Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blackett's Ridge Trail: Part 1

On February 3rd, Chris and I decided to check out Blackett's Ridge Trail at Sabino Canyon. We wanted to visit Blackett's Ridge before the weather got too hot, since there is very little shade on the trail. Pictured below is Blackett's Ridge from Bear Canyon Road.
We turned onto Phoneline Trail from Bear Canyon Road, and followed it up to the beginning of Blackett's Ridge Trail.
Blackett's Ridge Trail is only 1.7 miles long but it is steep and considered difficult. The trail guide says this trail is not for beginners.
I walk regularly, but I'm not much of a mountain climber, so we went slowly. It took us nearly six hours to walk the six mile round trip, from the visitor center to the end of Blackett's Ridge Trail, and back the same way. We stopped often to drink water that we brought with us and to take pictures.
Below is a view of Tucson looking towards downtown with the Sabino Canyon visitor center and parking lot towards the foreground.
The funny thing about going up Blackett's Ridge is that it often seems like we're close to the top, but then we find out we have a ways to go.
It's great exercise, like climbing stairs.
Semidesert grassland vegetation covers the top of the mountain.
Still more uphill hiking to go.Blackett's Ridge sits between Bear Canyon and Sabino Canyon. You can see a small bit of road that the Sabino Canyon tram goes on, way down there.
We saw these two large black birds standing on a rocky cliff. They looked like crows, but they made weird metallic sounding noises, so maybe they were ravens?
The desert spoons (Sotol) had dried blossoms
as did the century plants (Agave).
Checking out the view beyond Bear Canyon, it looks like a golf course community.
The dark wall of Bear Canyon leads to Seven Falls.
It was windy at the end of the trail on top of the mountain. A chipmunk was running around so quickly we couldn't get a picture of it. It probably comes around looking for crumbs from hikers who snack at the end of the trail.
This may be end of the trail, but not the end of the pictures. See what else we encountered in Blackett's Ridge Trail: Part 2.


Denise said...

This is breathtaking scenery and great photographs. Are you by any chance anywhere near Montezuma's Castle and Well?

Teri C said...

When I first looked at these I thought I had been on the trail until you got farther and higher and nope, haven't been on that one. Gorgeous views! Just gorgeous!

BC Doan said...

Wow...what a beautiful view, and scenery! You've documented it in a very fascinating way, Diane!

CountryDreaming said...

Tucson looks very cool from your vantage point. I also really like photos 6 and 7 showing the adventure of the uphill climb. It looks so worth it!

Gaelyn said...

Wow! Diane, sure glad we made it to the top. I'm out of breath, must have climbed a couple thousand feet up for those grand views. Sure glad we stopped for water and photos along the way. What an excellent post.
Don't leave us up there in the wind for long. Look forward to part 2.

LisaNewton said...

Wow, I love the looks of this trail, even the uphill part.

I can hardly wait for the downhill part, although it is looking a little dry, much like LA a few weeks ago.

Arvind said...

I love how you have an eye both for the grand vistas as well as for the close-ups of various living creatures. Visual treat as usual!

Martha said...

What a wonderful winter hike. You sure make Tucson look inviting to this avid hiker.