Each visit to the area begins with (well ok, I hiked once already) the Blackett's Ridge hike out of Sabino Canyon. It begins at the edge of the parking lot and 2.8 miles later, ends at the top of the ridge. The first .75 miles is....
....flat to slightly rolling. Reaching this paved road, I hang a right and trams full of people headed to Bear Canyon pass me.
The road drops into a ravine that has two bridge crossings. At times, water flows across the pavement but while the monsoon season began strongly, it kind of fizzled so the river was dry.
Mountain Lions have been spotted recently so the signs are out. Then I find.....
....a signed junction signaling the start of the trail and the start of....
....the real climb. For the next 2 miles, the average grade is 16% but tops out at 48% in places. If I complete the hike from parking lot to top in under 60 minutes it's a good sign of my overall fitness. More than 60 minutes, a worrying indicator.
The trail turns up and steeper. I go as hard as I can with my chest heaving.
Oh geesh, a really steep section. My legs are still felling good so I'm beginning to think I have a good time going and maintain the pace.
A long slick rock section but steep.
I've seen rattlers here but can't slow down now.
Almost to the top with nice views of the Rincon Mountains to the southeast.
And there it is, a sign post indicating the top. 53:26 was my time, a personal best. Later, checking Strava I am 4th of 262 for the 2 mile climbing section so that made me happy too. Soon, I was joined by.....
....3 squirrels. The one above peers into Sabino Canyon but soon begins pestering me so I leave a chunk of apple and it....
....rushes in and grabs it. Well, got my bike fixed from Sunday's crash and will head out for a ride.