Archive for the ‘Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds’ Tag

Hiking Sycamore Canyon/Reservoir Trail   1 comment

Friday Hike Oct. 4, 2019-72

Sycamore Canyon-721st SCVN Fall Hike, Sycamore Canyon/Reservoir Trail  — iPhone Images by kenne

Today, we led a small group of ten hikers on the first Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) fall Friday Hike. This hike is annually done in the fall and spring. The hike is about 5.5 miles, starting in the old Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds) the trail leads to the reservoir that supplied water to the Prison Camp. Click here for more historical information on the Campgrounds.

— kenne

Sycamore Canyon Trail   Leave a comment

Sycamore Canyon Panorma IMG_3198 blogSycamore Canyon Panorama — Image by kenneSycamore Canyon-_Art III blogSycamore Canyon Trail — Computer Painting by kenne

Yesterday’s (April 28, 2017) hike from the Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds (4,880′ elevation) to the Sycamore Reservoir was the last SCVN Friday hike on our Spring schedule. Eleven people, including three guides, took #39 trail out of the campgrounds to the Sycamore Reservoir, a somewhat out of the way riparian area in the Sycamore Canyon in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. The trail is 3.25 miles one way with an accumulated gain of 821 feet. The trail is also a segment of the Arizona Trail, providing majestic views, including Thimble Pear and Cathedral Rock.

This is one of my favorite hikes at the mid-level elevation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, so I was pleased to be the lead guide for the eleven hikers, which included three women from Germany.

The SCVN guided hikes will start again in June on Mt. Lemmon.

kenne

Hiking The Sabino Canyon To Bear Canyon Loop   3 comments

A few postings back, I shared photos and a video of our recent hike to Thimble Peak. This was a twelve-mile hike from the Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds, where we took the Sycamore Reservoir trail to the Bear Canyon trail, then on the Thimble Peak trail and back, all under windy, but beautiful weather. A good part of this hike was in the Push Ridge Wilderness area of the Santa Catalina Mountains

A week later, the SCVN Friday hike was scheduled from Sabino Canyon to Hutch’s Pool, with the option of taking the East Fork trail to Bear Canyon trail, looping back to Sabino Canyon Center. The loop hike is also a twelve-mile hike through the Push Ridge Wilderness, this time continuing on the Bear Canyon trail through the Seven Falls area of Bear Canyon. The significant difference for this hike was having the contrast of a cloudy day vs. the blue sky weather a week earlier — both were very alluring hikes.

Hiking The Loop-8865 blogNear The Start Of The East Fork Trail — Images and Video by kenne

At the fork where Box Camp Canyon merged into Sabino Canyon, six of us opted to take the East Fork to Bear Canyon, the others taking the West Fork to Hutch’s Pool. Once at the saddle between Sabino Canyon and Bear Canyon, we began heading south on the Bear Canyon trail. At this point, most of our hike through Bear Canyon was downhill.

Once we reached Bear Canyon creek, the trail crosses the creek, running parallel to it, veering to the left where the creek runs into Seven Falls. The view above Seven Falls allows one to see all the trail switchbacks that are not visible from where the south part of the Bear Canyon trail leads to Seven Falls.

After hiking down through Bear Canyon, it’s hard to understand why anyone would hike to Thimble Peak through Bear Canyon, rather than coming from the Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds. The distance maybe a little less, but the gain would not be worth the elevation change.

The following video contains photos and video clips from the loop hike, November 15, 2013.

kenne

Las Vegas-8899 blogThe Bear Canyon Trail Coming In Next To Seven Falls With Sun Light Peeping Through.

Capturing Moments To Remember — Five Naturalists Hike To Thimble Peak   9 comments

Thimble Peak-1 blogPanoramic Image from the Mountain Meadow Below Thimble Peak — Images by kenne

As Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) we spend a lot of time in the Canyon and the Santa Catalina Mountains leading children and adults on outdoor activities. One of the iconic images of the Canyon is Thimble Peak. It can be seen from the Sabino Canyon Recreational Area Center, the tram ride up through the Canyon, Bear Canyon and many of the area’s hiking trails.

One very popular trail is Blackett’s Ridge trail located between Sabino Canyon and Bear Canyon. This difficult hiking trail ends about a mile from Thimble Peak, separated by a deep ravine — “So close, yet so far,” is the thought most people have when reaching the end of the Blackett’s Ridge trail. Serious rock climbers might venture on, but most adventurous hikers look for other options for hiking to this majestic pinnacle.

One option is to hike, or take the tram, up through Sabino Canyon, then taking the Sabino Canyon trail to the East Fork trail, looping around to the Bear Canyon trail.

Another option is to take the Bear Canyon trail out of the Sabino Canyon Recreational Area up through Bear Canyon passed Seven Falls.

A third option is the one that five SCVN members (Phil Bentley, Alexa Bieberstein, Tim Ralph, Ed Rawl and Kenne Turner) decided to do when learning that the elementary school class coming to the Canyon on November 7th had been cancelled.

Thimble Peak-8673 blogWash Leading Out Of The Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site (Historical WWII Prison Camp)

This option involved driving the Catalina Highway to the Gordon Hirabayashi Campgrounds, where under a beautiful blue-sky morning, we began the twelve-mile hike in cool temperatures, with a forecast of sunny warm temperatures in the afternoon — windy with gusts of 40 mph.

Thimble Peak-8684-2 blogTim, Ed, Alexa and Phil At The Sycamore Reservoir Trail Saddle (Part of the Arizona Trail)

The Arizona Trail, which runs from Mexico to Utah goes through the area making use of many existing trails in the Santa Catalina Mountains. As predicted, the winds were gusty.

Thimble Peak-8687 blogPhil, Alexa & Tim

This sign at the saddle on the Sycamore Reservoir trail is a common site for those hiking to the Sycamore dam. On our way to Thimble Peak, we stopped at the dam for a break before continuing on to the Bear Canyon trail.

Thimble Peak-8718-2 blogThe Peak Is In Sight! (Phil, Alexa, Ed and Tim)

Even with the very windy conditions, it didn’t take long before we began shading layers of clothing.

Thimble Peak-8729-2 blogPhoto Taking Time (Phil and Alexa)

This scene is located where the Bear Canyon trail goes left down into the canyon to Seven Falls. After a few photos, we headed off to the right through a beautiful mountain meadow toward the trail that would take us to Thimble Peak.

Thimble Peak-8789 blogThimble Peak

We were now only a few hundred yards from the pinnacle. You can click here to see 44 images on my Flickr account of our hike in a full-frame slideshow. 

In addition to many photos, I managed to take several video clips, which I have edited into a video posted on YouTube and inserted below. The video contains a special treat with naturalist Phil Bentley singing America the Beautiful overlooking the Tucson valley from the base of Thimble Peak pinnacle.

Thimble Peak-8756-2 blogAt The Base of Thimble Peak Overlooking the Tucson Valley (Ed, Phil, Alexa and Tim)

Thimble Peak-8768 blogAlexa Climbing The Pinnacle (Thimble Peak)

A Thimble Full Of Life

All one needs
in life is

a thimble full of
this and that
to experience life. 

We determine
what 
makes up
THIS,

what makes up
THAT.

Do you have a thimble full?

— kenne

You can see all 44 images at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kennetu/sets/72157637734025706/

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