4 day/3 nights in Bear Canyon and Seven Falls near Tucson

4:59 p.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Last weekend I did my first small backpacking trip near Tucson AZ. I biked from Tucson to the edge of the Catalina Foothills at a place called Bear Canyon. My goal was a place called Seven Falls.


Starting the hike late in the afternoon I camped near the trailhead. I shot this at sunset just after I sat up my tent,


Morning at sunrise on the second day, looking up Bear Canyon still half in shade. Luckily the shade lasted till I arrived at Seven Falls about 3 miles up the canyon. Even in late October the early morning sun can make temps in the 80s.


Saguaro and me in the early morning light


A Barrel Cactus covered in fruit. The small fruits look much like a pineapple and have a texture like a pepper and have a lemony flavor.


Saguaro Cactus and lower Bear Canyon


Seven Falls, I was the first to arrive. This place is not as popular as it should be. Many first time hikers arrive and find a place that even after years in Tucson marvel at a place so close to the city yet they have never been here. I have been to the falls a few dozen times because it is so little known and usually have it to myself


Cholla Cactus clinging to the rock above the falls


A garter snake who seemed to like the cool water too. I thought it may have gotten in the pool by mistake and took it back to dryland. But it headed right back to the place I found it. Later I found a shedded skin from it in a rock crevice near on of the falls.


One of the falls drops into a narrow cleft andsprays water all around


This is the pool below the falls above


This pool had a cool rock wedged in it above, its falls were behind and below the rock.


The switchbacks are opposite the falls and lead to the upper sections of Bear Canyon


At sunset the light reflects off a granite monolith above the falls


Saguaros at sunset looking down Bear Canyon


As the sun disappears in the west the desert below turns colors of blue to purple


Camp in the sunset light at the base of Seven Falls


Even the lower pools reflect some of the evening light

Below the falls the water spills down over white and black Granite before falling to the canyon below



Sunrise the next morning shines high on the cliffed ridge above the falls


Early morning light on the 3 day at Seven Falls

10:21 p.m. on October 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice TR Gary, Thanx.

Nice pics, really like the shadow pic of you and the cactus.

Those Garters like to hang around water.  Ive seen em around desert creeks a few times.

7:19 a.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice pics. Thanks for sharing Gary. If I ever get to Tuscon I hope to remember to go hiking here.

7:53 a.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Very Nice Gary! Do you hide the bike when hiking?

9:01 a.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Great report Gary, as usual! 

I guess I need to add that are to my bucket list also, it's so different then what I am use to up here in the PNW.  Keep them comming.


9:58 p.m. on October 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Patman asked if I hide my bike when hiking? Yes, I hid it in the desert off the trailhead where I started. Usually I always come back and its still there. One while living here in Tucson years ago I came back to my bike locked to a tree and someone had taken my front wheel. I had to carry it out to the road and then 3 miles to the closest bus stop. I had to talk the bus driver into letting me bring it aboard as there were no bike racks on the buses in those days (1980s) Luckily a friend who owned a bike shop loaned me a wheel till I could replace it.

June 19, 2018
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