Hike/bushwack up La Milagrosa canyon
Directions to La Milagrosa canyon trailhead: Drive north on Catalina Highway about 3 miles, until you reach Snyder road. Turn right on Snyder road, and follow Snyder road until you reach North Avenida De Suzenu. Just before you reach East Horsehead road, pull over and park on Avenida De Suzenu, because East Horsehead Road is a private road as it heads east. You need to walk down East horsehead Road for about a half mile. Cross the arroyo and continue on the trail that goes up the ridge to the left heading east. Continue on the trail for a little less than a mile, as the trail goes over the ridge, and descends into the canyon. This is La Milagrosa Canyon. This is where you branch off the trail, and follow the arroyo / stream up the canyon. As you continue up the canyon, you will be continually affronted by roadblocks, either by Rocks, water, or thorny bushes of all kinds. You will come upon all kinds of natural beauty, as seen in the photographs. The rocks and have been sculped by water. Be prepared to hop from rock to rock, and to use your trekking poles to keep the thorns away from you. I recommend wearing some older clothes that are heavy and thick and not likely to be seriously damaged by thorny plants and trees. The plant life can be pretty brutal. Probably bluejeans and a jeans jacket or similar thickness of material. Needless to say, this is not an outing to be considered, except in winter, late fall, or early spring, due to the temperatures. Another consideration is rainfall, depending on the recency of rainfall, you may end up finding yourself having a great difficulty crossing the stream due to depth and width. Expect to cross the stream a couple of dozen times in the course of bushwacking the length of the canyon. Thus, you will probably want to consider heavy boots that are waterproof, or at least water resistant. Tennis shoes are not indicated for this hike.
It was a beautiful day when we hiked on this trail. The temperature was in the mid 70's and with a light breeze blowing and it was a beautiful partly cloudy day. Although I was disappointed I did achieve my goal of getting good exercise, plenty of fresh air and lots of good pictures of the canyon.
The stream / arroyo at the center of the canyon doesn't gain very much elevation, however the main challenge is to avoid having your clothes ripped up by thorny bushes and trees.
There will be lots of wildlife seen along the stream or arroyo, depending on which season you bushwack the canyon. If you take this hike, don't forget to bring plenty of water, because the high desert is dry and you'll need at least 3 liters of water, and possibly more per person.
As you go up the canyon, you will be amazed at how huge rock formations have been eroded and ground away by the water and chipped away by ice over the centuries. If it doesn't leave you with a sense of wonder about our planet and life, then maybe you need to dig deeper.
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Last Update: February 11, 2015
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