Hike Catalina State Park Nature trail - part 3
Sandi wanted to do a hike closer to the condo this day, so we drove over to Oro Valley to Catalina State Park. Unfortunately when we got there, the streams were overflowing from recent rains and snows in the mountains. These were the same rains and snows that had kept me out of the mountain trails for much of December and january. Sandi does like "big sky" views though of sweeping panoramas, and so the trail we hiked was perfect. The nature trail is up on a mesa just above the parking lot at the trailhead, and the view is much better up there.
You can see Samaniego ridge, Sutherland canyon, Romero canyon, and Pusch Ridge from this mesa, and it makes for a very scenic panorama indeed. The park is located at a junction past the sound barriers heading north from Tucson on Highway 77 (oracle road) in Oro Valley.
On the day when we hiked this trail, it was in the mid 70's, with a nice breeze.
Temperatures in the 70's feel like a "dry" 90's in the sun, which is feels like a humid 80's in the midwest, but cooler. This trail is mostly exposed to the sun, almost no shade, so don't hike it when the temperature goes much above 80F, because in the sun it will feel like over 100. Don't forget to take a water bottle. It's just a bit over a mile long, but this is the desesrt, and humidities of 10% typically will dry you out quickly, moisture must be replentished.
There weren't many people on the day when we hiked this trail.
The route was very scenic, with mostly high desert and mountains in the distance along the route.
The trail gained about 100 feet, all at first when you are hiking up to the top of the mesa from the parking lot.
We arrived at about 12:30 just after noon, and we hiked about 1 mile round trip for about half an hour or so of hiking. I would have been ok with a longer hike, but we were both getting hungry, so we headed back to the car after we hiked the trail.
Overall it was a very pleasant hike.
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Last Update: March 21, 2017
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