Wednesday the hiking club drove to the Kelvin Trailhead which is a new part of the Arizona Trail. The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a continuous, 800+ mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It links deserts, mountains, canyons, communities and people. Our hike was round trip of 5.5 miles, only a small part of the trail. We headed from the RV park on US Hwy 60 East to Superior, AZ and then south on Hwy 177 then right on the Florence Kelvin Hwy to the trailhead. We had one of the largest groups so far on this hike. A total of 38 folks in 10 vehicles caravanned to the trailhead.
At the trailhead
Heading out on the trail
The trail had some ascent and many switchbacks. Along the way we saw the typical cacti, shrubs and rock formations. As we climbed on the trail the vistas were more and more beautiful. The trail also runs near the Gila River which was below us in the canyon.
Cacti and shrubs
Hikers below on the switchbacks
Getting close to the top of the climb
The Gila River below
On the drive to the trailhead we passed by an open pit copper mine. As we climbed the mountain we could see the copper mounds that had been mined and piled for transport by train.
As we hiked we came across a fairly rare sight. A Crested Saguaro cactus. This one was not as large as the one I had seen at Sabino canyon in Tucson but still impressive. (Click on photos to enlarge)
Crested Saguaro(pronounced Sa-wa-row)
Sabino Canyon Crested Saguaro
After reaching the upper portion of the trail, we descended to our destination that day. A train trestle crossing for the train tracks from the copper mine.
We stopped and had some nourishment and rested for the return hike with a twist. The twist was hiking back to the trailhead ON the train tracks.
Taking the tracks back was much flatter and about 1.5 miles shorter. You might think of it as cheating on the hike but the views from the lower level of the canyon were still impressive and gave us a different perspective. Overall it was a great hike and a good tune up for tomorrows hike to Fremont Saddle. Everyone who has been on the Fremont Saddle hike in years past talks about the view of Weaver's Needle. Here's a photo from the internet. Can't wait to get my own pictures.
Well time to prepare the water bottles, get the hiking pole out and pack my trail bag(fanny pack) with some nourishment. Had some rain today in paradise so the trail should be in great shape with less dust. Until next time.
The Master Hiker says
See you on the trail.