Aspen Loop One Year Out After The Big Horn Fire   7 comments

SCVN Friday hikes on Mt. Lemmon have

Begun with more excitement than usual,

Last year’s hikes being a casualty of the

Big Horn Fire and the pandemic.

Marshall Gulch #3

Marshall Gulch Parking Area

Leaving behind morning temperatures

In the mid-eights, we gathered at Marshall Gulch

To hike the Aspen Loop, combining the Aspen

And Marshall Gulch trails for a 4.3-mile hike.


Marshall Gulch survived the fire, as did

Most of the trail. But the Aspen Trail

Wasn’t so lucky with parts that burned

From the 1993 Aspen Fire burning again.

Aspen Trail (June 15, 2015)

Over the years, I watch aspens and pines

And many other native plants return

Among the charred remains of the Aspen Fire

Only now to experience that same fate.

Last year’s fires were followed by the driest year

On record, delaying the reclamation process

And trail clearing to provide for safe hiking

On the grayest powder covering the trails.

The mountain ferns were among the plants

To return only weeks after containing the fire,

Providing hope to those grieving over the lose

Of so much beauty found on these mountain trails.

Now so exposed, the trail seems longer

Each step requiring a watchful eye

For this out of shape hiker, navigating

The loose gravel and ankle turning rocks.

Just beyond the ridge, a line of trees

Was missed by the very erratic wildfire

As if it turned on a dime, redirecting

The firefighting crew from Montana.

Soon the trail turns away from the freshly

Scared land rambling among tall ponderosas

Shadows formed by the whole clear

Cloudless sky moving across the trail.

Images by kenne

I’ve hiked the trails on Mt. Lemmon

Now ten summers, where troubles cease,

untangled silent knowledge contemplating

A void in a world that exceeds stillness.

— kenne

7 responses to “Aspen Loop One Year Out After The Big Horn Fire

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  1. Excellent reporting, kenne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ……..thank you Kenne….you captured the morning with your words and images

    Liked by 1 person

    Phil "Bulldog" S Bentley
  3. Nature creates opportunities for starting over anew.


  4. Thank you Kenne – you captured the true essence of a gorgeous day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kenne,

    Some of these shots you took look pretty bleak, I must admit. However, the final frame at the bottom looks as though at least a few young trees that grew back following the Aspen Fire may have, in fact, survived. That’s what I call looking for good news where there isn’t a whole lot of good news.

    If you have a chance to get back up there again, I hope you take more pictures to share with us. If plans hold out and my ambitions come to fruition, I might get the chance to visit the area in March – weather permitting, of course. I would not attempt to hike that trail with two feet of snow on the ground.

    Fred M. Cain,
    Topeka, Indiana

    Liked by 1 person

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