Forest of Saguaros

Forest of Saguaros

A few years ago we visited Catalina State Park in the spring with the intention of taking the Canyon Loop Trail, but the rushing water in the Sutherland Wash discouraged us from attempting to cross either end of this loop trail. Yesterday there was no water in the wash. The trailhead elevation is 2,700 feet. We started the counterclockwise hike with the steep initial climb on the Romero Canyon Trail. It soon leveled off and we were surrounded with Sonoran Desert terrain at the foot of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains. After 0.6 miles we junctioned with the Canyon Loop Trail which descended with a 50 foot drop into the mesquite woodlands of Romero Canyon. After 0.9 miles the trail joined with the Sutherland Trail for 0.8 miles back to the trailhead through a forest of healthy saguaros. We completed our morning trek with the 1 mile nature trail where a perky roadrunner crossed our path. We returned to Phoenix using the Pinal Pioneer Parkway, a 42-mile two-lane highway that crosses an untouched section of the Sonoran Desert between Oracle Junction and Florence. We stopped at the Tom Mix Memorial where the cowboy movie actor died on October 12, 1940. The memorial reads: “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterizations and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the Old West in the minds of living men.”

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