Archive for the ‘Marshall Gulch’ 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

 

Hiking with Old Buddies   1 comment

The SCVN Friday Nature Hike was Aspen Trail, Marshall Gulch Trail loop,
which would provide an opportunity to see the beautiful fall colors on Mt. Lemmon.
The Aspen Trail has a grove of aspens, which I blogged in a previous posting

Aspen Trail-8-72After hiking through the aspen grove, I began to get out in front of the nature hikers.
With less fall color on the remaining part of the Aspen Trail I decided to pick-up my pace.
I knew from past experience there would be plenty of fall color on the Marshall Gulch Trail.

Aspen Trail-21-72I was aware that my buddies, Jim Thompson and Tom Markey, were hiking the trail;
hence, I might be able to catch up with them. 

Aspen Trail-23-72I first began hiking with Jim and Tom nine years ago. They were part of the Monday Morning Milers (MMM),
the first hiking group with which I started hiking.

Aspen Trail-24-72Most of the MMM were lifetime hikers in southeast Arizona, many of whom were in their 80’s.

Aspen Trail-25-72Jim recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Aspen Trail-26-72While Tom is a youngster like me, he’s 79.

Aspen Trail-27-72Images by kenne

It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern,
And ceases to be a mere sequence —
Or even development: the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution,
Which becomes, in the popular mind,
A means of disowning the past.
The moments of happiness — not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfillment, security or affection,
Or even a very good dinner, but the sudden illumination —
We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.

— from “Four Quartets” by T. S. Eliot

Colors On The Mountain — No Words   2 comments

Aspen Trail-13-2-72

Mt. Lemmon Fall Colors — Images by kenne

Hiking Sunset Trail, A Photo Essay   1 comment

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

— John Muir

Hikers-3-72Yesterday’s SCVN Friday hike took place on the Sunset Trail,
a popular summertime hike on Mt. Lemmon connecting hikers
to Marshall Gulch without having to drive all the way up through Summerhaven.

Hikers-2-72Helen and Ellen ready for the hike.

Hikers-4-72Ricki and Ellen, out guides make a backup copy of the SCVN Sign-in Sheet.

Hikers-5-72Ricki goes over the Safety Rules with the hikers.

Hikers-6-72Barbara and Jeff on the trail.

Hikers-7-72A view from Sunset Rock of the hikers on the trail.

Hikers-8-72Tosh and Liz examining rocks.

Hikers-9-72 Ellen and Ricki have a snake before hiking back to the trailhead.
– Images by kenne

 

Hiking Sunset and Marshall Gulch Trails   3 comments

Sunset Trail July 12, 2019-6-72Hiking Sunset and Marshall Gulch Trails On Mt. Lemmon (July 12, 2019) — Images by kenne

Before beginning our SCVN Friday hike on Mt. Lemmon, we crossed paths with an old friend, Jasmine.
Jasmine is well known to those hiking on Mt. Lemmon.

Sunset Trail July 12, 2019-72.jpgIt is common for hikers to rest on Sunset Rock taking in the view, especially at sunset.

Sunset Trail July 12, 2019-2-72Looking down on a part of the Sunset Trail where a group of kids are hiking

Sunset Trail July 12, 2019-3-72We pause for the leader to hydrate and take a picture.

Sunset Trail July 12, 2019-4-72Some of the hikers decided to park their asses at Marshall Gulch.

 

Aspen Sunflower   Leave a comment

Aspen Sunflower-0247 blog

Aspen Sunflower-3099 blogAspen Sunflower — Image by kenne

Fellow Naturalist David Dean pointed out this Aspen Sunflower at Marshell Gulch on Mt. Lemmon last Friday. It can be found in ponderosa pine forests and is best identified by each leaf has five prominent veins. Otherwise, it can easily be mistaken for other yellow mountains wildflowers. 

The monsoon rains are bringing out the best of summer in the desert.

— kenne

 

 

Hiking The Aspen Loop In The Santa Catalina Mountains — Photo Essay   6 comments

Hikers-2840 blog IIHikers in a New Aspen Grove Up from Marshall Gulch On Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

In 2003 the Aspen Fire destroyed many homes in Summerheaven and thousands of acres on Mt. Lemmon. Last Friday the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists led hike was on the Aspen Loop that goes through some of the areas destroyed, now recovered by new aspen and pine groves. 

A precursor to the Aspen Fire was the Bollock Fire, 2002 in the eastern part of the Catalinas. Parts of the area burned in 2002 is now experiencing the Burro Fire that started Friday and has now consumed 9,000 acres. The Burro Fire is one of a half-dozen wildfires in the Coronado National Forest. Did I say it is hot and very dry in southeastern Arizona?

— kenne

Slideshow images by kenne

 

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Hiking The Sunset Trail Out Of Marshall Gulch   Leave a comment

Marshall Gulch (1 of 1)-9 blogHiking The Sunset Trail Out Of Marshall Gulch On Mt. Lemmon — Images by kenne

Marshall Gulch (Click on any of the tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Sunset Trail (Click on any of the tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Birthday Picnic for Ricki (Click on any of the tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Hiking The Aspen and Marshall Gulch Loop On Mt. Lemmon Photo Essay   1 comment

(Click on any of the images to see larger view in a slideshow format.)

Hiking The Aspen and Marshall Gulch Loop (SCVN Friday Hike, July 15, 2016) — Images of hikers and guests by kenne

 

The Three Mushrooms In Marshall Gulch   1 comment

Mushrooms (1 of 1)-2 blogThe Three Mushrooms in Marshall Gulch ( August 14, 2015) — Image by kenne

they watch me 

take a photo,

or two —

trying different 

angles

to get the best

lighting.

— kenne

Kenne Taking Photo (1 of 1) blogImage by Phil Bentley

Hiking and Partying Equal One With SCVN   1 comment

Having begun back in June, the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) summer hikes in the higher elevations of the Santa Catalina Mountains now has two hikes remaining on Mt. Lemmon before starting our trek down the mountain in October, offering our Friday hikes in the desert. This year our summer Friday hikes have experienced a good turnout, no storms and no injuries, and as usual fun has been had by all.

As an organization, SCVN is always ready to party, so in the middle of last Friday’s hike a spontaneous (plan by some) surprise birthday party for Rick and Maribeth took place in the Marshall Gulch picnic area. It was also an opportunity for some who have not been able to hike regularly this summer, to make it out and spend time together.

kenne

SCVN (and invited public) party in Marshall Gulch (August 14, 2015) — Images and video by kenne
(Click on any of the images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

“SCVN has the best people in the whole world,
and anyone who hangs around with SCVN
are the best people in the whole world.”

— Rick Mensching 

Channeling Mt. Lemmon Trails Before The Aspen Fire By Hiking With Jim Martin   Leave a comment

Images by kenne
(CLICK ON ANY OF THE IMAGES TO SEE A LARGER VIEW IN A SLIDESHOW FORMAT.)

The last SCVN summer hike on Mt. Lemmon included two very special naturalists, BJ and Jim Martin. The two have been active members of SCVN for over thirty years. I first met BJ and Jim on one of the summer hikes four years ago. BJ would wait at one of the picnic tables, and/or visit with people at one of the mountain visitor centers, while Jim hiked with us — sometimes as a guide.

This summer the Martin’s had not been on the hikes, so it was a pleasant surprise when they were at the Catalina Highway carpool location.

The trails scheduled for our last summer hike would take us in and out of the Marshall Gulch picnic area on Mt. Lemmon, so BJ would select a picnic table where we would later have lunch. Part of the hike would take us through some of the areas burned during the 2003 Aspen Fire. Appropriately, one of the naturalists, Jeff Ornstein, wore his Aspen Fire t-shirt. Now eleven years out, the mountain vegetation is making a welcomed comeback, while signs of the fire still remain. 

As I hiked with Jim, I kept trying to channel what he would have been seeing before the Aspen Fire, the closest I will ever get to experiencing the Aspen Trail before the fire.

Jim may not be hiking as often as he use to, however, both Jim and BJ remain active working nature demonstration tables at the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center. 

Hope to see you somewhere on the trail.

kenne

Hiking On Mt Lemmon In A Mountain Storm   2 comments

Yesterday, I lead the SCVN Friday hike on Mt. Lemmon. The hike was one I had recommended when the summer schedule was being built, which involved hiking several trails from the parking lot near the mountain top. Since the hike would begin at the top and go down to Marshall Gulch, it was necessary to do a car shuttle by first leaving a car at Marshall Gulch, then driving on up the Sky Valley road to the mountain top.

Lemmon Rock-Wilderness Rock (1 of 1)-5 Lookout blog framedLooking back up at Lemmon Rock Lookout

The hike began on a path next to the Trico electrical station, leading us to the Mt. Lemmon Trail, which we followed to the road leading to the Lemmon Rock Lookout. Just below the lookout is the Lemmon Rock trailhead. The trail is steep, dropping almost 2,00 feet over a distance of 2.3 miles, ending at the Wilderness Rock Trail.

Lemmon Rock-Wilderness Rock (1 of 1)-4 Lemmon Rock Trail blog framedView back up the mountain as we headed down the Lemmon Rock Trail

We began the hike from the top of the mountain in mostly sunny weather. By the time we reached the Wilderness Rock Trail, which is where we stopped for a snack, a few more clouds were gathering above the mountain. It was at this point on the Wilderness Rock Tail last year that we were caught in a storm as we headed back to Marshall Gulch. Then, as it was yesterday, the first half of the hike had only a few scattered clouds.

Lemmon Rock-Wilderness Rock (1 of 1)-3 Ann, Jeff, Janis, Barb blog framedAnn, Jeff, Joyce and Barb

As we set around having a snack and sharing conversation, those of us who were also on the Wilderness Rock hike last year began to noticed that the weather conditions were beginning to look quite similar to last year, so we decided to continue our hike on to Marshall Gulch. Just a last year, not long after continuing, we began to hear thunder with a few drops of rain falling.

Lemmon Rock-Wilderness Rock (1 of 1)-2Janis, Barb, Tim blog framedJoyce, Barb and Tim

The clouds got darker, followed by more thunder, lightening and rain, all of which continued for the remainder of the hike. I couldn’t help experiencing déjà vu thoughts and wondering if in some way I have been cursed by the mountain gods. 

kenne

Lemmon Rock-Wilderness Rock (1 of 1) Ken, Barb Tim blog framedKenne, Barb and Tim
iPhone Images by kenne

Hiking Sunset Trial On Mt. Lemmon   Leave a comment

Sunset Trail (1 of 1) blog

Sunset Trail (1 of 1)-2 blogHiking Sunset trial on Mt. Lemmon to Marshall Gulch and back. A great activity for beating the desert heat. — Images by kenne

First Snowball Fight   8 comments

James & Jill 2013-9258 blogMost people don’t come to the desert to see snow, they come here to get away from it. But when you are a five-year-old boy living on the Texas gulf coast and have never been in snow, why not.

So, on the first day of Jill;s and James’ visit, we headed up Catalina highway to Mt. Lemmon.

James & Jill 2013-9255 blog

At seven thousand feet, James kept asking, “Where’s the snow?” “I don’t see any snow!” We had stopped at Windy Point Vista for James to get his “mountain-feet.” A short distance beyond Windy Point Vista we started to see snow in shady along the highway and signs that James just might become a believer — Yes, James, there is snow on Mt. Lemmon.

James & Jill 2013-9263 blogThis all being a new experience, James carefully picks up pieces of snow near the Ski Valley parking lot to toss.

James & Jill -9275 blogIt didn’t take James long to get the gist of it.

James & Jill 2013-9285 BlogAfter spending some time at Ski Valley, we headed over the Marshall Gulch and walked down the snow-packed road.

James & Jill 2013-9299 blogBy now the snowball fighting had taken on a new level of seriousness.

James & Jill 2013-9306 blogPhotos of James, Mom, and Grandma by kenne

A short video clip playing in the snow at Ski Valley on M.t Lemmon.

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