AZ – Arizona Trail, Oracle Passage plus a visit to Tucson-Sonora Desert Museum

I said goodbye to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and headed east on Highway 86 where I found some delightful wildflowers including these Prickly Poppies. They were such standouts I couldn’t resist pulling over to photograph and see in person.

I was so near the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, I figured I’d regret not stopping by. I really didn’t want to pay the $24 entrance fee but I talked myself into not being a tightwad. I was concerned as the temperatures were in the 80’s when I arrived and since I was already suffering I worried about enjoying the experience. As anticipated I continued having signs of heat stroke or exhaustion even though I was wearing my hat but wishing I’d brought my umbrella. I made the best of my time although cutting it much shorter than the $24 fee warranted.

I especially liked the hummingbird room.

My friend Petra had given me maps and information for hiking the Santa Catalina Mountains including Sabino Canyon, which I’d hiked as part of the Arizona Trail (AZT) in 2015. I was excited about these possibilities until I saw 93 degrees registered on my car and the forecast for continued increasing temperatures. It was time for this winter acclimated gal to find higher elevation. As one who avoids traffic I found myself on the wrong side of the mountains. Waaaa

I drove and drove and drove way more hours than I like trying to find cooler temperatures. At least I found a sunset.

I eventually found myself at Tiger Mine Road Trailhead near Oracle where I have some of the best memories from when I hiked Passage 13 with Joan in 2015 (link). This is when we made our funny gear shakedown video which still makes me laugh.

I saw these flowers blooming when I hiked this section before but wasn’t able to identify with my wildflower app.

I was glad to find a few blooming beauties along the trail.

Firecracker penstemon.

Mariposa Lily.

The trail has become so civilized.

So inviting. Love this photo!

Too bad it’s dry.

I liked how this wallflower intermingled with this yucca.

This wallflower stood tall as the standout.

Mixing things up.

I’d love to see this cactus in bloom.

Wild rhubarb.

Wildflowers sure cheer up this normally dry grassy terrain.

Near the end of my hike, I was overheated and thankful to take a break in the shade of this underpass.

Bad LNT 😦 Yes, I picked it up although usually TP is where I draw the line.

So glad this rattlesnake sang loudly as I approached and that it wasn’t too close to the trail.

The Arizona Trail Association is to be commended for doing such an outstanding job growing this trail into one that many now desire to hike as either sections, day hikes, or long thru-hikes. It’s a multi-use trail for hikers, bikers and equestrians.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 25-26, 2019




4 thoughts on “AZ – Arizona Trail, Oracle Passage plus a visit to Tucson-Sonora Desert Museum

  1. As always, your photographs are amazing. Such beautiful plants in the desert. Looking at your Jaunts in Utah, I don’t see the High Uinta Wilderness on your list. I think you would love it. Perhaps you have heard of Cordell M Anderson or maybe not. He just released a 622 page e-book about the High Uinta Wilderness. He is 83 years old and has been working on it for the last 16 years. His website describes his efforts and discoveries. The book has maps, descriptions and all kinds of interesting stories about the area. His website is I encourage you to take a look. Several years ago my family (wife and two teenage sons at the time) did a backpacking trip there in early October. It got colder than we would have liked, but we had a fantastic time. Let me know what you think. Thanks again for your blog and especially the photographs.

    • I’ve had the Unitas on my list for a couple years but thus far I haven’t found myself in northern Utah at the right time. I’ll definitely check out Cordell’s book and website; I hadn’t heard of him. Thank you for link and info.

      I appreciate your comments. You’ll see later on I had another sand incident with my camera. After a bit of banging I got it working but some of my photos are marred by a spot, usually in the sky of landscape photos. I could edit them but don’t have software on my traveling computer. The good news is that I had accident insurance on the camera and it looks like I’m all set for my summer jaunt.

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