Archive for the ‘Friday Hikes’ Tag

Naturalists To Resume Mountain Hikes   Leave a comment

SCVN Friday Hikes In The Santa Catalina Mountains To Resume This Summer — Image from 2017

The last Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist (SCVN) hike was March 2020. The National Forest Service has authorized the SCVN to begin Friday Hikes this June on Mt. Lemmon. The Forest Service will require all volunteers to wear masks at all times while volunteering. The groups will be smaller and maintain social distancing.

— kenne

Hiking The Box Camp Trail — A Photo-Essay Adventure   2 comments

Box Camp Hike-2-72Tim, our lead Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist guide went over the safety rules for the day’s hike.

Box Camp Hike-3-72A short distance into hiking the Box Camp Trail, we stop to take in one of the many views.

Box Camp Hike-5-72The trail leads us through ferns and tall pines.

Box Camp Hike-6-72This section of the trail is a rolling downhill path continuing through the tall trees.

Box Camp Hike-7-72.jpgAs the trail continues down the mountainside the pine forest opens to a thick oak growth.

Box Camp Hike-8-72The trail becomes steeper and difficult to follow through the thick overgrowth. 

Box Camp Hike-9-72Looking down over the oak overgrowth you can see Sabino Canyon and Thimble Peak.

Box Camp Hike-11-72The Box Canyon Trail leads down to East Fork Trail, which runs into Sabino Canyon Trail.

Box Camp Hike-12-72However, this rock lookout is where we had planned to rest
and have a sneak before starting the hike 2.5
miles back up the mountain, which has an elevation change of 1,200 feet.
Before starting back we realized our tail-guide, Jeff, was not with us.
Long story short, he had taken a wrong turn in the area where the trail had a lot of over growth.
We started back using the radios to communicate with Jeff, which were spotty at best. 

Box Camp Hike-14-72Even though having hiked the trail many times, the climb back to the trailhead was a real challenge.
I had to really slow my pace with only Sharon behind me
having taken over for the trail-guide task for Jeff.
We soon caught up with the lead group, only because Tim,
our lead-guide was also having some issues,
so Ellen took over as lead. After resting and with the help of GU energy gel
Tim and I were able to continue on.
(The fact that we happen to be the two oldest hikers on the hike had nothing to do with our struggles.) 

Box Camp Hike-15-72.jpgMeanwhile, we continued trying to locate Jeff.  Before returning back to the trailhead,
with radio contact we were able to determine that Jeff was somewhere back on the trail and okay.
Back at the trailhead we kept waiting and he finally showed up as pictured above.
To say the least, the circumstances made for a very interesting hike. — Images by kenne


SCVN Friday Hikes, “Two for One”   1 comment

Yesterday’s SCVN Friday Hikes was Pontatoc Ridge Trail. As we gathered at the trail head parking lot (at the end of Alvernon Way), it became apparent that we would need to create two hiking groups. Elizabeth Herron, Jeff Ornstein and I would guide Group 1, Dan Collins and Bill Kaufman Group 2. Including the guides, each group had 17 hikers, with a total of 39 public participants. The plan was that Group 1 would begin the SCVN hike about ten minutes before Group 2.

The Alvernon Way parking lot serves as the starting point for three trails; Finger RockTrail, Pontatoc Ridge Trail, and Pontatoc Ridge Trail. The hike starts on the Finger Rock Trail at the end of Alvernon Way. A few minutes after beginning the trail splits and the Pontatoc Ridge Trail (#410) diverges off to the east. 
pontatoc-trail-panorama-ii-1-blogLook along the ridge-line to see the Pontatoc Ridge Saddle, where we should have been.
The trail takes hikers into the Pontatoc Canyon for about a mile where there’s another junction; the Pontatoc Trail goes left, while the Pontatoc Ridge Trail swings right and begins its climb to the ridge above. There is a direction sign at the junction, but the lead guide, me,  didn’t read it and everyone else assumed he was taking the correct trail to Pontatoc Ridge Trail — wrong! If you don’t read the sign, it’s easy not to notice another trail veering off to the right.
pontatoc-trail-1-blogHikers pointing toward the Pontatoc Ridge.
We continued hiking up through the canyon. Occasionally I would look up at the ridge thinking the trail would begin the climb the ridge wall. Instead, the trail starting going to the left as we began a steep climb out of the canyon. As we continued to climb out of the canyon, it was becoming apparent that we were on the wrong trail. 
At one point I commented, “Even though I had hiked the trail several times before, there are parts that I don’t remember.” And, for a good reason, I had never hiked the Pontatoc Trail.

We finally came to a relatively flat place we could stop, rest and assess the situation. It was then that I pointed out the saddle on the ridge across the canyon as where we suppose to be. It was my way of assuring everyone that we were not lost, we just took the wrong trail several miles back.

pontatoc-ridge-trail-crossing-1-blogOn our return, we stopped at the sign we didn’t read earlier on in the hike.
Of course, I was the blunt of jokes and laughter. In the end, everyone seemed to enjoy the adventure lead by “Wrong-way Kenne.” I know it’s a story I will long remember.
When the trail begins to look queer, 
And that lump in your throat turns to fear,
There’s no need to dread
If you keep a straight head,
And bring the group back to “You Are Here”.
— Dan Collins


Ventana Canyon — A Hike In The Canyon   1 comment

Ventana Canyon (1 of 1) blogVentana Canyon — Image by kenne

Looking back down from the Ventana Canyon trail with much climbing to do until reaching Maiden Pools.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

— John Muir

Hiking Ventana Canyon — Four Decembers Ago   Leave a comment

Ventana Canyon--2 blogVentana Canyon, December 12, 2010 — Image by kenne

Today I lead the SCVN Friday hike, almost to the date, my fourth December Ventana Canyon hike. As it was then, another beautiful day in the Catalina Mountains. I like the shadows created by the narrow canyon, about five miles north of where we live in Tucson.

I was able to capture a few photos, but the lead position limits the time I would like to have for taking photos — will share some in a later posting.


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