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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Saguaro NP East & Hike

On Wednesday, 2/24/16 (Day 52) I decided to check out the East Saguaro National Park.  See yesterday's blog post about the West Park.

The East Park has more land than the West Park, but the visitor center is much smaller.  

I arrived before the East Park visitor center opened and there was no one checking or collecting money at the gate.  Although no one was checking the park was open for traffic.  I always just place my senior park pass on my dash and I have never had a problem.

There is a park scenic road you can drive like what the West Park.  There is also a separate road for picnic areas like the West.

The West Park has more Saguaro to look at.  Although the Saguaro are more sparse here in the East Park there is enough to enjoy your visit.

I parked at the furthest picnic area and two woman early risers were using the Park road for their morning jog.

I met a man who wanted to know where the trail started at the picnic area.  I took out my phone and looked up the trail on my app AllTrails and it showed exactly where the trail started.  I had been cleaning up before he sought me out.

It had been a week since I hiked Sabino Canyon where I got foot blisters on my heal of both feet and I wanted to hike.  Since some healing had occurred I placed bandages on both heals, thick socks, and my older leather hikers and decided to hike the trail I just looked up.

The mountain lion sign above is on most trailheads in this area as they are spotted from time to time.

This is what the trailed looked like.  Very picturesque.

There were also some interesting rock structures.

I gained some altitude on the hike overlooking the Park.  The trail will go to 7,000 feet if I was to go all the way to the top.

I stopped on this first peak after about 2 miles.  No new blisters but my left ankle was a bit swollen still from last week and I didn't want to overdo it so I decided 4 miles would be enough today.

It's nearly March and the spring desert flowers are now starting to come out.

These flowers were all along the trail.

It was nice to see the variety.

All different colors

There will be a lot more in a couple more weeks.

This is a picture of the next rise I didn't attempt and the flowering yellow bush.

Here is the trail that climbs on the ridge with progressively higher peaks.  If you look at the trail you can see the ridgelinevtgectrails follow.

It turned out to be a nice hike and it felt good after a week to be hiking, although I do walk a lot every day, just not with elevation.

I met a few people on my hike.  A young 20 something woman with a purple Mohawk haircut.  The kind of look you don't forget.  There was also a 59 something woman from Minnesota that had parked next to me.  She will be going to the California coast this weekend to see family and in March she will be heading home.

After she left a man pulled in her place next to me.  I was now making lunch and my new aquaintance was all excited about my Prius Campervan and my door table and he gave me stories how when he retired and moved out here 6 years ago he would go out by homself camping and loved it but stopped as he wasn't comfortable by himself anymore due to health problems.

In a retrospect comparison between East and West Parks,  I would go to the West Park to see the Saguaro and to the East Park for the hiking.


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