Monday, September 7, 2009

Sabino Canyon trail run

I've mapped out the trail run for the upcoming Tucson Tri Girls training camp, and today Zac and I did a practice run. There is some trail-finding required at some of the creek crossings, so I figured I'd get those out of the way now and make sure where all the turns were.

We will be doing the loop below counter-clockwise. From the parking lot we will be taking lower Bear Canyon Trail to the Sabino Lake Trail. This leads into the Creek Trail, where we will cross the creek several times. The Rattlesnake Trail takes us out of the creek and across the road, where we'll head south on the road for a short bit before joining up with the trail again. There is a bit of a climb out of the creek bed as we intersect the lower Esperero Trail and take that south for about half a mile. We will cross the main road and take the Esperero Trail all the way back to lower Bear Canyon, and back to the parking lot. Overall it will be just under 4 miles. The trail only has a few technical rocky spots, no long climbs, and some great views. It has a great mix of everything for trail running, from slickrock to sandy washes to rocks to smooth dirt. This is a good one for beginner trail runners as the trail isn't technical, and the veterans will enjoy the constant change in terrain and the scenery. I was glad I brought my camera along as the views were fantastic.

Here is our route in blue. (Click to enlarge).

Heading north on the Sabino Lake Trail. (Click any of the photos for a larger version).
Canyon walls to our left as we crossed the creek.

Lots of creek crossings on the Creek Trail.

Starting the climb out of the creek bed on the Rattlesnake Trail.

View from the intersection of Rattlesnake Trail and Esperero Trail.

Another climb on the Esperero Trail as we head back to the parking lot.

View of Sabino Canyon from Esperero Trail. You can see Phoneline Trail cutting into the side of the mountain (future trail run as that one is a bit more technical ;).

The slickrock slide as we head down Esperero Trail, with Tucson in the background.

Always a chance for wildlife encounters on the trail. As I was running, I was looking for the next turn and didn't see this Gila Monster until he jumped, opened his mouth, and hissed at me. He was not happy at how close my foot got! I took a quick picture as he wandered back into the brush. This was the biggest one I've come across out on the trails.

However, the cardboard Gila Monster at the visitor's center is ok to pet. :)

So that's it! We will be doing the run on Saturday, the first day of the Tri Girls training camp. The pace will be nice and casual, and we will wait at all of the turns so that no one gets lost or left behind. Plus, it gives us a chance to take some pics out on the trail. For those that aren't into trail running, there will be a couple of groups running the road at the same time. So there should be something available for everyone. See you at camp!

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