Our second full day in Tucson gave us a nice loop hike in a different section of Saguaro National Park.
CareFree and I again took advantage of our hotel’s breakfast buffet, arriving in the lobby shortly after breakfast started. Now being the weekend, there were a lot more people here this morning than yesterday, and I had a short wait before I could make my waffle.
We relaxed for a bit after breakfast, and then headed out for today’s hike, in the Rincon Mountain District of the Saguaro National Park, east of Tucson. Probably due to it being Saturday, and also unusually cool out today (it was in the 50s during breakfast, and the high today was only 74), the parking lot was overflowing and cars were parked on both sides of the road for a short distance near our trailhead.
We started hiking from the Douglas Spring Trailhead, following a trail of the same name towards the east. Our target for the day is the (presently dry) Bridal Wreath Falls.
Compared to yesterday’s trail, today’s was a lot more popular. We saw more people in our first ten minutes on trail than we did all of yesterday, and the trail itself was considerably more worn.
Todays trail was not as steep as yesterday, and the landscape felt a bit more open. Saguaro continued to dominate, but it felt like there were fewer in this part of the park than around Wasson Peak. Being closer to a potential water source, there were also a larger variety of non-cactus plants.
The trail today also felt a lot different. Yesterday, as we wound our way up, it mostly felt like we were climbing in a roughly straight line towards just one mountain. Today, it feels like we were climbing up into a whole mountain range. I think that perception is mostly because the Tucson Mountains yesterday are the smallest of the ranges surrounding the city; today, we can clearly see more than just one mountain at a time.
After an hour, we made it to our dry waterfall, and took a short break in the shade underneath the lip of the falls.
Rather than a simple out-and-back, we were able to make a loop today, turning off the Douglas Spring Trail and onto the Carrillo Trail, which clearly saw much less use. It was slightly overgrown, and we saw no people while we were on it.
After passing a dry water tank (with trash in it, but, also, the only place we saw trash on the trail today), we turned onto the Wildhorse Trail, which (based on the fresh manure) was clearly a popular equestrian trail.
That trail took us to a trailhead a minute’s walk down the road from where we started this morning, and after a short eight mile hike in four hours, we were done for the day.
Done with our hike, and now quite hungry, we headed back to Tucson, stopping at Divine Bovine, a hamburger restaurant. The burgers and milkshakes we got were excellent. (Also, two of the waitstaff were dressed up in Kiss costumes and makeup due to a private party later this evening.)
From there, we went to a supermarket to get food for dinner and snacks for tomorrow’s bus ride to Lordsburg, returned to our hotel to drop our stuff off in the room, and then took our rental car back to the airport.
All of our chores are done, all that’s left is to repack our bags.
Tomorrow: we take a Greyhound bus to Lordsburg. And Monday, I start the CDT.