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Posts Tagged ‘Romero Canyon Trail’

Canyoneering Montrose Canyon- December 20th, 2014

I had been swamped with work and needing to get out, so when Russ put out a call for folks to go canyoneering, I jumped on the chance. There had been a big winter storm and while most would avoid canyons flowing with snowmelt in December, I was willing to brave cold temps for the reward of seeing this place I’d looked down upon on my way to Romero Pools. Immediately out of the parking lot, the big wash was running and we knew the canyon was going to have a great flow.

We hiked the Romero Canyon Trail to the ridge that separates Montrose from Romero canyons and had a short bushwhack down to the creekbed. Took a break to gear up- I hoped my 3/2 wetsuit was enough for the icy waters. It was a beautiful day and bright golden ash trees dotted the canyon. My waterproof camera has a cracked screen and wasn’t too happy about being submerged, so the pics are all from Dan’s camera.

Montrose Canyon 1st Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon 1st Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

The canyon wasn’t terribly narrow, but still very attractive. We made our way through polished granite boulders and pools filled with amber-colored Catalina tea. The tannins in the water made it hard to see the depth.There were three rappels and quite a few mandatory swims. We had sun to warm up after the first rappel, but it eluded us the rest of the day- just around the next corner. It was a really fun day out, if a little chilly. It was worth it to see and hear all the water.

Montrose Canyon 2nd Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon 2nd Rappel- Photo by Dan Kinler

Beautiful Fall Colors in Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Beautiful Fall Colors in Montrose Canyon- Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon Slide- Photo by Dan Kinler

Montrose Canyon Slide- Photo by Dan Kinler

Gneiss! -Photo by Dan Kinler

Gneiss! -Photo by Dan Kinler

One nice thing about this canyon is that it is a very short distance out of the canyon to the Montrose Canyon bench, then an easy flat mile back to the car. We opted to hike out in our wetsuits and harnesses, garnering a couple of interested looks on the way. I had really missed canyoneering, there’s nothing like having all the waterfalls and pools to yourself while the trail above is swarming with people on a Saturday. Love it!

Hiking out in our gear- Photo by Dan Kinler

Hiking out in our gear- Photo by Dan Kinler

In Wildlife Rehabilitation news, our educational elf owls might become famous soon! There’s talk of them being filmed for a TV special. I’ll post an update when I know more. Donate and help feed these cuties so they look good for their close-up!
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Elf Owl

Elf Owl

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I have been incredibly busy planning my upcoming Arizona Trail Trek– a thru-hike to promote the trail, our new guidebook, and the Gateway Communities. I’m starting on March 14th and it’s been a challenge to plan all the things that go along with a thru-hike plus all the fundraising events in the communities along the way. Here’s a promotional poster for the hike, I’ll have the website is www.aztrail.org/azttrek. Getting excited to actually get out on the trail!

Arizona Trail Trek poster

Arizona Trail Trek poster

Today was one of those days where I just had to turn off my phone and go for a hike. Haven’t been up this trail in a while and figured the hike to the pass would provide a good workout.

Romero Canyon above the Pools

Romero Canyon above the Pools

Started around 9:30 and made my way to the pools, lots of blooming fairy duster lining the trail. Only encountered a handful of folks beyond the pools. I forgot how beautiful the trail is above Old Trail Camp, winding through the oaks and junipers and big boulders.

Fairy Duster

Fairy Duster

Old Trail Camp

Old Trail Camp

Ancient grinding holes near the stream

Ancient grinding holes near the stream

I took a break at the waterfall campsite, which has a wonderful log seat with a backrest. The weather was perfect for the last climb to the pass.

Comfy seat at the waterfall campsite

Comfy seat at the waterfall campsite

The pass was windy, as usual. Great views down the West Fork toward the snowy Rincons. I said hi to the Arizona Trail and cut my break short because I was getting chilly.

View from Romero Pass down the West Fork of Sabino Canyon

View from Romero Pass down the West Fork of Sabino Canyon

Arizona Trail- always a welcome sight!

Arizona Trail- always a welcome sight!

Micro Chicken and Romero Canyon

Micro Chicken and Romero Canyon

As I left the pass, I noticed that Romero Canyon looked like it was getting rain, but up at 6000 ft I got snow flurries! They were short-lived and I made my way back down to the waterfall campsite to lounge for a bit on the log seat.

Sky Island Goodness

Sky Island Goodness

This trail is so beautiful, I would really like to do the canyoneering route in Romero Canyon one of these days. I stopped to take pictures of all the different wildflowers I saw- nice variety, hopefully we get more rain soon.

Intriguing pools in the streamcourse

Intriguing pools in the streamcourse

Primrose

Primrose

Blue Dicks

Blue Dicks

Desert Rose Mallow

Desert Rose Mallow

Micro-chicken sized flowers

Micro-chicken sized flowers

I reached my car and decided to wait and watch the sunset before leaving. So glad I did, it was a symphony of light and color on the Catalinas as well as to the west.

Sunset lights up Samaniego Ridge

Sunset lights up Samaniego Ridge

In Wildlife Rehabilitation news, I have not been able to volunteer much lately at Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson because I am so busy planning my thru-hike. I miss the birds!! Here’s a picture of a hungry hawk- your donations keep these guys fed and housed! I am going to be taking a short break from fundraising for the Wildlife Rehab and switching my focus to fundraising for the Arizona Trail Association during my Arizona Trail Trek. I’ve got an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with unique and exciting incentives coming up to raise $20,000 for the Arizona Trail Association starting on March 28th.

Harris Hawk is hungry!

Harris Hawk is hungry!

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