Archive for the ‘Oracle Ridge Trail’ 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


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images Taken From Catalina Highway by kenne


Nature Photos and a Morning with Whitman   2 comments

Beebalm (1 of 1) II blog

Beebalm (1 of 1)-2 II blogBeebalm Wildflower (Oracle Ridge Trail, August 5, 2016)– Image by kenne

I’m reading Whitman this morning and one my favorite selections is the first stanza in
“Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” one sentence, twenty-two lines long.

Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child
     leaving his bed wander’d alone, bareheaded, barefoot,
Down from the shower’d halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting as if
     they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings and
     fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen as if
     with tears,
From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in
     the mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous’d words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.

— Walt Whitman

Capturing The Moment — Agave Fenceline   1 comment

Agave Blooms (1 of 1) blog IIAgave Fenceline — Image by kenne

Burnt Trees Along The Oracle Ridge Trail   Leave a comment

Trail (1 of 1) blog

Trail (1 of 1) color blogBurnt Trees Along The Oracle Ridge Trail — Images by kenne


Capturing The Moment — Oracle Ridge Trail Panorama   4 comments

Panorama (1 of 1) View from Oracle Ridge blogSoutheast View from Oracle Ridge Trail Toward Mt. Bigelow and Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains (June 27, 2014)
— Image by kenne


SCVN Friday Hike On The Oracle Ridge Trail #1(June 14, 2013)   4 comments

Oracle Ridge #1 SCVN HikeOracle Ridge Trail, View South Toward Mount Lemmon (Since I Was Leading This Year’s Hike,This Is An Image From Last Year) — Image by kenne

Oracle Ridge Trail #1

Once a trail
through the Mount Lemmon Forest,
shaded by tall ponderosas
until the trail reached the ridge
where the only shade
was from large alligator junipers.

This picture made it a favorite
of many southern Arizona hikers,
till ten years ago
the ridge was charred
by the Aspen Wildfire,
leaving only minds eye images.

Now, ten years out
many blacken trees remain
as new aspen, pine seedlings
and New Mexico locust
bring back the green
to the ridge.

Always a moderately
difficult trail on the return,
the loss of shade
has made it less inviting
to those looking for 
a cool retreat from 
the desert heat below —

still #1 for some.


Short iPhone Video Clip At Dan’s Saddle Where We Rested Under Sparse Shade Before Starting Our Return Up The Ridge.

Phil Bentley Playing The Harp

Capturing The Moment — For The Love Of A Thistle   Leave a comment

Arizona Thistle On The Oracle Ridge Trail — Image by kenne

We walk down the trail

Looking for spring wildflowers

Where thistles always grow.


SCVN Oracle Ridge Trail Hike, June 6, 2012   1 comment

Taking a break on Oracle Ridge Trail — Images by kenne

(Click on any of the thumbnail images to view the complete gallery.)

This is the third blog entry containing images from last Friday’s hike on Oracle Ridge Trail. Until the 2003 Aspen wildfire, the ridge trail went through a forest, yet nature still provides a lot of beauty to our eyes. (Note: It will take 80-100 years for the forest on the ridge to return — nine down and 71-91 years to go.)

The earlier entries on the Oracle Ridge Trail hike are:


Posted June 12, 2012 by kenneturner in Information, Nature, Photography

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: