Saturday, February 9, 2019

Arizona Trail - Las Cienegas (South)

A cool and cloudy day in Arizona brought us to hike and bike a southern section of the Arizona Trail. Our starting point was the trail-head located just 15 miles south of Tucson on Highway 83 going towards the Santa Rita Mountains. From the parking area we had a short half mile hike/bike to the intersection with the Arizona Trail on what is termed a "gravel road" - a very interesting road!

This is the start of the gravel road leaving the parking area from Highway 83. The well maintained portion of the road - we would find out that the road gets a bit rougher and chunkier.

Heather posing by the fun part of the gravel road that takes you to the trail-head. Just a bit more challenging - sure glad I had 3" wide tires :)

Heather hiked an out and back of 7.5 miles total and I rode an out and back of 17 miles. The first half was much easier as the direction was predominately downhill (1,300 feet) with plenty of twists, turns, and rocks to keep you on your toes. The photo above was taken on the climb back up - Heather is just visible on the trail below.

Looking down the trail towards Mount Wrightson (9,452') in the Santa Rita Mountains. Still plenty of snow on the north face of Mount Wrightson.

We saw several hikers on the trail and two other mountain bikers. Temperatures were ideal for outdoor activity - in the upper 50's with a bit of wind. After our hike/bike we made a short visit to the closest winery to Tucson, Charron Vineyards.

We each did a wine tasting at Charron Vineyards with some fresh bread - a nice treat after our hike/bike excursion. The view above is from the deck at Charron Vineyards looking out at the Santa Rita Mountains.

We finished our day by refueling at the Arizona Beer House (33 beers on rotating taps and hundreds of beers by the can or bottle). Our on-site dinner was from "The Culinary Graduate food truck, specializing in a wide variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade fries with mango ketchup, and handmade chips. A nice way to finish off our Saturday adventure.