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On Saturday New Years Eve a friend and I went on a desert dayhike up Sabino Canyon and down the Phoneline Trail. We hiked about 9 miles total distance.
Beginning of hike started by following the Sabino Canyon Sate Park Road 3.7 miles from the parks parking area. My friend Ben ahead of me.
Fall colors in the Cottonwoods and Sycamores with Sagauro Cactus too along the lower areas of Sabino Creek Canyon.
The bridges over the creek are built low so in heavy flooding the water flows over. Here the water is all snow melt from the top of Mt Lemmon. There are 6 such crossings.
Thimble Peak (center) stands 5332 feet above sea level and 2000 feet above Sabino Canyon. Shot around 1030 am the winter sun is still behind the east side of the canyon.
More Cottonwoods and Sycamores along middle sabino Creek and Thimble Peak.
We finally reach the sun or it reaches us about halfway up the paved canyon road. The Sabino Canyon road is a shuttle road used by thousands of tourists every day. Temperture was around 75 this last day of 2011. Elevation around 3200 feet.
Now on the Phoneline trail looking down the Sabino Canyon Road back towards Tucson down canyon. The trail stays about 3300 feet for the next 4 miles. So called because it used to have a series of telephone lines strung down on steel pipe poles from Mt Lemmon.
Looking up the canyon from the trail towards Mt Lemmon. Rattlesnake Peak on left at 6653 feet. The top of Mt Lemmon is the lower ridge area in the center. Its 9157 feet above sea level. Theres a ski area there, an observatory and a place called Summerhaven where Tucson residents go to beat the heat in summer.
Looking back down canyon with various cacti, Prickly Pear (the round padlike one), Ocotillo the tall spindly one reaching out into the center sky, Yucca huddled in the prickly pear below it, and Mesquite trees around.
Close-up on a Ocotillo and young Saguaro Cacti. After a good rain the Ocotillo gets covered in green leaves and may have a red flowering stalk at the end of the branches.
Close to a Saguaro showing its ribs of needles at an high view point along the Phoneline Trail.
Prickly Pear and a multi-armed Saguaro above Sabino Canyon. The green tree's below are Palo Verde (Green Stick in Spanish).
A side canyon off the Phoneline Trail snakes its way down into Sabino Canyon. The southern Tucson Mountains are visable in lavendar and the Roskruge Mountains are on the horizon in light blue.
A tourist looks over into Sabino Canyon with a tall many armed Saguaro.
A mature Cholla (Jumping Cactus) leans out over a side canyon along the lower trail.
Looking back up Sabino Canyon, Thimble Peak to the right top from near th end of the trail.
Down canyon the shuttle road and Sabino Creek with Tucson and the Tucson Range beyond.
A couple Sabino Canyon Shuttles below on the road come to a bridge.
Couple of multi-armed Saguaro's show different ways arms grow. The closer one is riddled with holes made by Cactus Wrens and other desert birds that nest in the Saguaro.
Near the end of the Phoneline Trail the Sabino Canyon Park road stretches out into NE Tucson while the creek meanders off to the left.