That is a very ominous sight, smoke hanging over the Catalinas. Fortunately, rather than a spreading fire, it was a prescribed burn of wood piles.
Our group of 10, descend from Reddington Road to Tanque Verde canyon. The plan was to go up canyon to a beautiful falls and visit the famous Nudist Beach above the falls. Then we would reverse course. These boulder hopping "hikes" are always great fun. The challenge is not the distance but the route finding and navigating around, under and over boulders and walls that fill the canyon.
We pass the signage that alerts us of what is to come. The morning though is way too cold for naked people to be sunning themselves on the beach.
We reach the falls but the water flow is way down, signaling the snow pack above is almost gone.
To reach the top of the falls a wall on the right side must be climbed. It's a challenge for most, including me. In these situations, I'm always glad I was gifted with long arms and legs.
We reach the beach but part of our party stay on the opposite side, fruitlessly looking for an alternative crossing. Note the size of the boulders. Would hate to be in here during a seismic event! Eventually we regroup and decide to explore a bit farther up canyon. I've never pursued this option, always turning around at the beach.
I was surprised at how much more of the canyon is available for hiking. Eventually we decided to turn around but I'll come back soon and find out how far one can go. The texture and colors of the rock are amazing.
Occasionally we'd encounter small patches of sand but that was rare. Once back at the nudist beach, we discovered....
....a couple of hula hoops. Lorna, on the left, lacked the moves to keep her hoop above her waist while Hillary was capable. Then it was back to the previously climbed wall for....
....the descent. When down climbing, we could not see the small ledge nor know how far we have to stretch to reach it. One of my many, many good qualities is caring for my fellow hikers so I was quick to assist anyone who needed help. Yes, if one was to give me a nickname, I certainly qualify for "Mr Considerate." :).
We reached the point where we entered the canyon but continued down canyon as far as we could. First timer, Gina on the right, pointing to some feature. I usually pluck one or two newbies from our wait list to give them the opportunity to check us out. We've found some really enjoyable personalities....ok, a couple of really odd ones too but not many.
We couldn't quite reach the point where the water tumbles over a cliff, creating the Lower Falls, which we visited a few weeks ago. We ran into a guy who told us about a route that bypasses this section and will bring you to the point directly above the falls. That too must be checked out in the future. Finished with 2.4 miles and 500' of climbing. Fun day with a good group.