Hike Charouleau Gap
As I was riding around the Catalina area last week, I noticed what appeared to be a huge, half buried egg in the foothills just below Samaniego Ridge. Slick rock! I love scrambling on that so I did some research and discovered the best way to get in close proximity would be to follow the Charouleau Gap "road". The above sign says all you need to know about the conditions. I welcomed walking, no matter how rough, a wide road rather than a narrow trail.
I've circled in red my destination. It looked a lot more interesting when viewed from the west where I first noticed it.
Amazing how frequently I see a bird's nest in a tangle of cactus.
Like I said, easy to follow was the road. The road wound in and out of washes, climbed a couple of ridges but always gaining on that rock.
Expanses of rock began to appear and you can see black tire marks on this wall as it was part of the road.
Higher I climbed and now had views of the Saddlebrook community just north of the town of Catalina.
Getting closer. From previously looking at a map, I knew at some point, I would have to leave the road and go cross country.
A cow with horns. I kept a wary eye on this guy. Too many unpleasant encounters with cows over the years for an unknown reason. Soon, I go off the road and wind my way through fairly heavy growth for about 400 years and then....
…..climb aboard! Hiking up this steep and very long slope that continued to wind around was fun.
The slope facing west curved steeply down so I could not approach it as if it were a ledge. The surface was crumbly in places and if I slipped, there would be no stopping so I kept back.
I reached the top but one more obstacle, a 6' rock wall. I found a break in it on the left, climbed up and....
….discovered someone had wedged a Srixon golf ball into a crevice. Guess I'm not the first to visit this cool place.
While the shape is an oval from the west, once on top, I can see how the formation has a long tail that curves to the east. I ate a snack and enjoyed the magnificent views before making the 3.5 mile trek back to the parking area. There.....
….a couple were preparing to travel the road via a different mode of transportation. A dry front moved through today and the temps will drop from mid 80's into the low 70's for a day or two.
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