Sunday, September 14, 2014

To The Falls!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Today, we decided that since we had afternoon plans, we just wanted to get out and do a short hike in the morning. We decided to hike the Bear Canyon trail, which leads to 7 Falls - a 6 mile hike round trip. (You can also start at Sabino Canyon, but that adds an extra mile!) We started early to beat the heat. As you may have heard, it's been raining a lot down here, so we were excited to see what the falls and river would look like with so much water.

Starting the trail that shortcuts to Sabino Canyon and Bear Canyon trail around 7 am. It was a quiet start, but as this trail is only 6 miles round trip, it's much busier, which makes it less of a peaceful hike.

Facing Northeast. 
Curtis has done this trail 4 times now, and we had done it together last October as well. When I started doing longer hikes, I thought that doing them once would be good enough for me, but now when I think back on them there are some that I really don't mind doing again - this is one of those trails! While it's easier, it helps us to get back into shape for hiking, yet it isn't too strenuous so we aren't caught out in the heat for too long. Also, since we had done this before I started taking pictures and documenting each hike on here, I thought it was necessary to do again! :)

The trail met up with Sabino Canyon's paved trail, which took us to the beginning of Bear Canyon trail. The river was rushing through, and everything was much more green than I remembered. For the most part, the trail stays relatively flat and really isn't difficult. It's also very well maintained.

The hardest part (for me!) was the river crossings. The trail to 7 Falls has 7 different river crossings. Each one has rocks to step on (like the above picture) that usually make it easier, unless the river is much higher than it was. For the first few crossings, I took off my hiking boots and let my feet get wet. But as you can imagine, 7 crossings in 2 miles is a lot of stopping to take off and put on shoes…for a brief period, I tried to pull a Curtis and hike barefoot, but soon gave up on that because I am weak. My issue with crossing rivers is more mental than anything else, but Curtis is helpful and understanding and we made it anyway. :)

After the last crossing, the trail gets a bit steeper and has a few switchbacks, and though it was easy for us today I recall being a bit more winded my first time. It really isn't anything compared to other hikes we've done, and soon enough, we made it to the falls!

7 Falls is just what it sounds like - 7 different waterfalls, each spilling into a new pool which starts another waterfall. It's really fun to walk around the rock face (barefoot especially!) and dip your feet in the cool water. There were lots of people there, but we managed to find a spot and a pool all to ourselves where we sat, relaxed, and enjoyed peanut butter and Nutella on tortillas.

Here we are in our own private pool with the falls behind us. :) The water felt refreshing but painful on my new blisters!

After wading around and enjoying, Curtis decided he wanted to do something he'd never done before - hike to the very top of the falls! I passed, since there isn't a trail, and I stayed and watched him through my zoomed-in camera.

Our own version of Where's Waldo - Where's Curtis? Hint: He likes to be camouflaged to his surroundings. :)

He made it! Can you see him? He said the hardest part was scaling a rock face, but after that it was easy. :)

Zoomed in - now can you see him?

As I mentioned before, we had done this hike last year, but I didn't write about it. Here's some pictures we had taken then. There was much less traffic, as it was October, and so we had climbed up to the 3rd fall and hung out there.

In the pool by this waterfall, there's a small cave - only Curtis was brave enough to check it out - I didn't trust Arizona very much at that point. ;)

Leaving - one last look at the falls!
There is a letterbox series for anyone interested that starts at the end of the trail and heads back to the beginning. We completed it last year though, so we just had an easy walk back.

Facing Southwest, toward Tucson. It was getting much hotter at this point. We passed lots of hikers that were just on their way up - we didn't envy them having to walk up and back in this heat!

After finishing the hike, we stopped at an estate sale where we got a bargain on a book Curtis had wanted for a long time, about Arizona ghost towns and mines. Normally $15, got it for 80 cents. Score!

Then in the afternoon, we went to hang out with our friends Austin and Seneca. While the guys played a war game, Seneca and I made some of the prettiest homemade pizzas ever.

See? They tasted even better than they look! We also made a strawberry pie… Check back later for a picture and the recipe ;)

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