This past week I hiked with the group in two canyon environments east of here in the area south of Superior, Arizona. Both hikes were selected because we expected to see good fall color in the canyon interiors.
(Because I’ve described the terrain of both hikes in previous posts here, I’ll skip the usual length/elevation data.)
Wednesday we hiked Arnett Canyon. This is an essentially flat trail along Arnett Creek in the north shadow of Picketpost mountain. The scenery did not disappoint us!
Here is Picketpost as seen at the head of the canyon.
And several scenes along the route. Add your own descriptions! The colors were excellent.
On Friday we hiked a segment of the Arizona Scenic Trail which follows the Gila River northward out of the little mining town of Kelvin, AZ.
This trail, rather than follow the canyon bottom like our Wednesday hike, ascends along the south side of the canyon in a rolling route which eventually descends back down to the river at an old railroad trestle.
The autumn color here was good too, but not as intense as at Arnett canyon. Here are a few scenes from that route.
I was surprised at the prevalence of flowers along this route. Don’t know what this blue one is, but there were three or four “mini-meadows” like this along the trail. Also saw some scattered globe mallow which is typically a March arrival.
At the railroad trestle we at our lunch, and returned to the trailhead via the flatness of the railroad tracks.
Couldn’t sleep the other night so I started rereading Beyond the Wall. In the story “A walk in the desert hills” he outlines a hike of over 100 miles through south central Az. However he hid his tracks with all sorts of red herrings in the text. Not that it matters, but did anybody ever figure out exactly where that hike took place? It’s a great story. I’ve been back east for 20+ years but it only takes a few Abbey paragraphs to make me feel like I’m back in the desert.