On Friday, the 28th, I hiked twelve miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. After hiking Wagner and part of Granite, I headed up Bluff Wash until I came to the Pemberton. From there, I took the Pemberton over to Granite Tank and then crossed into the Preserve, hiking part of the Saguaro Nest Trail. I reentered the park at the northwest corner, taking service road which used to form part of the Pemberton Trail eastward; I don’t think I had been in this part of the park in over a year. I returned via Lariat, Granite, and Wagner.
A view of Red Mountain from the Wagner Trail.
I think this might be an acacia.
I saw a lot of different kinds of seed pods…
This is the only significant obstacle in Bluff Wash. It used to be easy to scramble up the notch just left of center. There is a good foothold – a small ledge about two feet long and 2-3 inches deep – that is now at (perhaps) waist height. Over the years, the sand below this foothold has washed away, effectively raising that small ledge, making it harder to use it as a foothold. Assuming you can get your foot onto this ledge, it’s possible to push your weight on top of it using your right hand in opposition using the rock to the right. I tried that move today and found that I really had to kick my leg up to get my foot onto the ledge. Moreover, I had to stand far enough back that I was out of position to do the next move. Noticing some handholds left of the ledge, I decided to try another way. The handholds are good; smearing the left foot on the rock below allows you to put the right foot on the ledge. From there, there’s a side pull (Gaston) above the ledge for the right hand. I got both feet on the ledge and then was able to make the easy move to get into the notch.
I don’t know what these are, but I saw them in the wash.
Boulders on the bank of the wash…
More seed pods; I think I was still in the wash when I saw them.
This is a view of the Pemberton just before going up the small hill just before arriving at Granite Tank.
This shelter changes a little bit every time I see it.
Barrel cactus blossoms:
Saguaros on the Pemberton:
I saw this raven as I neared the trailhead at the end of my hike.