On June 2nd after work, my husband Brian was nice enough to help me put a car at Sabino Canyon, then drive me up to the Box Camp Trailhead. I walked in for a short distance and spent the night with a great view of the Wilderness of Rock and Mount Wrightson from my camp at 8000 ft.
The next day, I was up early for my descent into the Sabino Basin. I haven’t been on this trail for a while, and I forgot how much I enjoyed the upper, forested part with towering trees, ferns, and a stream. There had been a lot of deadfall from the past winter’s storms, but my friends from the Crazies Trail Crew- a sub-unit called Tom’s Sawyers- had recently worked this trail (with 2-man handsaws) Thanks guys!
View from upper Box Camp Trail movie:
I hadn’t been past the point where the trail really starts to descend to the East Fork. One of the cool things about the Box Camp Trail is that you can see your destination- Sabino Canyon- down below for most of the trail. The trail follows a ridge between Box Camp and Palisades Canyons, and the views are fantastic throughout. I really liked the steep descent into Apache Spring, with its attractive rock formations.
The seep was dripping, and there were many yellow flowers. I saw a hummingbird, but instead of feeding from the flowers, he dipped into the seep to take a bath! What a great thing to be able to witness. I used the water from the seep to wet myself down, as it was getting increasingly hot as the day progressed.
After descending some more, I began to see the cool canopy of the East Fork below. There were many blooming coral-bean plants, more than I’ve ever seen before.
Arizona Trail from the Box Camp Trail movie:
I finally reached the East Fork junction at 3700 ft. and took a short but vital break near the rushing stream. A funnel-web spider and a black-necked garter snake were my only companions.
I reluctantly tore myself away from the shade, and hiked the 1.5 miles up the West Fork/Arizona Trail to Hutch’s Pool with my umbrella. The West Fork was still running and I took the opportunity to wet my shirt at the crossings. Finally, I reached Hutch’s Pool and spent the rest of the day floating around in the $2 innertube I’d bought on the way out of town. Since it was a weekday, I had the whole area to myself, though there was evidence that this was a much-loved area frequented by many. One thing I can’t understand- why do people feel the need to make their toilet area INSIDE the creek, when there are plenty of spots just above it that would work just as well? Anyway, it was much more pleasant than the last time I was there, when a whole group of horseback riders let their horses poop all over the place.
Hutch’s Pool Waterfall movie:
I spent the afternoon floating, reading, writing in my journal, and listening to music. I even went for a night float under the stars. In the morning, I was up and hiking by 5:30 am, and I enjoyed the cooler weather on the hike out.
I hit the Phoneline Trail, but decided to stay on it for a little bit longer- I was dreading hiking the hard asphalt of the road on the way out. I connected with the Historic Sabino Tr. 23A, which I had not done before, so I hiked that 0.7 mi. down to the road. As I hit the road, many early-morning walkers gave me strange looks because of my big pack and my umbrella, but I didn’t care. I made it back to the Sabino Canyon parking lot at 2700ft. just as the first tram was leaving at 9 am and went to work later that day.
In Wildlife Rehab Fundraiser news- Here’s a movie of two Harris’ Hawks in the brand new aviary at Miller’s Wildlife Rehab in Tucson, AZ. The one on the right is a juvenile and we put the one on the left into the cage with him so that he could teach the juvenile to kill and eat live prey. When the juvenile has shown that he can kill and eat on his own, then he will be released back into the wild. This movie is from their first meeting.