The Molino Basin Campground is closed during the summer, which I should have taken as a sign. This must be an amazing trail in the winter. In the summer… it was hot and sticky and gross for the first mile. There are a few scattered trees offering a (very) brief respite, but otherwise the trail is completely exposed.
On my first hike, I went south on the Arizona Trail, starting at the campground. I thought it was just called Molino Basin Trail, but have since learned that, yes, it was a part of MBT, but the trail is actually the Arizona Trail, which starts in Mexico and ends in Utah – 800 miles long. It’s kind of insane.
This week I hiked to the next trailhead before turning around because next week, I want to start where I left off. I’m interested in seeing how much of the trail I can do – piecemeal, of course. As long as I bring enough water and slather on enough sunscreen, I’ll be fine. 🙂
Water consumed: just shy of 3 litres
Hours hiked: 2.75
Wildlife Spotted: bees, butterflies (black, orange, and yellow), smoky grouse, & white-tailed deer
Elevation at Start: 4370 ft
Smells: Arid, occasionally putrid when the trail dipped into the basin, very briefly pine
Sounds: The wind through long grass, the drone of cars on the road, which I never really left far behind on this hike, screams of birds, and the rattle of a certain kind of bug that had me looking for snakes more than once.
I decided to head a bit further up the mountain to find a cooler and shadier hike this week. The basin was all well and good, but it was also a little – okay a lot – exposed. Only a few miles up the road there are plenty of pines to cool things down.
I’ve started up the Green Mountain Trail before, but we only made it a mile or so in because we weren’t prepared for the constant uphill. This time, I knew what to expect and therefore savored each precious flat run that much more.
Technically, you’re supposed to start at the top of the trail and work your way down, but I adhere to the rule of Uphill First, because there’s nothing like breezing through several miles straight downhill then realizing now you have to go straight back up.
It was a quiet, clear morning, with excellent views of the city and Thimble Peak once I got high enough.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Water consumed: just shy of 3 liters
Hours hiked: 2.5
Wildlife Spotted: a few Mexican Jays, several squirrels, and so. many. lizards
Elevation at Start: 5830 ft
Smells: Mostly pine, some sand and sunscreen
Sounds: The drone of the road for a little while, then bees and flies and the incessant soft rustle of pine needles.
We won’t know whether or not we’re making a very big move for another month. That’s four weeks of not being able to plan, not being able to have anything solid, of drifting – but it is still four weeks of life. I need to take advantage of that, of every moment we have left in this gorgeous desert.
Hence my new weekly goal: going for a new hike in the Sonoran Desert each week. And not just that, but bringing my camera along.
I love taking pictures, but aside from a few here and there for friends, I just… haven’t been. So this is a three-fold goal of getting out of the house, exploring new places, and practicing my photography skillz.
This week I picked Molino Basin and a portion of the Arizona Trail. I should clarify that my goal isn’t to hike these to completion, but to hike until I’m halfway through my camelpak – which holds 3 liters of water – and turn around. So I won’t usually make it more than a few hours. Still – it was a gorgeous hike.