Hiking Tucson: Saguaro National Park

It seems the one activity I’ve been able to do on a fairly regular basis since arriving in Tucson is hiking.  Tucson is surrounded on all four sides by mountains, and winter/spring are the perfect seasons to go and explore the desert.  I did my first Tucson hike with E at Saguaro National Park, which is pretty close to where my sister lives:

Saguaro Hike 1Where: Saguaro National Park East (Rincon Mountains)
When: January
Fee: $5/person
Trail: Bridal Wreath Falls and Douglas Spring Trail
Total Miles: ~10 mi

This was a pretty chill hike for us.  Some elevation change, but nothing extremely difficult.  The trail is well marked and most of the time you’re walking on packed dirt, although we did have to schlep through the sand while crossing a few washes.  The main difficulty was the lack of shade/cover, which I’ve discovered is a unique challenge to desert hiking.  We followed the Douglas Spring Trail (trailhead entrance on Speedway) to Bridal Wreath Falls (no water, even in January) and then double-backed to the fork and hiked toward Douglas Spring Campground.  Our goal was to make it all the way to the campground, but we were running short on time, so we found a nice rock, had some lunch, got engaged* and then hiked back the way we came.

Saguaro Hike 2*For those of you interested in the story:  We did a long hike in Santa Fe and I was following E, I could see him doing this thing with his hands that I know means he’s obsessing about something and is gesticulating to himself to stop.  I teasingly asked if he was getting ready to propose and he laughed and teased me back that if he was, I’d just ruined it.  He didn’t ask on that hike, so when I saw him doing the same thing with his hands on our Tucson hike, I thought about teasing him again and then decided not to, just in case he wasn’t entirely joking in Santa Fe.  When we stopped for lunch, I got a tupperware container full of food and a box with a ring in it.  He had the ring made by a woman in San Francisco (Okomido), using the diamond and gold from my great-grandmother’s ring.  My fingers were too swollen from the hike to put in on then, but it fit after some rest and hydration.  No official date, but I am super stoked to get to walk along side this man for the rest of our lives.

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