall…
A low angle, but surprisingly smooth slab further up the canyon:
Views from the Dixie Mine Trail on the return trip…
Linda, Bob, Jerry, and I hiked 9.3 miles starting from the Trailhead Staging Area.
I think this is White Thorn Acacia:
Barrel Cactus with new blooms:
This might be another Acacia.
We were wondering about the plant next to the agave – Linda, with help from Steve Jones on iNaturalist, identified it as boundary ephedra (mormon tea). But, while we were pondering this plant, Bob noticed the rattlesnake between these two bushes. It was really mellow for a good while, but then started rattling like crazy.
Another view of the rattlesnake:
Bob, Linda, and Jerry:
Saguaros on the wash bank:
Another view of Bluff Wash, after crossing the Granite Trail. (This wash eventually flows into Stoneman Wash.)