My week away saw the lingering late summer heat swept from the region. It was actually under 60 degrees for the start of our dawn hike in the Tucson Mountains to Golden Gate Peak.
Nine of us followed a flat to gently rolling trail. We would cover 5 miles of this before reaching the base of the peak and then a tough, off trail hike to the top.
A Crested Saguaro in a sea of cactus.
The peak comes into view. We would climb approximately 1400' in less than a mile so kind of steep and the traction was difficult.
Some where in there is the route as we climb but the effort is rewarded with.....
....great views including the road over Gates Pass, far below us now.
The Santa Catalinas came into view in the distance.
I reached the top of a ridge and was disheartened to discover, it was not the peak. I plowed on. Winds were strong today and grew in strength as we rose in elevation, of course.
Awesome views from the peak but the wind was gusting above 50mph so I.....
....hunched behind a boulder to sign the trail register I found in a bottle. Soon, the others....
...joined me, taking the obligatory images. We stayed briefly and began the 6 mile return where several times....
...we were passed by people riding mountain bikes. Easily the most ridable trail I have hiked. Finished with just under 12 miles and 2200' of climbing. Good hike.