Archive for the ‘Carter Canyon’ Tag

A Recent Drive Up The Catalina Highway To Ski Valley   3 comments

Yesterday (08/05/20), I drove up the Catalina Highway to Mt. Lemmon. The highway was opened to the general public last Saturday morning for the first time since the Bighorn Fire began in early June. The mountain town of Summerheaven, successfully protected from the fire, is now open for business, although still having to follow HOVID-19 business regulations in Arizona.

Oricle Ridge-72Oracle Ridge and Mt. Lemmon Fire Station

Before entering Summerheaven, there are two ridges going north; Red Ridge and Oracle Ridge. Both ridges were severely burned during the 2003 Aspen Fire that destroyed almost all the homes in Summerheaven. Over the years since the Aspen Fire, the forest canopy has still not returned on these ridges. However, a lot of ground cover containing some bushes and small trees had returned. On June 17th, the two ridges were again burned. On June 19th, I posted two time-delay videos of the fire coming through the area pictured in the above photo. The fire station and most of the pines behind it were spared — not true of the storage building and new growth since the 2003 fire. It has now been 50 days since the fire occurred. Note how green the scared area has become with the return of ferns on the mountain slopes.

Except for the highway and Summerheaven, the public is not allowed to go anywhere in the National Forest. From what I was able to observe from the highway, most of the hiking trails with trailheads near the highway are ok, at least partially. Parts of Lower Butterfly Trail and Green Mountain Trail don’t look good from a distance.

My guess is that the trails in the forest around Summerheaven were burned like the two ridges north of Summerheaven. From a review of burn scar maps, the Marshall Gulch area to the north and west, which would include Carter Canyon, has been badly burned. For those of you who hike this area, It’s possible a lot of the Marshall and Mint Springs trails were destroyed. We may not know until November.

Since Sabino Creek originates along the Marshall Gulch Trail, the monsoon rains can result in a lot of potential flash flooding coming down through Sabino Canyon. So far, the rain amounts are very below average, but we are still in the monsoon season.

— kenne

Slideshow

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Images Taken From Catalina Highway by kenne

 

Mexican Hat Wildflowers   4 comments

Carter Canyon Trail October 2013-8121 blogMexican Hat Wildflower, Carter Canyon Trail on Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

It seems long ago
wildflowers lined mountain trails
now winter abounds.

— kenne

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