Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saguaro National Park - East

A nice Sunday afternoon was perfect today for an easy going hike at Saguaro National Park East. We had previously bicycled through the park so today's goal was to hike a few trails to see everything a little closer. We started with the Freeman Homestead trail loop and then parked at the Cactus Forest South trail-head to begin a seven mile loop to include the Cactus Forest trail with the Lime Falls Trail and then return on the Javelina Wash Trail back to our truck.

I think the desert plants are some of Heather's favorite things to see up close. All the cacti: Saguaro, Prickly Pear, Barrel, Teddy Bear Cholla, and Hanging Fruit Cholla. And the numerous plants and trees: Ocotillo, Brittlebush, Creosote, Mesquite, Jojoba, and Palo Verde are all numerous along the trail.

The Cactus Forest trail provides a great way to see all the beauty of the desert. It is too bad that many visitors only have time to see the park from the loop road in their vehicles. We were somewhat surprised on how few people were on the trails - but maybe it was an off-day.

About half-way along the Cactus Forest trail is the intersection with the one-way Lime Falls trail. We decided to hike this trail up a wash to Lime Falls. Although the falls were currently dry, the rock formations that made the falls were very scenic. The photo above is taken at the top of Lime Falls.

We explored around at Lime Falls to see the various rock formations in the limestone. The photo above was taken on our way back down towards the Cactus Forest trail.

After we finished the Cactus Forest Loop to the north trail-head, we walked the park loop road over to the Javelina Wash Trail to hike back to our truck. Hiking the Javelina Wash was a bit more tiring as it involved walking in sand for three miles. Heather is looking pretty fresh standing in the wash above.

Heather the Saguaro - but not enough arms compared to the real deal :)

A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon - the Sonoran desert is very peaceful, relaxing, and beautiful. Next time - probably next year, we will hike the trails up into the Rincon Mountains to the east. Only a few days left in our Tucson winter stay - on to El Paso, Alpine, and Big Bend on Wednesday!