In the beginning of July, I hiked with my friends Bill and Mitch to check out Jammed Log Pool in Sabino Canyon. We were a little disappointed when we arrived to see the pools were very low, mucky, and algae-filled. We found a lower pool that wasn’t too bad, had a swim, and vowed to return after the monsoons had revitalized the place.
On August 5th, Bill, Mitch, and I returned to Sabino Canyon to log some quality swimming time after the recent monsoon rains had recharged the creeks. I invited another hiker to join us, my friend Wendy, who I knew would appreciate a good swim in a beautiful place. Wendy has a delightful blog called Doin’ the Wendy, where people show their exuberance for the outdoors by doing a certain pose all over the world in beautiful settings. Check her blog out- you’ll also see examples later in the photos.
We started at 5:30 am, but were rewarded by shade and cool conditions all the way up to the pools. After escaping the drudgery of walking up the paved Sabino Canyon Road, the rockhopping got interesting as we searched for water crossings to move up the creekbed. A month ago, it had been dry and much easier to walk upstream. We saw the most incredible thing- a small fawn crouched in the water underneath a bush. It lay motionless, not reacting to four people staring right at it 10 feet away. I got concerned, and thought that it might be injured, so I made my way toward it to check it out. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to have to abort my hike and carry a sick fawn back to the Miller’s Wildlife Rehab, where I am a volunteer. Thankfully, the fawn jumped up and ran past the rest of my group as it sensed me getting nearby.
There was a bit more rockhopping and we turned the corner to see that the Jammed Log Waterpark was open for business!!
Rushing waterfalls, a long, beautiful pool below- it was time for me to inflate my $2 bright green innertube (aka “the floatie”) and get into the water! Mitch and Bill jumped right in:
Wendy sat on the rocks for a bit, enjoying the view before getting in:
After I got my floatie inflated, it was time for the natural Lazy River down the creek. We all remarked how you couldn’t design a better lazy river in any waterpark in the world! Of course, I had to offer the floatie to my hiking companions, and they took turns floating near the waterfalls and down the creek.
There was a great little waterfall (left of Mitch in the picture above) that you could stand underneath and look through the falls- Bill is behind the fall in the picture below:
Bill later climbed up to become King of the Jammed Log:
It is incredible to think of the powerful flood that jammed this gigantic log between these two boulders, 15 feet above the creekbed. Bill tried to shake it, but that log isn’t going anywhere…well until the next giant flood, at least. Unfortunately, we eventually had to leave, because some of our group had places to be later in the morning. Before we did, we “Threw a Wendy”.
It’s an exuberant “I love where I am at this moment” arms-flung-out-in-excitement stance. Look through pictures of your favorite places- you’ve probably done it without even knowing it. Here’s me doing one before I had ever heard of the term, when I finished the Arizona Trail:
We resumed our rockhopping down the creek back the way we came, but made a small detour to check out an ephemeral waterfall. We bushwhacked to the base to find there was a clear way to scramble up to the higher pools.
When we all reached the top of the second tier, we found a beautiful shower with a rainbow in it that dropped into a pool. Wendy, Mitch and I all got under the spray to wet ourselves down for the hike out.
A worthwhile detour, indeed! We got lucky with some intermittent clouds and a good breeze on the hike out on Sabino Canyon Road. Everything along the road was so green and we could hear the rushing of Sabino Creek below.
10:30 am and I’ve already hiked 10 miles, gone swimming, ans seen a fawn, a waterfall and a rainbow- what a great way to spend the morning!
And now for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Fundraiser picture- we got this Cooper’s Hawk as a baby, and were able to release him nearby. I went to feed some kestrels and left a plate out to put inside the next cage. When I returned, this is what I found: