Hiking Tucson: Blackett’s Ridge Trail

Blackett's Ridge 1Where: Sabino Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains
When: February
Fee: $5/day
Trail: Blackett’s Ridge Trail
Distance: ~5-6 mi

After getting lost in the desert the last I attempted Blackett’s Ridge, I returned to Sabino Canyon determined to get it right.  I carefully read the directions in my Tucson Hiking Guide (Betty Leavengood) and consulted the map given to me at the gate.  I followed Bear Canyon Road up to the Phone Line Trail and then veered off at the Blackett’s Ridge trailhead.  So far so good, but the Hiking Gods had another surprise in store for me:  I’d hoped to hike up and back in about 2h (really more like 1.5 since I got to the Canyon late) since I had a phone date with my advisor back in Connecticut.  Blackett’s Ridge is often described as a “conditioning hike,” but I didn’t really understand what that meant until I hit the 45 minute mark, breathless, soaked in sweat and realizing that I was never going to make it up and back in two hours.  Luckily, I still had reception in that part of the mountains, so I slowed my pace (I was literally hopping/jogging up these big rocks) and decided I’d call my advisor from the top.

When I finally did make it to the top, I collapsed in a heap on a nice, sunny rock and caught my breath before calling my advisor.  She wasn’t there, so I left a message, and didn’t realize until I was halfway down the mountain again that all those alerts about school being canceled because of snow that I’d been ignoring probably meant that my advisor wasn’t in her office.  I thought about emailing her the pictures attached to the post, but I thought that might be taking it too far.

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One Response to Hiking Tucson: Blackett’s Ridge Trail

  1. kim says:

    When I was in Arizona for a med school rotation I did a lot of solo hiking too and also got lost on one, where I was pretty much all by myself and near panicked about how to get down. Luckily I finally ran into the one other person hiking the trail. I love Arizona, in a very particular way. Glad you’re having so may experiences! I miss you!

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