Ridgeline dayhike above Bear Canyon Jan 8 2012

12:26 p.m. on January 9, 2012 (EST)
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On sunday I took a long dayhike up a rdige above Bear Canyon in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson. I have hiked Bear Canyon itself many times over the years but on this hike I went up the ridgeline to the east of the canyon. It mainly went to look for a arch I had seen many times from the canyon floor and have thought of going up to it.

I hiked up to about 4000 feet and 1200 feet above the creek bottom. The views were very nice in all directions. I could see dozens of tourists and hikers along the canyon trail below me going to Seven Falls.


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Near the begiining of the canyon looking up. I followed the ridge to the right. I eventually climbed all the way to the double hu,pback and cliff overhang above the three Saguaros just right fo the highest point left.


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Crossing Bear Creek Canyon to get to the ridgeline route I was going to follow.


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A Canyon Wren's nest in a tree along the creek.


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Looking back once on the ridgeline. The trail I took to the vreek is below. Its an old road which is why its so wide. The Tucson Mountains are on the left horizon.


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Looking down on hikers on the Bear Canyon Trail below, my shadow is my only companion.


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The arch I came to see on right. Mt Bigalow is just to its left. I hiked to within a mile of Mt Bigalow.


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A deformed barrel Catus along the route. Decease sometimes affect the growth of cacti changing the way they grow. Normally there would only be one round form not four.


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Better view of the arch and the volcanic rocks nearby. The white rocks in the foreground are at the dge of what is becoming the ridgeline. I am about 400 feet above the canyon floor.


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Looking up the canyon and ridgeline. I went to the shadowed point before Mt Bigalow. A couple young Saguaro and a Palo Verde in the foreground.


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A couple of different small cacti growing out of the rock.


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Two overhanging cliff peaks ahead of me. I followed the edge of the cliff and to the top of both of these.

 


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New view down with the creekbed and trail meandering down canyon.


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Snow is visable on the top of the Rincons 40 miles away to the east between two Saguaros


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Looking up Bear Canyon


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Looking back at the two overhanging points along the way. Tow twin Saguaros stand near the edge.


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The cliff route ahead.


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A Cholla (Jumping cacti) stands guard along the lower rdige behind me.


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Bear Creek Canyon and trail snake back downbelow.


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A Saw Yucca fans out along the way.


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Drainage shoots come down all around the canyon cliffs. Thimble Peak in upper center.


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Cathedral Rocks stand above a saddle on the opposite canyon walls.


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A Saguaro holds up a fallen Century Plant (Yucca) It grew for about 20-30 years then overnight (sometime is the past) shot up its stem and made flowers, then seeds and died soon after.


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From about 3600 feet above the canyon and Bear Creek looking southwest.


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Finally reaching the highest point on my route at 4000 feet I look down  on Seven Falls about 1000 feet below.


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Looking back down Bear Canyon from 4000 feet. Tucson is in the plain in upper left.


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The Rincons, Redington Mountain and the slopes of Mt Bigalow to the southeast.


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Eastern Tucson and the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.


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A Hedgehog Cactus like tennisballs, my boot for size.


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Another Cacti form, these grow like family groups.


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Saguaro twins stand together pointing at the blue clouded sky.


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Three barrel Cacti gowing like triplets with yellow Pineapple like fruits.


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Saguaro arms get their start.


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A long dead Saguaro looking pretty Gruesome like a dead mummy.


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A flower of a desert weed.


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A Prickll Pear Cacti with its many needle thorns.



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Looking back up at Thimble Peak in the late afternoon light.


Dayhike-above-Bear-Canyon-Sunday-1-8-12-Closer view of Thimble Peak.


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Late afternoon sunlight on the Saguaros and dark ridges of Bear Canyon.


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The last rays of sunlight shine across the lower flanks of the catalina Mountains.










 




 






 









 













 


 

 



 

2:25 p.m. on January 9, 2012 (EST)
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Awesome looking hike.  I love all the cactus pictures.

9:15 p.m. on January 9, 2012 (EST)
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471 forum posts

Great trip report.  The kind that makes one want to go or be there.

10:25 a.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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Its very nice here in Winter , at least if you are from somewhere like Wyoming where I am used to 70 degree summers. Its been in the 70s here most of the winter since Thanksgiving. There are cold days sometimes but overall winter here is very mild. I wear shorts and a Tshirt 90% of the time. Soon it will be getting hot to me in Feburary to April when the first 100 degree days come and I will head back north to Utah and Wyoming.

9:18 p.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
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Cool hike in the desert.

11:59 a.m. on January 15, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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Thanks for letting us tag along Gary!

As usual nice photos and descriptions.

I have to agree with you about the hot weather, to say I dislike it is an understatement.

Mike G.

12:58 p.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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456 forum posts

Gary were you doing all that ridge walking 'cross country'?  From that look of your leg it looks like the cactus were eating you up! :)

I don't think I would be up for a cross country hike in that stuff, not with out some heave leg protection.  What's the snakes like this time of year, are they all still hold up under ground? 

Be safe and keep on treck'n!

Wolfman

1:05 p.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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4,071 forum posts

 

The snakes are not out this time of year, guess they hibernate somewhere.

Had I known the ridge had so much cactus along it I would have worn pants. But I do like hiking off trail and maybe seeing the wild world where few other humans have gone. Hard to find places like that now after 500 years of modern man and 1000s of years of indians. Tho finding ancient human things are interesting!

July 25, 2014
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