Jan. 26, Wed. When preparing to hike in the mountains – pack a light heart. The hike in Madera Canyon indeed had us hiking in the forested canyon mountains. The English name is “Lumber Gorge” & is on the northwestern face of the Santa Rita Mountains with Mt. Baldy rising to 11, 409 feet. Such an unexpected landscape in southern AZ. Our group was smaller this time. It was also several degrees colder at the higher elevation of the canyon, but we soon warmed up as the sun got higher and we exerted ourselves. One group took the Nature Trail, 3.3 miles, and the other group took the Bog Springs trail, 3.4 miles. The nature trail wound around the lower part of the mountains with rock formations towering above, lush with trees and under a nice blue sky. We walked among the cool shade of the trees and had a couple of views of the Tucson valley in the distance. It was a nice change from the typical desert. The Bog Springs trail was a bit more challenging because it was steeper as it went up and over a ridge. Those of us a little afraid of heights and steep narrow trails, opted to take the easier hike. Resting after we came out of the wooded trail, the group opted to head back to the parking lot via the road instead of returning the way we came. Taking the road gave us the chance to see what another part of the canyon looked like with a Bed & Breakfast, a few scattered mountain homes, & a birding plus a gift shop area. The 2nd group finished their hike back at the parking lot shortly after the 1st group. It was just us and nature on another beautiful day for a hike.
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