Who Are Those Masked Men (and Gals)?
They are the diligent SaddleBrooke Hiking Club work crew that participated in the Catalina Hills Drive Road Cleanup on Nov. 4, as a part of the Arizona Adopt-A-Highway program. The Hiking Club has provided volunteers for this project for around 12 years and is pleased to be a part of the effort to keep our community beautiful.
Thanks go out to the following members who participated: Bruce Landeck, Arlene Daigle, Jeff Love, Bill Leightenheimer, Russ Hampton, Kathy Hampton, Pam Wakefield, Leslie Hawkins, and Walt Shields (coordinator).
Adventure Hiking with Tim
Hiking guide Tim Butler has explored all the trails in the State Trust Land and Coronado National Forest to the east of SaddleBrooke. Over the years, Tim has developed interesting variations to traditional hikes in the area. Tim led six hikers on an adventure hike to an iconic crested saguaro, then to an overlook view of SaddleBrooke and the Tortolitas. Hikers had fun on Cowboy Slickrock into Hidden Canyon. After lunch at the rock slab with a dramatic view of the Tucson Mountains, they looped around Hidden Canyon Peak and back to their cars. Tim treated them to new views of rock formations and new perspectives of the area on this hike. His efforts drew great thanks from all.
Red Mountain Trail
Red Mountain Geological site is somewhat of a hidden gem—or said another way—a hidden geode. About 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff, this site is a one-of-kind geological phenomena, formed from a volcanic eruption over 700,000 years ago and dramatically altered by strong winds.
It’s hoodoos, sculptured cliff faces, and intimate amphitheater are reminiscent of Bryce Canyon or Cedar Breaks up in Utah. Red Mountain is not a State Park or National Monument and is easily overlooked, since most hikers choose trails closer to town. The area features a lonely trail that tramps through a sunbaked stretch of piñon pines and junipers before dropping into the bottom of a sandy wash that drains from the mountain’s inner amphitheater. This amphitheater is an understatement. According to an Arizona Highway publication, it is like a massive geode that’s been cracked in half, waiting to be explored. This short hike, three miles roundtrip, invited us in. Once past the field of pines and junipers we faced a short ascending ladder. The trail then passed through a slotted canyon with only one direction: forward. It soon entered the amphitheater, which contained honey combed textured walls filled with towering weather eroded shaped rock formations called hoodoos. Towering above is a hole-ridden band of cliffs appearing to hang past verticality. There is copious room for exploration in the nooks and crannies of this rocky playground.
The group greatly appreciated the planning and attention to detail by hike guides Ruth Caldwell (Thursday) and Janet Frost (Tuesday). They not only pre-hiked the trail, but even offered the same hike twice during our three-day trip. Without their efforts and the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club, many would have never experienced these Arizona sanctuaries.