Arizona Trail – Passage 3 – Bring Back the Cows!

Dates Hiked: March 23-24, 2015 (Days 21-22)
Direction: Southbound
Passage 3: Canelo Hills West
-Patagonia to Canelo Pass
-Miles: 16.6
-Elevation: Low Point 4,064′, High Point 5,583′

Direction of Travel: Right to Left (Southbound)

It’s a long two-mile paved road walk leaving Patagonia.

Some of the trailhead signs include an overview of the passage (this sign is at the southern end of the passage). 

On the northern end, the signage is much less informative.

You get a real feel of fire danger walking among these tall dry grasses.

Did you know Arizona had hoodoos? 

Who doesn’t like red rock?

So happy to find this little frog trying to find camouflage within this rock.

Must be reptile day.

This little beauty has been a constant friend, but remains somewhat aloof when it’s portrait time.

When I first started seeing cows, I sort of resented their intrusion while simultaneously appreciating the water that’s available to us thanks to the cow’s presence. After hiking cattle-free sections, I have a new appreciation for the role cows play in fire management and trail management. Much of the vegetation is not human friendly, it’s stickery and prickery.

Where’s Joan?

This is the trail.

Thank you cows for eating the prickery stickeries.

Prickery management!

Thank you ranchers and cows for sharing your water.

I bet spa clientele would pay a lot of money for this green slime.

Stretching breaks are a necessity.

Enjoying my town food was even better.

When the sun becomes too intense, a siesta is the best course of action.

Finding myself near heat exhaustion, I was beyond thrilled to find this pond.

Where to next?

We camped at the top of a pass and I found these bushes as shelter from the wind. 

And were rewarded with an amazing sunset. 

Ever since leaving Patagonia, we’ve been reminded that we are near the Mexico border. Several Border Patrol vehicles passed us in the early morning while we walked the paved road out of town. The constant lawn mower sound of the drones is ever present.

Sharing the Trail:

  • Cowgirl and Whiskey Pete – We first met them in Passage 5, they’d gone south to complete this passage in a NOBO direction. They said they saw several Coatimundi, which I’m really hoping we have the opportunity to see. Check out their journal.

Tips and Resources:


2 thoughts on “Arizona Trail – Passage 3 – Bring Back the Cows!

  1. For a silvery umbrella, Joan’s was very hidden amongst the brush, awesome sunset photo, and the photo of you holding your feet under What’s looks like a scrub oak tree.

    • That thorny brush was so overgrown. Joan is such a pro with her umbrella though she can carry it even in this terrain. I’m sure both Joan and Dru know the name of the tree, bu I can’t remember.

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