Here is a second series of photographs from my Milagrosa to Agua Caliente Canyon loop hike. I was amazed to see water flowing near the top of Agua Caliente (second photograph) even though we had received so little moisture for most of the winter.
Looking down Milagrosa Canyon, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (16″x33″)
Falls in Agua Caliente, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (12″x18″)
In March, I hiked up Milagrosa Canyon (I have posted climbing photographs from this canyon in the past). I exited the top of Milagrosa by scrambling up a series of stepped dry waterfalls. I then picked my way across a hill through the Sonoran Desert until I hit a trail that dropped back down into the head of Agua Caliente Canyon. After a brief swim at a lunch time pool, I boulder-hopped down Agua Caliente to where the two canyons join near the road. As I was sliding from boulder to boulder, countless thumb-sized, camouflaged desert toads hopped out of the way of my feet. Overall, the day was at least an 8/10 stars for fun- it felt rugged without ever being more than three hours from a trailhead.
Saguaro Cacti Marching into Milagrosa, Milagrosa Canyon, AZ (14″x16″)
Agua Caliente Pools, Agua Caliente Canyon, AZ (16″x42″)
The view of the south-facing canyon walls at Milagrosa Canyon- jumbled giant boulders on the canyon floor, cirrus clouds above, giant saguaros to the sides, and interesting textures on the rock face opposite.
An unseasonably balmy February has provided wonderful climbing and hiking opportunities on Mt Lemmon. The mid-morning walk out to Milagrosa Canyon last weekend bordered on uncomfortably warm, but the climbing area was nested in an east-west canyon, and the walls provided shade until mid-afternoon. I spent part of the day climbing and part of the day just sitting, enjoying the hovering humming birds and the canyon wren calls. I also brought along my camera and tripod and took a few panoramas of the climbing area and the canyon walls. Here is a vertical panorama of a 5.8+/5.9 climb, Valentine Arete. I also took a vertical panorama of a large saguaro in the canyon and provided both a color and a black and white version (side by side, below).