Saturday, February 7, 2015

Walnut Canyon trail. 02-07-15



We went to Casa Grande on Thursday so we could locate the Radiologist lab there. I needed to make an appointment for an ultrasound of the aneurism repair I had a  year ago. It has to be done every six months. We put the address in our GPS and it took us right to the lab.
I made an appointment for next Thursday at 7:00 am. That means we will have to get up early because Casa Grande is about a half hour way.
From the lab we went to a Safeway in town that had Patti’s bank in it so she could take care of some business. Since we were in Safeway we did some grocery shopping.


Sue and Denis arrived on Wednesday and are staying at the same park as Suzanne and Roy.

Denis wanted to lead a trip to Walnut Canyon so we all met at the 76 station in Florence.
After topping off the tanks we headed north from Florence to Florence junction where we turned east on highway 60 and drove to the town of Superior.


Here we turned onto highway 177 south and drove for about ten miles to the turn off to Walnut Canyon.

Just after turning off we stopped to air down.


After airing down we followed the wide sandy road east. As we were driving along I kept looking at these rocky cliffs to our right and was hoping that the trail would take us close to them.


After a couple of miles we came to an intersection where we turned right into a wash that went into a canyon between the cliffs.


We drove along for a while and the canyon walls closed in on the trail.


There were several ATV’s stopped in the canyon. When we got to them we stopped to see what they were doing. One of the people told us that there were some Bighorn’s high on the cliff side.


It took us a little while to spot them but once we saw one


we started noticing several more.
Patti got lots of great shots of the sheep with the zoom on her Fujifilm camera.

Here are two sheep walking along a ledge.


Here is a shot of a ewe and ram walking along the face of a cliff.


This ram just posed for some great skyline pic.


This is the last shot. Here are a two rams and a ewe on the cliff face.


There are just to many great pictures of these sheep to put them all on this post.

After we left the sheep to their cliff walking we continued along the wash.


We wandered along the wash enjoying the scenery and the different cacti.





I am not sure if these are Cholla fruit or new leaves.


Eventually we began climbing out of the canyon on a very rocky switchback trail.


Starting down after going over a high pass we have this view to the south.


We are high in the mountains and have great views of the rocky peaks.


Here is a close up of the same peak. Notice how the layers of rock have been bent and twisted as they were pushed up.


Eventually we found a spot for lunch with views of the peaks.


After lunch we continued along the trail enjoying the views and the strange rock formations.


Eventually we dropped into another canyon and followed it to a turn off up another wash.


We drove in the wash for about half a mile and it became pretty rough so we stopped to try and figure out if we were on the correct trail or not.
After commiserating for a while it was decided to back track and see if we might have missed a turn off. We drove around for a while. At one point we came to the Gila River.


As it turned out the wash was indeed the correct trail so we followed it.
After another missed turn


we got back on the right trail


and followed it back through the sheep canyon to the sandy road and eventually got back to the highway and headed for home.

What a beautiful ride! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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