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Roaming the Rincons:  Turkey Creek to Deer Creek

Roaming the Rincons: Turkey Creek to Deer Creek

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Rincon’s lately wandering around the foothills and valleys of the Rincon Mountain Wilderness. The Wilderness surrounds Sahuaro on three sides. The terrain ranges from rolling scrub desert to shear walled riparian canyons, and despite its proximity to Tucson access to much of the Wilderness is limited. If you don’t want to compete with the crowds on Mount Lemmon, the Ricons are a great alternative.

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 2

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 2

With our base camp established somewhere over 8,000′ and a well earned night’s sleep behind us, it was time to get down to the business of training. The next several days were spent on alpine travel and rescue, avalanche awareness, climbing, and some good old winter hiking.

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 1

Montana Wilderness Training, Part 1

In May 2007, my squadron sent a team to Montana for cold weather and high altitude training in preparation for an Afghanistan deployment. This was truly one of the highlights of my Air Force career.

Tanque Verde Wash

Tanque Verde Wash

One of the great things about Tucson is that there are some fantastic places to walk.  During the summer, the washes (dried stream beds for those of you from wet places) are pretty unbearable but now that the weather has cooled they are a great place to put in some miles.  They are easy walks […]

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 5-7):  Shooting Ranges

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 5-7): Shooting Ranges

Heading east on Reddington Road, you hit a series of tight switchbacks just past the Upper Tanque Verde Falls trail head.  There are no significant trails on this section of the road.  To the south the terrain drops off steeply as you climb to the first pass, while to the north a gentle valley flows […]

Redfield Canyon Wilderness

Redfield Canyon Wilderness

What a wonderful soreness a strenuous hike brings!  I love it but have a sneaking suspicion that Saja doesn’t share my feeling!  She’s exhausted after our weekend romp and slept most of the day today.  I can’t blame her.  Climbing out of the canyon was the toughest mile I’ve hiked in a long time.  But […]

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 0-5): Tanque Verde Falls

Reddington Pass by the Numbers (Miles 0-5): Tanque Verde Falls

Reddington Pass is one of Tucson’s most accessible recreation areas and provides for a wide range of activities from hiking to shooting to four-wheeling.  Most of the pass falls within Coronado National Forest’s jurisdiction but there is also a fair amount of private land.  As always respect the rights of the private land owners, leave […]

A Night on Mt. Lemmon; or, Is Davis Spring Trail Just a Myth?

A Night on Mt. Lemmon; or, Is Davis Spring Trail Just a Myth?

The worst thing about hiking in the desert is that water weighs 8.3 pound per gallon. Somehow I managed to take a 60 pound pack on a one night trip. To make matters worse, Saja and I ended up going cross country in some rugged terrain when the Davis Spring Trail vanished. It was time for the old map and compass…

Molino Canyon Day Hike

Molino Canyon Day Hike

Molino Canyon is one of my favorite Tucson escapes when time is limited.  The trailhead is just past the fee station on Catalina Highway, about 5 miles up the mountain.  You can’t miss the parking lot.   Once you arrive, you have three trails to choose from.  The first is off to the west and […]

Espiritu Canyon Trail

Espiritu Canyon Trail

I’ve been looking for a dog friendly, backpacking trail into the Rincons, which is a bit of a challenge since dogs aren’t permitted in Saguaro National Monument.  Tanque Verde Valley has some good camping areas but it gets too much traffic.  After checking out the Rincon Mountains map I picked up from the Visitor Center […]

Reddington Trail Run

Reddington Trail Run

Most of my running is done on the 49er’s golf course and washes.  These are peaceful runs with plenty of trees and soft grass (Saja’s Note: and plenty of cool things to smell!), but they aren’t especially challenging unless you are into sprinting.  Every runner needs a change of pace once in a while, and […]

Butterfly Trail

Butterfly Trail

I must confess that I don’t hike Mt Lemmon very much, which is criminal when you get right down to it since I only live a couple miles away, but as the summer heat hits Tucson the cool forest heights are pretty darn appealing.  So last Sunday, I threw Saja and the kids in the […]