Our group gathered at the top of Sabino Canyon Road, 2 of us arriving via the shuttle, all others by walking the 4 miles of road (for the record, I rode). After ascending a modest .9 miles, the Sabino Canyon Trail is flat to rolling, a pleasant departure from our recent hikes.
We reached the West Fork trail, turned left and continued on the easy to follow trail, crossing a weak flow of water before reaching.....
.....a incongruous spot in the Catalinas, Hutch's Pool. What a magnificent location. The usually white sandy beach has turned into a grey sandy beach, showing the effect of run-off from the burn area. Three back packers were enjoying a swim so we moved upstream.....
....to take a snack break. I found a comfortable shady spot and was enjoying the pause but then noticed that with the reduced water flow, the other side could be reached so....
....hopped across some boulders and explored a little.
Amazing how a few trees, survive the rush of water during an active monsoon season.
Our break was well deserved as we had maintained a 2.7mph average, arriving at the pool in about 1:35. Knowing the shuttle arrived at the top of Sabino Canyon Road every hour, at the bottom of the hour, I was keen to not miss the 1:30pm pick-up.
One of our group, Susan, was some how enjoying the snow melt fed pool. That would be way too cold for me. We put our gear on, walked to the beach, gathered Susan and began our return.
There has been enough regrowth of grass and some plant life that the burn area is no longer so obvious. I was glad Sabino Basin, shown above, was largely untouched by the fire.
The scenery, always so beautiful.
Eventually, I could see the Phoneline Trail which parallels the road. Checking the time, we were in good shape and....
....arrived 15 minutes early. Alas, there were no spots on the full shuttle for anyone but those who had previously purchased a ticket. Although, at no time did anyone ask to look at mine or the ticket of anyone else. I finished with 8+ miles and 1200' of climbing. The others who walked, very fit hikers all, would have added almost an extra 8 miles.