These were some of my favorite hikes this year in Arizona. Pics were taken by my friend Paco and myself. By far, the #1 favorite hike was the Chiricahua National Monument, 120 miles Southeast of Tucson, in Wilcox, AZ. A magical and spiritual place with spires of balanced rocks. I just talked to a couple who came back from the Chiricahua National Monument today. They said there was snow there and the snow covered spires made the place seem more ethereal. I bet it was so lovely!! I wish I got to see that too.
I’d recommend going for a whole day. Even better is to stay a few days in Bisbee, AZ and go to Chiricahua National Monument for a day trip. We watched a short film at the Visitor Center after we arrived. The wild flowers were in bloom from the rains few weeks back in August. We brought a sangria mix, fruit, cheese, crackers, and turkey sandwiches to eat before heading out to do the 3 easy miles of Echo Canyon Loop. There were so many Mexican Blue Jays fluttering about, that it felt like they were following us.
Second on the list: Picacho Peak State Park, Eloy, AZ. This boy has a steep incline of a two mile hike. We got there too late to finish the hike. The ranger said it would take 3 hours to make the round 4 mile trip. Other hikers begged to differ. They said plan on it taking 2 1/2 to 3 hours one way. I can’t wait to go back and found out for myself. This hike is difficult. Bring plenty of water.
Third Favorite: Mt Lemmon, Tucson, AZ…I absolutely love Mt. Lemmon. Of course, you’ve gotta have a picnic with a bottle of wine, cheese, & lots and lots of fresh fruit. I make a trip to the cookie cabin for hot chocolate, giant plate sized cookies, and pizza. The ski lodge area for a ski lift ride is nice. My favorite hike is Marshall’s Gulch. The Aspen fire did not harm a tree there. It’s lush, and has plenty of shade. We like to stop at the Windy point and watch the sunset.
Fourth: Sabino Canyon, Seven Falls, Tucson, AZ. This is in the beautiful hiker friendly Sabino Canyon. You can take the tram partly to the beginning of Tram stop #3 at Bear Canyon Trail and start the half a day hike. Even though we went when the river beds were dry, there was no shortage of beautiful views there. I highly recommend this one. This hike is medium in difficulty.
Fifth and Final is a very simple trail perfect for walking or biking. The trail is below the road and all you see is the sky, the trail, and you. The sunset from Rillito River Wash near River and Craycroft Rd in middle of Tucson is beautiful.
Ahhh…Life is Good when you are in beautiful outdoors!!! Happy New Year’s!!!