We’re east of Tucson in the San Pedro Valley. We’re exploring and looking for good hikes away from the crowds created by bored Covid 19 refuges, the captives in their own homes out on the trails to blow off steam. We have stumbled onto a fine walk in the dry riverbed and an ancient and fun geological structure:
There is still some afternoon left, as we climb into the 4runner in pursuit of a place to simply pitch a tent.
I know that the trail that we intend to hike tomorrow is up the airport road. Narrow “Hot Springs Canyon” empties out into the broad flood plain and generally dries up before it reaches the San Pedro River. It crosses the road that goes to Cascabel.
We once approached the same canyon from the upstream side. There, the Nature Conservancy has bought up Muleshoe Ranch to protect against destructive incursions into the lush canyon’s riparian strip. Here is that trip:
I had studied the satellite images and learned that the road ends in a parking lot. Further investigation has garnered another blessing and a kindness.
Shelter and Solitude:
We have special permission to camp at the trailhead from the Cascabel Conservation Association. We have become members. This organization is a group of neighbors and interested parties intent on preservation of the land and wildlife, but also of their peaceful remote lifestyles. It seems that a few years ago, the traffic increased and partying quads and ATVs were tearing up the place and its serenity. Land owners have taken their property rights and created a coalition, restricting access.
We find the road to be rugged and slim. As we are slowly coming down a steep incline, we see a woman in front of …