Diane Kandel, Publicist, RR Hiking Club.
The first hike of the season on November 7 started with a bang when a record-breaking group of 40+ hikers showed up to hike Sabino Canyon. The hikers then split into three smaller groups. The two “Recreational” hiking groups: one led by Fred Koser and one by Jim Price headed for the Phoneline trail. This trail follows the southern side of the tram road up into and along Sabino Canyon. It is an easy-to-follow trail with great views up into Sabino Canyon all along the way.
The “Cardio” group, led by Dave Anderson, headed up to Hutch’s Pool, which is long and narrow and has a waterfall at the north end. Both hikes were spectacular, and everyone enjoyed the first hike of the season.
On November 14, hikers with the Recreational group led by Allie and Karen Woodcock headed up Marcus Landslide. This is a gentle hike up an interpretive geology trail starting at the trailhead and ending beside or on top of the second largest landslide in Arizona! This hike takes you through a remote area of the McDowell Mountain Preserve with many beautiful rock formations and excellent wildflowers in the spring.
The Cardio hikers, led by Mike Campbell, hiked the Ventana Canyon trail in the Catalina Mountains. The Ventana Canyon Trail starts at Ventana Canyon Resort and climbs up to Maiden Pools. Unlike Sabino Canyon, Ventana Canyon is a beautiful canyon that is still in a natural state. As the trail enters the mouth of Ventana Canyon there is a sign informing you that you are entering a Bighorn Sheep management area. The canyon here is narrow, with steep rocky walls, and is very beautiful. The trail levels out when you reach the top of the ridge. There is a beautiful waterfall and pool area with large flat rocks for sitting and sunbathing
On November 21 the two hiking groups again went their separate ways. The Recreational group hiked a series of trails in the South Mountain: the National, Kiwanis and Pyramid. Fred Koser led this group while Jim Price took the Cardio hikers to Catalina State Park up to Romero Pools.
Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29, Margie Poplawski and Jim Price took the combined group of hikers to Oracle State Park situated in the northeastern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The park is named after the nearby town of Oracle. Oracle State Park serves as a wildlife refuge and is only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. After hiking everyone ate lunch at the nearby Patio Café. This locally owned and operated café offers a unique and varied menu, which includes their “infamous” homemade pies! It was a nice ending to a great hike!