Began the day driving through for a breakfast sandwich as a hawk dined on another bird, nearby. Headed to the west side of the Tucson Mountains, arriving at a trailhead at the top of Sarasota Road. We were headed for the pass between Big and Little Cat Mountains. Reaching a signed junction, we go left and visited....
....the famous buried vehicle. Continued counterclockwise around Little Cat, staying on trail until it topped out.....
.....at a ridge and then went off trail to our left and began a fairly steep ascent.
Ugh, evil looking things that are plentiful in the area. The dreaded Jumping Cholla.
It's not a long hike to the top of Little Cat but once up there, it's a beautiful view. It's fun to top along the ridge line with a several hundred foot drop to the west.
In the distance is Big Cat Mountain. I've not climbed that yet but pretty sure it's on my schedule for next week.
We were going to return the way we came, as I once did before but as we descended the ridge, hopping among the boulders, we spotted an opening that appeared to allow a descent down the west side. What the heck, if we get cliffed out we'll just climb back but while the descent was very steep, we made it. I became rather cautious when we passed the skin of a rattlesnake. Below is....
....the route we took. Finished with only 2.5 miles but a very fun hike.