Catalina's Tucson ASAP

1:50 p.m. on November 19, 2011 (EST)
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These are the pictures from my trip.


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First view of Bear Canyon at late afternoon about 4 pm. The sun has sat behind me over a low hill causing the shadow to fall on the Saguaro in front of me.


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After having hiked about 2/3s the way up lower Bear canyon I look back down from my camp towards Tucson still glimmering in the sun while the canyon around me is in deep shade.


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A cloud above catches the late early evening suns rays as Saguaro's, Mesquites and Palo Verdes stand as silent shadows on the ridge above


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While the setting sun shines on the horizon red clouds above slide quietly across the sky


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Early the next morning the light of the sky and distant sunlight starts the day as Sentenal Sagauro's look on


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At my first glimpse of 7 Falls the sun is starting to shine on the higher cliffs and spire above them.


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Closer view of the cliffs and spire above 7 Falls


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A tired armed Saguaro waits for the rising sun to warm it as it is it comrade on the other side


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The bottom three pools and falls of & Falls


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The second pool and falls with bright green algae growing in the daytime sunlight. The falls are about 20 feet high. The water pool being filled with late summers sandwash is about 2 feet deep. In the spring when the snowmelt and rains come the pools are flushed out and become quite deep. Enough to dive into from the cliffs around them.


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The 3rd pool up and its huge granite boulder wedge in at the falls area. This one is about 3 feet deep near the boulder and I chimneyed my way under the rock to find the falls there.


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With a little sign of Autumn color a Sycamore tree hangs over the 3rd pool as the creek pushes over the granite rim and heads to the lower canyon


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Looking back down on the lowest pools/ People slide down between the pool on lower right and the large one in the middle where the two falls drop.

I camped on the sandbar near where my pack rests against a boulder


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At the top of 7 Falls a large flat boulder erodes down into the creek


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Hawks Rest a cliffed dome of rock looms above the upper side of 7 Falls. The falls drop to the left where the sun shines on their upper egdes and cacti


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Down below the falls the sunlight is still just starting to shine on a line of Saguaro's and distant Tucson is bathed in the warm winter sun


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Another Saguaro starts putting on new arms as it waits for the sun to come out and play


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Soon the morning passes and the winter sun starts to shade the 3 pool. By 2 pm it will be farther southwest and the falls area will once again be in shadow


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A small round pool below the lower falls reflects the high cliffs and spire above them


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The lowest pool also holds a mirrored image of the cliffs above



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Down canyon from 7 Falls the water re-enters the canyon sunshine


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Dual spring waters flow where the creek water has moved thru cracks in the lower granite rock and re-amerges downstream


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A prickley Pear cactus makes its morning shadow on the rock below


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Powerful natural forces have moved the granite at a fault line over millennia, causing quartzite in the rock to separate near one of the falls edges



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As the sun moves west it shades the canyon and 7 Falls again. The falls are in the area below the brite rock dome right of center


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The shadow now falls across the fall soon to be cooled again by the afternoon light and shadow


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A multiarmed Saguaro's needles shine in the midday sun


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Another Saguaro's arms seem to be growing at the same rate cooling the main plant more than the needle ever could


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Late afternoon the sun now close to setting shines across the  mountains of the Sonoran Desert below


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As the last light of the sun shines on the cliff above 7 Falls goes on with its endless journey sending water to the desert below


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Alpenglow makes the desert seem on fire as the setting sun moves down thru the horizon of western Arizona


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Tall Sagauro's stand watch as the suns last light shades them and brings another solar day to a close


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Midday my second day I have hiked up a trail opposite the 7 Falls after the sun has risen apon them at 11 am.


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The Saguaro forest on the western flanks of Bear canyon looking south towards Tucson down there in the haze of heatwaves


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Hiking out I stop to view Cholla Cactus (Jumping Cacti) on the left as their needles shine in the afternoon sun.


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A large pool of clear water at a trailcrossing looking back up Bear canyon


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Around 4 in the afternoon I am back out of Bear Canyon looking back thinking about my little adventures there over the years. I have hiked Bear canyon to the falls and beyond since my first hike there in November 1983 many times


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Looking south from Bear Canyon the Santa Rita Mountain range looms in the sun on the distant horizon 60 miles away


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And the Rincon Mountains appear to the east of the mouth of Bear Canyon. Sagauro's, Prickley Pear, Barrel cacti,Palo Verde and Mesquite trees, and a picnic table share the ground cover


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The western end of the Catalina Mountains rise to the left of the mouth of Bear canyon. Mt Lemmon its highest point is not visable


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Two Sagauro brothers look on as a third starts a fight with one not seen. These three Amigo's were my last companions at the end of another great hike into the desert country of Bear Canyon!

3:15 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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You got some really great Photos, Gary! 

I really like the ones of the pools and reflections. The fourth photo, of the sunset with the cloud is quite arresting. The could looks so solid and heavy. 

5:10 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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Just awesome Gary...

 

Thanks very much for sharing this.

5:12 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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Gary this an awesome tr. The pics are beautiful. Love it. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. 

5:21 p.m. on November 22, 2011 (EST)
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Rick said:  Gary this an awesome tr. The pics are beautiful. Love it. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.

Sure,

As soon as I get a warmer sleeping bag, (my old 10 year old down one is worn out) I plan to do some winter camps. Its been in the 40s in town and around freezing up in the mountains here at night. Don't like waking at 3 am when the temperture has dipped down and I am awake the rest of the early morning because I am cold. Looking to get a new bag ASAP, REI is having a winter sale 30-50% off and theres a REI in Tucson about 5 miles from where I live. A great excuse to do my other apssion of bicycling around the city for transpotation and lots of excersize. I find hiking helps me in my cycling and cycling helps me in my hiking. And to me winter in Tucson temps are like summer temps in Jackson Hole, shorts and Tshirt weather most of the day , while all the natives wear longjohns,downcoats,jackets, stockingcaps, gloves etc cause they are used to summers around 100 degrees.


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This is what the desert looked like one morning in 1986 when it actually snowed in the desert. It only did this 3 times in the 20th century. The Saguaro's probably wished for a down jacket that day!

11:27 p.m. on November 22, 2011 (EST)
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Gary,

Very nice.  I've been to/past 7 Falls a couple times, but I've never climbed up and beyond the 7 Falls.  Is it possible to climb/hike beyond the upper most of the falls and make your way over to Sabino Canyon?  I've gone around the "long way" but never up and over. 

From your description of the area, sounds as if you might have done so on a previous hike.  If so, please describe the route.  thanks, Steve

11:56 a.m. on November 23, 2011 (EST)
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Steve t asked: Is it possible to climb/hike beyond the upper most of the falls and make your way over to Sabino Canyon?  I've gone around the "long way" but never up and over. 

 

I usually do the Bear Canyon/Thimble Peak Saddle/Sycamore Basin/Sabino Basin and over and out Sabino Canyon trails. But once I did a hike up to the saddle above 7 Falls next to the spire as seen in the image below and over into Sabino Canyon to the Phoneline Trail. When I did this was back in the 80s and thought probably not many had done this before. But at the saddle I found about 2 dozen empty green quart beer bottles and a campfire ring.

It was a hard climb up the drainage on the 7 Falls side and a hrad climb down the other into Sabino.


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11:56 a.m. on November 23, 2011 (EST)
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Steve t asked: Is it possible to climb/hike beyond the upper most of the falls and make your way over to Sabino Canyon?  I've gone around the "long way" but never up and over. 

 

I usually do the Bear Canyon/Thimble Peak Saddle/Sycamore Basin/Sabino Basin and over and out Sabino Canyon trails. But once I did a hike up to the saddle above 7 Falls next to the spire as seen in the image below and over into Sabino Canyon to the Phoneline Trail. When I did this was back in the 80s and thought probably not many had done this before. But at the saddle I found about 2 dozen empty green quart beer bottles and a campfire ring.

It was a hard climb up the drainage on the 7 Falls side and a hard climb down the other into Sabino.


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7:46 p.m. on November 23, 2011 (EST)
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OMG. Man, those pics, especially the sunset one (4th down from top) are dang near spiritual. Now THAT'S a glorious hikin' spot! Wow...

Later!

Cory

11:42 a.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Great report

3:03 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks may do another hike there next weekend or Christmas weekend. The winter sun here is warmer than many places in winter. Its 63 here now at 1 pm Sunday the 11th.

11:17 p.m. on December 11, 2011 (EST)
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It sure got old up here in Vegas fast after a fairly nice day in the sunshine. This is a great report Gary!

July 28, 2014
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