Fun Hike in the Tortolitas
Each of the mountain ranges that surround our area seem to have a different look and feel to them. What I like about the Tortolitas is the climbs are not knee buckling like Wrightson, Rincon, Pusch, Finger Rock, etc... The peaks of course are lower with the top being around 5400' of elevation. So, parking at the Wild Burrow parking lot at Dove Mountain, we are good to go, headed toward the Ritz Carlton before making a left and ascending the Hotel Spur trail.
It's a good climb up to the Upper Javelina trail which is followed for a bit before getting on the Wild Mustang trail. The trail drops some before a final ascent to....
….a nice overlook. Amy examines the boards that illustrate distant peaks and mountain ranges. I just rest on a bench. The climb to this point is about 1.4 miles, having an average grade of 10% and gaining almost 800'.
Check out this lizard that paused so Amy could take its picture. The lizards/chameleons were darting every which way in today's sun and heat. OK, the only downside to hiking in this area is you never really get high enough to escape the desert heat. With the high today forecast to be in the upper 90's, the back end of our hike was rather hot.
Great views of the Santa Ritas with Mount Wrightson and Hopkins visible. The climbing moderates but still mostly a climb.
I had intended to reach a left branching trail marked by a cairn at about mile 3 so we could visit Capstone Peak but mid hike I changed my mind. Not sure why I changed my mind as a visit to the peak is worth the effort
I think partly, I prefer loop hikes over out and back hikes. Considering we had fluids for about 9 miles, I eschewed the Peak route and continued on the Wild Mustang trail. Looking back, I like this image of the trail falling away and it's about at this point that a long descent begins.
The cactus is blooming with some spectacular white flowers atop the saguaros.
We eventually drop into the above, sandy wash via the Wild Burrow trail and then follow it down one level then another. The final 1 mile is kind of boring though, just walking the wash. Along the way we.....
….spot this plant. Something, presumably a bird, is building a nest in what is not a very stable base. We finished with.....
….8 miles and 1500' of climbing. Seemed like a lot more climbing then that.
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