Arizona Trail – Passage 8 – Umbrella Bliss

Dates Hiked: March 15-16, 2015 (Days 13-14)
Direction: Southbound
Passage 8: Rincon Valley
-Hope Camp to Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead
-Miles: 14.8
-Elevation: Low Point 3,085′, High Point 3,670′

Direction of Travel: Right to Left (Southbound)

What a difference a day makes. From the coldest windiest night (camped around 7,000′) near the northern boundary of Saguaro National Park to the warmest night just outside the southern boundary (camped around 3,000′).

The flowers provided a nice distraction from the intense sun.

The shade and tap water at La Sevilla Picnic area provided a quick respite from the ever present rays of light (note sign is spelled wrong).

With my fresh food resupply, I’d undercalculated meals and calories, and was motivated to get to LaPosta at Colossal Cave Mountain Park for my resupply package. Thankfully the trail was kind and made for fast walking. 

We spent several hours at the La Posta Quemada Ranch Museum, escaping the sun, eating, drinking and recharging our electronics. Within the compound is a CCC museum, visitor center, research library and butterfly garden. Nearby is the very interesting Colossal Cave, worthy of a future visit.

The highlight of my afternoon was finding my first cactus in bloom. Quite a beauty I must say!

Seeing Interstate 10 and an active railroad track in the distance, we were pretty excited to find Cienega Creek and the Natural Preserve area where AZT hikers were welcome to camp.

It felt so good to sit in the shade of a train trestle with our feet in the creek. Those umbrellas make such a difference.

After selecting a suitable campsite . . . the constant train traffic became unbearable . . . and alas it was time to hike on.

Sharing the Trail:

  • Sweet Tooth (check out his blog and photography).
  • We saw lots of mountain bikers out enjoying the fast smooth single track of this passage.
  • With Vail and Tucson nearby, there was a feed station setup at LaPosta for a large group of road riders.

Tips and Resources:

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