Linda, Nora, Heather, and I hiked a little over 10 miles in the McDowells. We hiked the Dixie Mine, Sonoran, Promenade, and Western Loop Trails.
We saw three snakes on our hike. We have photos of only two of them. The last one, which was too quick for me to get a photo, was a coachwhip.
Shortly after sunrise…
Two barrel cacti – note the two small “arms” on the one on the right.
Despite not being able to see its nose (due to having partially gone into a hole), one of Linda’s friends identified this as a long nose snake. (Photo Credit – Linda Kalbach.)
The thing that surprised us most about this snake was its greenish tinge. We all thought that it might be a Mohave rattlesnake, perhaps even a Mohave Green Rattlesnake, but Heather contacted Mark, the ranger at the Cave Creek Regional Park, who identified it as a Black Tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus Molossus).
Ocotillos on the Upper Sonoran Trail:
We paused at the Western Loop Overlook, where I got this photo:
Heather, at the overlook:
Descending the Western Loop Trail…
Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to also hike the Andrews-Kinsey Trail.
The Western Loop Trail eventually splits. We took the right fork where we passed this rock formation first from above and then later on (pictured) from below.
As we neared the Promenade Trail, we got a better view of some new construction. We think this might be construction for a new trailhead at the end of the Promenade Trail.
We saw this flowering saguaro just off of the Lower Sonoran Trail.