Christmas dayhike at Gates Pass near Tucson

5:22 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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4,299 forum posts

 

Sunday Christmas day I bicycled to Gates Pass and went on a dayhike climbing some different points and sightseeing the area.


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Tucson Mtn Park map. I was at the point shown "You are here" on my way to Gates Pass near the center of the map above.


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I rode my bike to Gates Pass on the lower part of this map and then day hiked to Tower peak along the ridgeline above and left of the pass. I came back down the saddle between Tower Peak and Bushmaster Peak and down the creekbed. I found the Tortiose shell in the dry creek bed(wash).


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Looking towards Gates Pass area with two un-named 4500 foot peaks ahead


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Looking back the way I came towards the Catalina Mtns with Tucson in the lower part of the saddle and the two unnamed peaks.


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Gates Pass


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Looking down towards the Tucson Range on horizon and Old Tucson (a western movie set below right of center)


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Tower Peaks from a look out stone building along the trail I took


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Cactus and the Rincon peaks in distance to the east


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View west from Tower peaks with highway to Old Tucson below


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Volcanic Tuff rock and saguaros


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The area was surrounded by Saguaro forests


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Looking east from Tower Peaks at the snow covered Rincon Mtns beyond Tucson


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There were Cholla (jumping) cactus too


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Close-up on a Giant Saguaro with many arms


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More Cholla and Saguaro cactus


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A Desert Tortiose shell I found along a wash I hiked. Its pretty big at about a foot long by 9 inches wide. Most of the upper scales had eroded off.  I carried it back to the Gates Pass overlook and left it on a wall for others to see.

It was a great warm Xmas day. Temps were around 70 degrees.














 

2:30 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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Hi, Gary

Thanks for sharing your trip--great exercise combo:  bike and hike!  I have never seen the Cholla before.  They have a sort of "glow" in that slanted light.  Nice view of Tucson, too.  Stay healthy!

7:42 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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I second Bunion on that...I like the bike and hike combo.

 

Thanks Gary

11:27 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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395 forum posts

Nice Gary!

I was working Xmas day in Tucson and was thinking about you out there in the hills, wish'n I was too!

Nice find on the Tortiose shell. In all my travels in the deserts here Ive only seen a Tortiose once.

Glad ya had a good day.

November 27, 2014
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