Fall hike into Sabino Canyon, anyone?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by noseoil, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I would like to do a hike into Sabino Canyon in another month or so, with any area LF's interested. Since the summer flood, it looks completely different in the upper Sabino area. The Forest Service estimates 2-3 weeks until the area is offcially open again, I'm thinking the 21st of October as the date to shoot for. Daytime temperatures should be in the mid 80's by then and the snakes should be looking for a place to sleep soon. The fall colors from the Sycamores changing should be going at this time, for anyone using E6 or C41. The area is a lush green now from our unusually wet monsoon this year and Sabino creek is running.

    The main problem could be that the hiking may get a bit difficult at some points. What was once a good system of roads and bridges, has been completely gutted by debris flows and the force of water. The images I've seen recently show scenes which are pretty much unbelieveable in their scope and magnitude. The Rattlesnake Canyon debris flow, which came down into Sabino from the north-west, was 2 1/2 miles long. Other areas have been reshaped as well. The initial hike in on the pavement will be an easy 1.1 mile walk, after that, it's hard to tell how things will look.

    Ryan, how about a scouting trip next weekend on saturday to do a recon of the area first (9/30/06)? Ria and Victor are both out of the area on vacation still, and I haven't heard from Tim P. since he left on vacation back east. Anyone who wants to come down from Phoenix or points north and east is welcome. Parking at the Visitor's center is $5 for the day, but we can meet at my house to share rides in vehicles with parking permits. Please pm me if you are interested so we can work out times and rides. Breakfast or lunch at Son's restaurant will follow. Tim Curry, Tucson, Az.
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Damn I use to lead girlscout hikes up that canyon. It would be so sad for me to see the destruction. I'd love to come down and go with you. If you just did it the weekend after. That weekend IF I go anywhere will be to San Francisco area to hit that calypso sale.
     
  3. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    I'm game. Sounds like fun.
     
  4. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    it's a ways out to commit, but I have Nov 10th off if that falls within a good time.
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I'd love to join you, if you can "tolerate" my puny 35mm.

    I'll finally get back out there from 11/12 through 11/24. Committed to doing El Tour de Tucson on Saturday the 18th. Not sure if I'd be up for a hike on the 19th given how out of shape I am (up here in Northeast US we've had a record amount of rainfall too - so haven't gotten much riding in).
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Put a really big lens on it and they either won't notice... or will be impressed :wink:
     
  7. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Great, you can help us carry gear! (just kidding here!)
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    After seeing the feedback, I've decided to move the date. The "new" date will be the following weekend (Aggie, I hope this works for you). October 28th, the last weekend in October, would be the best date. Miniature cameras are welcome, as well.

    I'm planning on a trip this weekend to scout the area. Will post more about the conditions in the canyon once I see how things look. Hopefully, will have a couple of shots to show the changes. tim

    P.S. for anyone not able to attend, the canyon is open all year.
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I'll try hard to make it. Robert up to carpooling? I'll bring the maps and read them for you.
     
  10. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Cannot make this one - but will look forward to a report back on conditions up country and perhaps some scans?

    Plan on hiking up Sabino (not sure which trail yet) when we get out there - have some house visitors who are up for it so I'm curious what the condition of the trails are.

    BTW: Is water still running in Sabino Creek? The El Tour route includes an off-bike portage through there down by Canyon Ranch Resort - though I expect things will have dried up by mid-November.
     
  11. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Water should be running into November with the summer rains we had recently.

    Quick update: On my way home yesterday evening, there was a news story on the radio from the Forest Service about Sabino. A deer was killed by a mountain lion about a mile from the visitor's center. This would have been very close to the beginning of the closure area from the flood, at the road. Most likely, it would have been one of the deer coming to water in the bottom or on its way in. The cats like to sit up on ledges and drop on prey animals. This is (I think) a narrow area where the Rattlesnake Canyon runoff has cut the pavement as it flowed into the main canyon, a natural funnel for game.

    First sighting in the area, since the problem with large cats after the fires a few years ago. They were driven down in search of food. A black bear was removed from a power pole two days ago on Nogales Highway, when it hit a transmission line and was killed by the 13,000 volts. Same thing, looking for food. It is "normal activity" for the big cats, but close to areas where people hike. Might be a good idea to stick together (at least in pairs) when shooting in the area. Don't want any unwelcome visitors under the dark cloth, too crowded and distracting. tim
     
  12. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Reminds me of the sign at the Ranger station towards the top of Mt. Lemon. It said, "Don't kick the bears!" When I asked about it, the ranger told me, "Too many people with cameras think they can get the bears to pose in a different manner if they kick them to move." I have to wonder about humans interacting with animals. For those who don't know where Mt. Lemon is, it is the Mountain right above Sabino Canyon.

    Generally if you leave the animals alone and respect their space, they leave you alone. Humans have this strange odor that they will leave you alone, but if they are really hungry, even a cat will eat a skunk. Pairs are a good idea. So is making a lot of noise.
     
  13. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Read the maps! BWahahaha, I get it. :rolleyes:

    Hey, you trying to "cull" the gathering with those Mountain Kitty reports? :smile:
     
  14. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Update from September 30

    The canyon is still as beautiful as it was, but there have been a few changes. Had to do a little bush-whacking to get back to the area I wanted to shoot, because the road is closed at mile post 1.1 by a large cut in the pavement. Actually, the first small bridge is completely gone now. Not too bad for walking, but there is some shallow water to cross in the stream. The bottom looks different, because of the huge amount of water moving in such a short time. No quick sand that I found.

    The two images are both contact prints from 4x5, 125mm lens. The "normal" image is Efke 25 on Ilford MGFB (I'll call it the first image, pale sky a year ago), the "warm" image is Efke 100 on J&C's WT paper (second image, darker sky taken on saturday). They were taken at different times of the year, as light is farther south now (look at the shadows in the spillway, the openings face south). There isn't a lot of change visible, but you will see that the spillway in the first image is working, while in the second image, it is plugged with debris. The top edge of the bridge above the spillway has been chewed up by debris in the second image and a few rocks are missing. The apparent changes are to the left of the large plant and rock column. The ground level in the second image shows more rocks and boulders and is a few feet higher now. The spillway will have to be cleaned and a lot of rocks and sand need to be cleared before any water will flow again. I guess the level to be about three or four feet higher at that spot now.

    No lions to report, plenty of fresh deer sign in the bottom, coming to water. It should be a nice walk at the end of the month. All are welcome. There are some wonderful scenes to shoot in the early fall light. Figure early morning temps to be in the 50's, with daytime highs in the 80's. tim
     
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  15. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hi tim,

    Nice pics - thanks. Boy I wish I could join you but no way I can get out until our November trip.

    I take it that with the bridge washed out they aren't running the sightseeing "buses" up the canyon road at all? Hard to imagine where they could do a turn-around.

    We usually start our hikes from the Visitors Center so not to much of a personal inconvenience. Any word on repair schedule? With the tourist "high season" starting up I imagine they'll want to get the road re-opened
     
  16. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Just a bump for tomorrow on the thread. I will be at the visitor's center at 7:30 am for anyone willing to take a walk and shoot a few pictures. Parking is $5.00, unless you have the yearly pass which covers Mt. Lemon, Sabino & Madera Canyon. Toy, miniature, small and large cameras all welcome.

    Plan on hiking shoes, but the road is open now and we won't have to bush-whack to get in any more (just opened on wednesday this week). Bring a bottle of water, some bug juice, a hat, some sun screen and a comb. The initial walk into the water area is about a mile and we can go in as far as anyone wants. I'm not going back more than two miles.

    I will have on a hat, a black back pack, a too-large tripod and a smile. tim

    P.S. Ryan, if you can make it, you can ride along in the truck if you get to the house by 7:00.
     
  17. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hope you guys have a very successful adventure and bring back some great pics. Plan on going up the Canyon one day during week of Nov. 12th with some friends who'll be visiting with us so I'm curious how things go for you.