CA – Marching through March, Far NorCal Style (March 2022)

Drought brought a very early spring and no mass displays like I enjoyed last year.

One day I got super excited to take a walk in the rain. I used my windshield wipers for a few minutes to get to my walking trail. But the joke was on me as that was all we got, just a big tease.

Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies provided plenty of reasons to smile along the local trails.

Last year I learned about the pipevine plant and blooms, so when I stumbled upon a pop-up interpretative display I knew it must be time to see what I could find.

Sure enough I found vines, blooms, old seed pods, and coolest of all eggs! I learned they have a 3-5 day incubation period which means soon I should find lots of caterpillars.

With our county finally reaching low risk COVID status, the local Native Plant Society resumed their field trip hikes. It was great fun socializing again. Besides the usual spring suspects, we also found Yellow Paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei) and Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata).

It was impossible not to smile with trails like this threading through green grasses and oak tree forests.

This wouldn’t be a year of the super bloom, although I don’t think the Warrior’s Plume got the message. “This plant likes to form a symbiotic relationship with moderate to high acid plants, shrubs and trees. It forms this relationship by searching for the root ball or root mass, then it entwines itself roots to roots, feeding off the roots to supply the plants needs.

It seemed I was always able to find something new and different to photograph. Since I can’t control weather and conditions, I decided to embrace it. Cheers to celebrating spring blooms! Speaking of symbiotic relationships, Broomrape is another. When I found the first of season Death Camas and was reminded of foraging, I was happy to offset with the Red Maids which indeed are edible.

With an acceptable weather window, I decided to test my fitness and gear on a small section of the PCT. There was a little snow on the ground, plentiful water, and I stayed entertained watching the moon, sunrises, sunsets and beautiful clouds. Yes it was chilly and I was reminded of how condensation can accumulate on your bag/quilt. My body rebelled at too many miles with pack weight and I admitted I needed to work on realistic expectations of my still rehabbing body.

This was the most beautiful snowmelt stream. The water was the best of the trip!

This seasonal pond not only provided reflections but also one night it gifted me a frog orchestra.

With the early spring I was able to visit Trinity Alps where I found a few blooms including Warrior’s Plume, Toothwort, Viola and Shooting Stars. It was so nice being back in the forest.

I continued to be delighted by local blooms. There are several types of Euphorbia at our local arboretum. I was thrilled to find a new seedpod of the pipevine plant. I wasn’t able to identify the two flowers, most likely non natives. The pink dogwoods were a welcome sight along the river trail. Bonuses included first ladybug sighting and busy bees on the lavender.

March has been the month to observe the lifecycle of pipevine plants and butterflies. On the last day of the month I finally found caterpillars, albeit babies, who will soon litter the trails but for now they are safely munching on the pipevine leaves. Blooming iris were a signal the calendar was about to turn to April.

When phlox is more than phlox. This particular species is the Yreka Phlox, near my hometown. It was fun to go in search of this beauty. Bonus was views of Mt Shasta. “The Yreka phlox (phlox hirsuta) dots the landscape of Yreka’s hillsides and valley from March to June. The Yreka phlox is both a pride of Yreka and conservation concern. The recorded history of the Yreka phlox dates back to 1876 when Edward L. Greene described and collected specimens of the phlox hirsuta from the local area. However, the flower has since been placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and State endangered species list. Efforts to conserve the Yreka phlox originally began in 1975 when, in a report to Congress, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution included it on a list of endangered plants. In 1984, The Nature Conservancy dictated that China Hill and Soap Creek Ridge warranted protection as part of their Element Preservation Plan. The City then became involved alongside The Nature Conservancy in 1986. In 2000, phlox hirsuta was placed on the Federal endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and an official Recovery Plan for Yreka phlox was released by the agency in 2006. Multiple organizations have come together to support recovery efforts, but the flower’s biggest conservation proponent was the late city attorney Larry G. Bacon, who died in 2004.”

While the bright pink Yreka Phlox stole the show, other finds included Popcorn flowers, Astragalus and Allium.

As the temperatures increased my computer screen was on refresh to watch snowline. Where oh where can I go without slogging through snow? GAIA maps have been a great resource. The darker the blue and pink the deeper the snow. We are officially in extreme drought. I’m fearful of the fire season.

I also spent time studying the 2021 fire boundaries to avoid early season trail problems. The darker and brighter the red, the more recent the fire. Sadly about 70% of the trails in the Trinity Alps have been affected, as well similar in Lassen Volcanic National Park, and a large swatch of the PCT.

Photos are from hikes and walks in Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity and Tehama Counties including,

  • Sacramento Bend Area Trails
  • Sacramento River Trails
  • Swasey and Muletown Recreation Areas
  • Trinity Alps Wilderness
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

CA – April 2021, Wildflowers of Tehama County

Probably the best area to hike and see wildflowers in Tehama County is at the Sacramento River Bend Recreation Area (link).

This area offers amazing wildflowers viewing in the spring. The rolling hills of this oak woodland are carpeted with purple and yellow in all directions. The Hog Lake Plateau and the Yana Trail are great locations to view open expanses of blooming wildflowers.” Source: BLM website

The displays aren’t as splashy as at North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve in Butte County which I shared previously (link), and you might need to share a bit with the cows, but it’s much less busy with several trailheads providing access and varying terrain. The 360-views are phenomenal on clear days where you can see the snowy peaks of Lassen, Shasta, the Trinity Alps and Yolla Bollys.

Another positive is that there are several opportunities to spend time along the Sacramento River, either dipping your toes or viewing the soaring eagles and others who fancy flight.

These photos were taken primarily from my hike starting at the Iron Canyon Trailhead. The Bird’s-eye Gilia tickled my fancy. I couldn’t get enough of these bright cheerful flowers.

This was my introduction to Glue-seed (Blennosperma nanum). There were plentiful as were Popcornflowers.

Possibly my favorite find was Padre’s Shooting Star (Primula clevelandi). This was my first year to notice white shooting stars and I mistakenly thought they were all the same variety but discovered that Henderson’s can also be found in white and various shades of pink.

Johnny-tuck aka Butter and Eggs Triphysaria eriantha plus a bonus Goldfields

Not positive on this one. The Seek app identified as Smallflower Woodland Star (Lithophragma parviflorum).

Isn’t this a great name? Definitely descriptive. Cowbag Clover (Trifolium depauperatum).

White Brodiaea Triteleia hyacinthia

California poppies and Mediterranean Stork’s-bill

Nature’s perfect bouquet.

By mid to late April the wildflowers fade away to be replaced by brown grasses, rattlesnakes, and stickers while the beauties go into hibernation waiting to spring forth the next year.

CA – April 2021, Wildflowers of Butte County

I was introduced to this volcanic area in 2013, before it was popularized, regulated and overrun by the masses. With the exception of last year I’ve been traveling every spring since then and haven’t had the opportunity to return. Last year it was closed due to COVID, this year I was determined to return. It was one of my knee rehab goals. But I have severe crowd anxiety. I’d prefer to skip these opportunities rather than share with the masses. I also have a no regrets policy so I was determined to find a way to enjoy regardless of it’s popularity.

This 2013 photo clearly shows I didn’t know about not crushing the blooms, but then again it taught me to behave like the cows.

I clearly remember visiting the waterfalls, especially making this sketchy descent to explore the cave and cool rocks below one of the waterfalls. I hear a rope now exists to assist with that steep section.

It was worth it, but I can say been there, done that, don’t need to do that again. There are 9 waterfalls that can be viewed during the rainy season on an 11-mile cross-country loop (link). I’ve only been to a few so someday I’ll go back and hike this complete loop.

My goal this trip was much different. My knee was a little extra sensitive so my plan was to take it easy and see what I could see given my limitations. To minimize crowd encounters I arrived on a weekday at 8am and followed the cow paths rather than the waterfall trail. The poppies were still sleeping, so while I waited for their 10am wake-up call, I roamed and found many more photography opportunities.

Kellogg’s Monkeyflower
Seep Monkeyflower
Meadowfoam
Fringe Pods
Prettyface

“Created by ancient lava (basalt) flows, the approximately 3,300 acre North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is an elevated basalt mesa with beautiful vistas of spring wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools.” Source: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve webpage

Jan’s perfect bouquet!
Owl’s clover, Bird’s-eye Gilia, Blue Dips/Dicks, Lupine, Poppies, Popcorn flowers and green green green!
Owl’s clover and Bird’s-eye Gilia
Bird’s-eye Gilia and California Poppies
California Poppies, Lupine and Blue Dips

I enjoyed seeing the vast color swatches.

It was a great day to hang out with the cows.

On the other hand far in the distance I could see the waterfall trail conga line.

When I arrived just before 8am there were maybe a dozen cars in the parking area. When I left around noon there were hundreds with hordes of people every which way. My strategy was successful and I didn’t encounter others until the last few minutes of my day. For those wanting to explore the large variety of wildflowers, the season covers several months and includes over a hundred varieties. You can download this botany guide (link). For further information and preparation, be sure to visit the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve website (link) to purchase your day use permit, CDFW Lands Pass (link). If you go please respect private property signs and fences, and carry a litter bag to clean up after those less thoughtful.

Peak wildflower season is short. Usually 2-3 weeks in late March to early April. Once things start drying out, the large stickers pictured below will ruin your shoes and socks, which will keep you to the main trails.

I felt like I was one in a million, the pink among the blue.

It was a no-regrets day. If it wasn’t a 4-hour round trip drive, I’d return more frequently to find individual blooms like the fairy lanterns.

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
― Claude Monet

CA – March 2021 (Part 2) Wildflowers of Shasta County

WordPress has decided it’s time for change. Can my old brain adapt? Well, this is the message I receive repeatedly, “Updating failed. Sorry, you are not allowed to edit this post.” Fun, right? Please let me know if there are any problems with content.


I spent the month of March on the trails around Redding delighted when I found new blooms. The elevation was 500-1000 feet. I’ll repeat a few from my previous posts so you can enjoy the progression of blooms through the month.

The below photos were taken on the following trails:

This is the best resource for current status of Redding area trails (link).

Blue Dicks photobombed by my friend’s dog. They’ve recently been renamed Dipterostemon capitatus and slowly will be referenced as Blue Dips.
California Buttercup Ranunculus californicus seem to be the first show of color in this area.
Another sign of spring are prolific spreads of Indian Warrior or Warrior’s Plume.
Pacific Hound’s Tongue Adelinia grande
Henderson’s Shooting Star Primula hendersonii
The first white I’d seen of Henderson’s Shooting Star Primula hendersonii
Pussy Ears aka Tolmie’s Star Tulip Calochortus tolmiei
Pussy Ears aka Tolmie’s Star Tulip Calochortus tolmiei

I was introduced to these lilies last year and have been obsessed since, always on the alert for these hard-to-miss gems. They appear as dead or dying plants but when you look inside or catch the light they are A+ beauties.

Henderson’s Shooting Star Primula hendersonii and Checker Lily Fritillaria affinis
Checker Lily Fritillaria affinis
Checker Lily Fritillaria affinis
Checker Lily Fritillaria affinis
Red Maids Calandrinia menziesii
California Dutchmans Pipe Aristolochia californica (not a wildflower but cool and my first sighting)
Popcorn Flower Plagiobothrys tenellus 
Henderson’s Shooting Star Primula hendersonii and Saxifrage
Stork’s Bill Erodium cicutarium
Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii
California Poppy
California poppy and a Blue Dick
Nightshade

I was pretty excited to find this one. I don’t believe I’ve seen it previously. No evidence in previous March photos. I haven’t checked my April files yet, so maybe . . . .

Fivespot Nemophila maculata
Redbud
Fiddleneck
Wild Cucumber
Fringe Pods and ? maybe non-native radish
Purple Sanicle

I spent days in search of these. Friends kept spotting them but my timing was wrong and finally it was my day. Of course it was a breezy day so I got lots of blurry photos but in the end I was happy to have a few blog worthy!

Scarlet Fritillary Fritillaria recurva
Viola
Phlox

I took some friends to see the Baby Blue Eyes and Fivespots. They were way more plentiful than when I’d been there a week earlier and we also found this surprise. Upon investigation we found this to be a Desert Bluebell, not something native to this area. A little more detective work and we discovered mixed wildflower seeds were given out after the 2018 Carr Fire and included was this beauty.

Desert Bluebells Phacelia campanularia

The wildflower seed packets also explains why the Baby Blue Eyes and Fivespots were found growing in proximity. We had our own theories until we found this much more likely answer.

Baby Blue Eyes and Fivespots

This baby fivespot was too cute not to include.

Fivespot

With the help of my friends I was introduced the Skullcaps.

Scutellaria is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. They are known commonly as skullcaps.
Tomcat Clover Trifolium

Spring would not be spring in California without poppies.

California Poppy

This is the first year in many I’ve been “home” to enjoy the local spring blooms. My knee rehab is continuing to progress and being able to spend time on easy trails adorned with flowers has made the time pass quickly. I’m looking forward to expanding my geographic region in April in my quest to find more spring blooms. For those of you in cooler climates I hope these photos bring you smiles.

Knee rehab bragging rights:

  • Longest walk – 8 miles
  • Most elevation gain – 600 feet over 6.5 miles
  • Max pace – 2.8mph (on flattish pavement)
  • Flexion – 130+ degrees (equal to other side)
  • Squat – Full heels on the floor backcountry potty position!

I’m currently working on speed and agility training. I feel like I’m getting ready for soccer or football. My gait still needs work but I’ve seen huge improvements over the past few weeks.

2020 – Blooming April, Spring Doesn’t Care

I recently read a poem about how spring goes on regardless of this pandemic. Since spring brings me joy, I’m choosing to spend as much time seeking out the treats mother nature provides in this all-too-short season.

2020 is proving to be a spring I’d rather forget. I like many others, most likely including yourself, are wishing we could fast forward into summer and be done with Stay Home orders. I’ve learned to let go of things I can’t control and instead focus on those things I can such as my personal happiness. The dark short days of winter can bring on bouts of depression, something I’m more likely to avoid in spring when I happily languish in the warm sunny days. Instead of travel and backpacking, I spent time running, biking and walking primarily from my house. My car didn’t leave my garage for three weeks.

I discovered and fell in love with these rock roses.

Since I’m missing my wilderness wildflowers, I really appreciate neighbors who share their blooms.

The Sacramento River runs through town bordered on both sides by about 20 miles in trails. It’s within walking distance of my house and gives me plentiful green space and a place to breathe.

The trail harbored these colorful jewels.

When I finally decided to drive 10 miles to a dirt trail, I found so much joy.

With flowers lining the trail, I didn’t even mind hiking through lands dominated by fire.

I’d never seen such a mass dispersion of pussy ears (aka Calochortus tolmiei). If this was all I’d seen I would have been happy.

But no, my treasure hunt continued. What a delightful way to spend a few hours.

I stopped at Black Bear Pass where I found this wreath, which I though was a lovely tribute to the aftermath of the 2018 Carr Fire. When I got home and was processing my photos I couldn’t believe what I saw at the base of the stump. It took some work to lighten enough to see the surprise. I still can’t believe I didn’t see it when I was taking the photo. My guess it was hauled up on horses.

I finally decided to drive a bit further for my next hike and was thrilled to find these beauties.


I closed out the month hiking among more of nature’s jewels. I hope you all made the most of this forced pause.

What will May bring? Maybe some waterfalls to go along with more wildflowers? The draft policy for opening my home county indicates a ban on non-essential travel out of the county. Will I continuing being just a tiny bit of a rebel? We topped 90F degrees so that’ll be my motivation if nothing else. Air conditioner vs wilderness?

AZ/NV/CA – Goodbye Cave Creek Canyon . . . COVID-19 Wins

Part of the joy of traveling is town stops. I love hanging out in local libraries, coffee shops and eateries. I enjoy chatting with strangers especially fellow travelers. When places are closed, towns are on lock down, or strangers eye you as one potentially carrying the germ, it’s just not fun. Should I get sick I was three long hours from Tucson, and my California-based insurance was only good for emergencies out of state. When California was ordered to STAY HOME, I was worried about borders closing. All signs said, it was time to face reality. This spring jaunt is over!

I found out later the first COVID-19 case in Cochise County was on 3/20/20, the day I departed. As you can see it’s been growing ever since. My home base of Shasta County is still only declaring 3 cases but since testing is not being done, I don’t have much confidence in this number.

I’d only seen one javelina this visit, at the library of all places. It was on a mission to find treats and not interested in a portrait. Lucky for me on my way to town, after my last night of dispersed camping, I came upon several foraging along the road.

Not nearly as cute as the babies Joan and I saw at the Cave Creek Ranch during our December 2017 visit.

Before beginning my 4-day, 2,000-mile drive home, I took a slight detour through Portal where I found a little happiness in poppies and minions.

I drove Forest Service Road 42 from Portal to near Chiricahua National Monument. There were plenty of opportunities to stop for short hikes leading to potential views. This tree graveyard is a harsh reminder of the 2011 Horseshoe 2 fire. The large swatch of yellow on the valley floor is mustard while the orange is poppies. Many of the high elevation trails are accessible from this road. I look forward to a future visit where I can continue to mark up my map.

My plan was to take a slightly longer way home avoiding major traffic and larger towns. So after filling my tank in Willcox it was back up 191 toward Safford where there is some BLM land available for dispersed camping. The poppies were still blooming and I found a few white ones that had opened. With a light wind, they made for a challenging photo session.

The next morning I retraced my path to Peridot on Highway 70 where I’d found some great floral displays a couple of weeks previous. To my delight the blooms had changed and now included more lupine.

I took a slight detour the this Roosevelt Lake overlook along Highway 188. The area holds special memories from my hike on the Arizona Trail.

I stopped several times trying to capture great views of this peak near Flagstaff, either San Francisco or Humphreys. I finally gave up and accepted this as an adequate memory. This section of the Arizona Trail is still on my list.

As the afternoon progressed it was time to start looking at dispersed camping options. I checked out this one but decided I best skip this muck.

I found a much better option near Kingman.

Shortly after crossing into Nevada the next morning, I found this viewpoint with great lighting over Lake Mead.

I caught some amazing light and a rainbow over Las Vegas, but it’ll have to live in my mind since dashboard photography wouldn’t have done it justice. This was my maiden voyage on 95 through Nevada. The beauty exceeded all expectations. Since I was traveling on a day of precipitation I wasn’t surprised to find snow on a few of the passes.

I stopped at Walker Lake to photograph these Big Horn Sheep.

As I stared at the lake and realized how many hours I’d been driving, I wondered about camping opportunities. Sure enough this is a free BLM campground. Although it was only about 3pm, I was ready for some exercise.

It was a great place to explore while easily practicing social distancing. There were a few other campers but no one else wandering the shoreline.

The fresh coat of snow on Mount Grant made it a standout.

With more stormy weather in the forecast including snow I was hopeful I could make it through Lassen before the snow started piling up. I had about four hours and 300 miles.

I made great time through the snow flurries and was happy to complete my shopping chores by late afternoon. My goal was to get everything I needed to quarantine for 2-3 weeks. After all those stops at gas stations and public restrooms, I felt very germy. There’s only so much you can do with gel and wipes. It’s just not the same as soap and water, plus so easy to recontaminate everything as you touch the steering wheel, gear shifter, keys, phone, etc.

Sure enough chain controls were in place the next morning. I was grateful for my timing.

I felt the stress release as I transitioned from traveling to being safe at home. It was time to clean up the mess.

I heard from my new friends who were camped at the USFS campground near Portal. They were booted a day or two after I departed. More states were issuing closures and stay at home orders. I was confident in my decision to return home.

Cutting my trip short at 25 days and wasting nearly 2,000 miles of time and gas are not my idea of fun. I was prepared to be gone through October. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and realize you can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. I choose the latter.

The view from my front window isn’t anything exciting. I know I’ll feel like I’m in jail.

On a positive note, I have green space within walking distance. Spring is in the air, something I haven’t experienced at home since I started traveling 5-6 years ago.

To all my readers, please stay safe and sane. It’s time we prioritize ourselves, our families, neighbors and friends. Hopefully this pandemic will end sooner than later and we can salvage our summer plans. If nothing else this situation should remind everyone tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live without regrets. Stop procrastinating. Sending virtual hugs! Know I’m doing my part by staying at or near home.

Adventure Dates:

  • March 21-24, 2020

Links:

 

AZ – Montezuma and Tonto National Monuments plus a Wildflower Corridor

The weather forecast was for rain, rain and more rain. So after my hike at Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park the previous day, I planned on a driving day.

With a break in the storm, it was time to stretch my legs. Once upon a time I lived in Arizona for about five years and visited this National Monument. I had little recollection.

It’s a short stroll for this view. To see the other parts of the park, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot, involve long drives for which I wasn’t interested this day.

After a night of rain and another day driving through the rain I stopped at Tonto National Monument.

While the trail is short, it’s steep and made for a good workout. I ended up hiking it three times after spending too many hours driving through the rain the past couple days.

The flowers were beginning to color the hillsides.

Loved how this Blue Dick was holding onto this giant droplet.

This penstemon also was dripping from the recent rains.

Desert Marigold

Nature’s garden. What a nice blend of poppies, lupine and owl clover.

I spent a while watching the wren on the lower cactus gather grasses and fly up to continue building the nest.

Guess what, it was another day of driving through the rain. I found myself stopping frequently as I drove along 70 between Globe and Safford to enjoy blooms between showers. Hello penstemon!

Rainy day poppies and lupine.

Haven’t identified this one yet.

Blue Dicks taking center stage.

Owl Clover is one of my favorites.

I finally found some of the elusive pink poppies but with the rain and cool temperatures, they were closed up tight.

This tiny rainbow gave me hopes of better tomorrows, something we all need a lot of right now during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 10-12, 2020

Resources:

Links:

AZ – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arch Canyon

Sunrise provided some color but from the campground, photographic opportunities were limited. From my campsite it was a morning to say goodbye to the moon.

On this day, my goal was to hike Arch Canyon and Estes Canyon Bull Pasture trails along Ajo Mountain Drive, a 21-mile dirt/gravel road.

Once again I was reminded to be on alert, especially as a solo hiker.

It seemed I was the only one on the road around 8:30am so was happy I could stop and admire views and take photos as I desired.

I believe that’s Tillotson Peak.

First view of THE arch, and if you look carefully the double arch. There’s a tiny arch on top of the big arch.

Hike #2: Arch Canyon

Trail details. The plan was to hike the .6 miles on the maintained trail.

Since I was tracking wildflower blooms on this spring jaunt, I was thrilled to find poppies.

The trail was lined with my favorite happy flower.

I found the first Owl Clover of the season.

First Blue Dicks of the season.

First Larkspur.

You just can’t seem to get away from the warnings, as I said it reminded me of grizzly country.

So when I got to end of maintained trail . . .

This cairn may have called my name. I tried fighting the calling.

When the route was like this it was difficult to resist the pull.

A gift along the way. Wonder what it is?

There were a few remaining potholes full of water for the wildlife, now that’s a gift.

Desert penstemon tangled with a ocotillo.

Verbena

Chicory

Always doing my part to clean up after others.

Where is this trail taking me?

The outcroppings sure were pretty.

I found some incredible views. That’s looking back down onto Ajo Mountain Drive. Hmmm . . .  I hiked from way down there. I guess I won’t be doing the other planned hikes today. Might as well keep going and see where this “trail” takes me.

That’s Mt Ajo, which supposedly you can climb from both this trail as well as the Estes Canyon / Bull Pasture trail. This rock had so much color and definition to the naked eye but my camera just wasn’t able to provide good images even with a little editing.

This cairn marked my turnaround spot. I tried finding the backside of the arch but finally just had to cry uncle.

And then what did I stumble upon following one of the many cairn routes? Why yes, that’s THE backside of THE arch! If you look closely you can see a use trail to the arch. I found the way but it would have taken a lot more effort than I had left in me so this distant view was the best I was going to get on this day.

This 3.25 mile route took me over four hours. It provided more than enough physical and technical challenges for me on this day.

After leaving Arch Canyon, I stopped along the way for flowers and views, including this one of a Fairy Duster.

The massive amounts of mallow was impressive.

I stopped by the visitor center to ask a few questions and learn a bit more about the park. In so doing, I learned about Kris Eggle for whom the visitor center is named.

I also collected my I Hiked for Health pin. This is my fourth I believe. It’s an Arizona parks program. I wish more would do it to encourage movement and exploration beyond the vehicle or campgrounds.

I drove up Puerto Blanco Drive to Pinkley Peak viewpoint for sunset.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 23, 2019

Tips(s):

  • Camping is available both at the campground and on nearby public land.
  • A benefit for the campground is showers included in the campground fee. Unreserved sites don’t become available until after 11am.
  • Gila Bend, Ajo and Why are nearest towns for groceries, gas, etc.

Resources:

Links: