One of the great questions is “do you like the mountains or the ocean?”. Maybe that answer can get you a date on a web based dating service, but the real answer (as with most things) is more complex.
Most of us like both. I might even offer the mountains in the desert as a choice.
Which brings me to Sabino Canyon and an early evening in Tuscon, AZ. Perhaps afternoon might be a better way to put it. It was around 4pm when we pulled into the parking lot. So close to Tucson proper.
We paid the $5 parking fee. (Big discounts for return visits!)
It was awesome. I know that that is such an overused word these days……but it so fit!
We chose to walk (I called it a hike) up the paved road through the center of the canyon. It runs a few miles and allows you to see the amazing Sonoran Desert and all the plant and wild life there. Of course, there are many side trails that lead off the main road for the more daring of you.
For those of you who don’t want to walk (hike) that far, there is a shuttle bus that can give you a 45 minute tour of the canyon with comments. It stops often for those who want to hop off and on. Currently it is $8 per person.
But we decided to walk. And that is one decision never to be regretted.
The Saguaro cacti were wonderful! These are the straight up cactus with (sometimes) arms extending outwards. They can be found only in this area of the world. Go figure! (see the picture)
But the multitude of other cacti made the mind reel. The colors went beyond the expected green. There was beauty in the center of dry dead land!
And then the sun began to set. The shadows in the mountains and those cast by the various cacti created an ongoing drama of beauty. I can only imagine (until my next visit) how much more the visions would be if we had gotten off the paved road.
It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. I can only imagine that the early morning would be equally as delightful. Mid-day might not be such a good idea given the intense sun and heat. But, of course, there are some 89 picnic areas with tables and a number of grills.
Bicycles are welcomed in the early hours and after 5 most days. We saw many with lamps on their head gear. Guess they plan to stay out after dark.
This is nature at it’s best. No one messes with it. In fact, it is a crime to do so. Of course, you have to deal with nature. There was a mountain lion alert when we were there. After all, you are in their world. What can you expect?
But harmful contact is a rare thing with the mountain lions or the snakes or the other critters that live in Sabino Canyon. Keep your eyes open and just enjoy the amazing nature of the desert.
Next time you are in the Tucson, AZ area plan a visit here. Just be sure to bring plenty of water. That desert can dry you out faster than you expect. And bring your child-like sense of amazement for what you will see.