On Friday, January 4, 2019, while staying at Picacho Peak State Park we climbed to the top of the famous Picacho Peak. We began our hike at the Hunter Trailhead. The distance to the top is 2.7 miles with an increase in elevation of 2,014.
Description of the trail from a web-site: The trail to the summit is well marked and maintained. The trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are highly recommended. Views from the trail and the summit are great!
The weather on this Friday was perfect for the climb, not too cool or too warm. Our round trip took us a little over four hours. The path was steep and rocky, and in some places, we were walking along a sheer drop off. Beautiful, old Saguaro Cactus as far as the eye could see.
In several locations, we had to use the provided cables to help us climb the steep, rocky terrain. We had read where gloves were advisable and I was so glad I had mine.
I have never experienced anything like it before. I am so grateful that we made it to the top. We sat at the summit enjoying a snack and the view. It was a challenge and difficulty.
Our set challenge was met, it was so much fun and I won’t ever forget this climb/hike.
Didn’t take too many photos, because I needed both hands free to navigate the trail and to use the cabling. Howard took the panoramic, header photo using his Apple iPhone.
The only birds I observed along the trail were several Rock Wrens.
December 30, 2018, A nice hike up to an overlook at Picacho State Park, AZ.
Temperatures have been in the low 50’s and high 40’s with overnight lows in the high 20’s. Last night it rained and we woke this morning to low hanging clouds below the snow-covered peaks. The sun finally came out and it tuned out to be a nice day with a high of 48.
Our hike on the 30th was very nice. We took a trail that was “training” for us in hopes of climbing to the top of Picacho Peak. Don’t know if we will make it, but it will be fun and interesting trying. Thursday is the day!
Just a couple from the fact sheet: simply amazing!
Life Span-With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old.
Size-Saguaro are very slow growing cactus. A 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall. Saguaro can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall (12-18m). When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.
Yesterday, the 31st, I spent some time trying to capture a few bird shots at the motorhome. I don’t like to take photos of birds at the feeder, but with no trees around I had no choice.
This male Anna’s, spent so much time watching for other hummingbirds. It is comical to watch.
I would like to wish everyone a very healthy, happy, loving, and adventurous, new year. Enjoy what nature has to offer.
~December 22, 2018, Catalina State Park, Oro Valley, AZ
A lovely walk, at sunset, on the Romero Ruin Loop Trail.
The Romero Ruin Trail Loop is one of my very favorite trails. The views, from atop this hill of the Catalina Mountains are spectacular, the foliage diverse, and the birding rewarding. At sunset, the scene is peaceful and breathtaking.
Earlier in the day, on the same trail:
A list of all the other birds I observed while visiting Catalina State Park:
Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk(new), Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon, Mourning Dove, Greater Roadrunner, Anna’s Hummingbird, Gilded Flicker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gila Woodpecker, Vermilion Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Common Raven, Western Scrub-Jay, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Pyrrhuloxia, House Finch, Cassin’s Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.