Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hiking Wasson Peak

The last time I wrote about a peak hike, I had to tell of all the struggles we had (mostly my own struggles though!) Today, we conquered a new peak hike, and though it was only 7 miles, I'm very proud of how we did. I'm getting better :)

Today's focus: Wasson Peak in Tucson Mountain Park (West of Tucson). 7 miles long, 1939 feet of elevation gain, the highest peak in Tucson Mt. Park located in mostly Saguaro National Park territory. The above photo is about 1 mile in, facing West.

Went off the trail a bit to find a letterbox & peak at this stone house. Can you spot the Sasquatch?

Mountain lion spotted in Saguaro National Park in the last 60 days…no I am not getting any closer to what could be his house, thank you very much!

Here we are about 2 miles in. The trail is almost all at an uphill incline which means I stop more often to "take pictures" while the way back is a breeze!

Here we have 1.2 miles left. Facing East toward Tucson and the Catalina Mountains.

Facing West toward the unknown by us. ;)

Hiking uphill…cue the switchbacks. We THOUGHT that highest point was Wasson Peak...

Switchbacks are exhausting. Sometimes I just have to stop at every other one to take in the view…and okay, catch my breath. :)

Looking back at the trails we have walked!

Spring has sprung in Tucson! Love seeing these vibrant colors all around the desert :)

Last ridge before the peak… the REAL peak that is :) This was the first good view we had of the North. 

My fearless leader :)

There on the left…that's the real peak! When it looks so close, I get a great adrenaline rush that pushes me to hurry and finish…unfortunately, the "rush" never lasts as long as the remainder of the trail!

Facing South, toward other Tucson Park Mountains

Another picture to the North

And yet again. Picacho Peak is the smaller one on the left.

Yes it was hot today, why do you ask? :) We're experiencing higher than normal February temperatures this year, and it feels wonderful to say that! Maybe not so much this summer though :)

Looking down on "mountains" :)

Facing East-ish. Catalina Mountains to the left, Rincons to the right. Even though they are higher elevation than us, it felt like we were at the highest point on the top of Wasson!

View of South from the peak.

Ok, switchbacks look cool from here :) (see the zigzags up the mountain side? That's what I'm talking about!)

Alone at the top of the mountain, finally! Maybe we should have taken advantage of other people to take our picture…but I discovered I actually have a timer so we just used that :) Facing West

I did it! Facing East :)

Curtis isn't a fan of selfies :)

Hey we're wearing the same shirt! (Hard to believe our first Mexico trip was almost 6 years ago!!)

On the hike down we made an amazing discovery: Ocotillo plants can actually be pretty! (They usually don't have red blossoms at the top and are just ugly spiky sticks. I can appreciate this!)

Ocotillo blossom selfie ;)

Back at the beginning of the trail, grabbing one more letterbox! The hike took a total of 4 hours - which we are very happy with :)

Saguaro National Park: check out those saguaros! So many!!

Took the scenic route home :)

Driving home finally, after some much deserved Culvers. The highest peak in this picture is where we were today!!

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