Table Mountain is a unique formation that is best viewed from the south. Rather than a pointed peak, the top is a gentle slope that ends at a sheer rock wall that is several hundred feet tall (see final image below for the perspective from he west view). I started on my least favorite trail, Pima Canyon and soon the table emerged above a ridge.
Unusual that a Road Runner pauses so I have time to take a pic. They are true to their stereotype of a fleet bird.
At almost the 3 mile point on this rocky, rough surfaced trail, I reach "Maiden Pools". Note the distinctive white line running through the rock. Just beyond this point.....
....I reached a side canyon where I left the trail to begin a fun bushwhack. Note the short, flat grassy line at the top. That is the base of Table Mountain.
Rising out of the canyon, scrambling over and around boulders, cactus, etc... I paused to look from where I had come. Three hikers had been resting there when I passed and I could hear them talking as they watched me climb. They had encouraged me not to go off trail but the snakes are in their dens, coming out rarely and I figured I'd make enough noise to scare the four legged creatures away.
Higher yet, taking another look down canyon and then a relief....
....an extended boulder field. The travel is still slow but at least no pointy things stabbing me.
How about that, a large pile of rocks to indicate that point at which I should leave the canyon.
Looking back, I had a steep way on my return and it would not be quick. I had gotten off to a late start (laundry to clean hiking clothes) so was 90 minutes behind schedule. Threefore, rather than curve to my right to hike the recommended east side of Table, I struck straight ahead for what I thought would be a ridge that would overlook to the west and Oro Valley.
The views were great and the slope moderated but in that grass were an abundant supply of shin daggers, a stiff and sharp pointed plant that digs into your ankles.
Looking across the Pima Canyon to the southeast.
While walking through the grass, I came upon a small area where the grass was flattened. I wondered how recently something had been laying there. Finally, I reached the ridge and to my right was Table and to my left was....
....Bighorn Mountain. A summer fire had burned the slope of Bighorn and it would have been an easy hike to the summit but it was too late in the day to attempt. Being out here after dark is just a terrible idea, alone.
At the ridge, I found a break that perhaps could be exploited to hike down the other side.
The above is looking at the mountain range from the west in Oro Valley. I was standing left of center between Table on the left and Bighorn on the right. I finished with 8 miles and around 3500' of climbing. Good day.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.