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Tucson, Arizona 2015

Ventana Canyon Trail Hike - part 4

Our Crazy Post Retirement Wanderings Hiking and Triking

Ventana Canyon Trail Hike to the ridge trail juncion part 4

About a year ago, Sandi and I started out up this trail, and we only hiked up about a mile because we were concerned about the signs banning dogs, so we turned around and went back to the trailhead. This year I hiked up by myself to the ridge trail at the end of the canyon. It took about 10 hours for the 10 miles.

We found the Ventana trail on, It's a Arizona trails website, and it's a great resource for people who are looking for a hiking trail, especially near Tucson, Az. provides lots of very useful information, including distance, elevation, AEG, elevation gain, average duration time of hike, and a write up of what to expect.

The main idea is to get fresh air, good exercise that is a good experience and is good for me, and is a pleasant pastime. In Florida in February or January or late December most years, it's pleasant for outside exercise.

The other side of that coin is if you're going to go on this trail, then definitely don't do it in the summer.

First of all, it's the desert southwest, and it's really too hot in the summer to do outside exercise without getting a heatstroke. Probably be ok from about November to April. The wildlife such as rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas, scorpions, and other things come out in the summer.

It's magical to hike in Arizona in the fall, winter and spring. Only risk in winter is that you can have rainstorms, which translate to snowstorms in the mountains from December- March. Ice is the enemy of the mountain hiker. Low friction surfaces are not good. Hiking poles and crampons are useful in dealing with snow and ice, but one still needs to be careful. But the rewards are definitely there for the careful planning winter hiker.

On the day when we hiked Ventana canyon, we didn't get a start on hiking early enough in the day. When we saw the sign, about dogs being banned, we were ready to turn around, and as the year wanes in November through march, days become shorter, so you need to get out on the trails earlier in the day than one would think. Typically starting out at this trailhead at 7AM or earlier is a great idea. One should also bring a headlamp in case you have delays during the day on the trail.

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