from Arizona incredibly beautiful, wildly diverse topography state of low-level desert landscape of high mountain peaks and alpine forest ranges. More than any other, despite geological features, Arizona is widely known that many beautiful and remote rocky canyons and deep ravines holes, waterfalls and pools that are scattered throughout the state. However, what I find even more amazing is that many of these backcountry can be achieved by the "non-technical" canyon hiking trails through wild canyons, which do not require ropes and literally a day trip up to Phoenix or Tucson. Excellent late summer to early fall day trips and tours if a more exciting and challenging and extraordinary scenic day trip, followed by a mountain slide, hiking, canyoning adventure Seven cataracts and discover Willow Canyon, Tucson, Arizona.
This was the Labor Day holiday and early Sunday morning, I left Phoenix, around 6:00, heading out of the city I-10 East, Tucson and arrived by 7:30. The Ina Road exit, I turned off the highway and took a left 8 miles to the east and encountered the TLC Hiking Group, and organized Eric Kinneman, at the Westin La Paloma Resort received at 08:00. Since parking is told that this tour is limited to the trailhead, we carpool together and started a daily tour and a trip to the east of Sunrise Blvd. 8:25.
The beautiful drive across the northern stretches of Sunrise Blvd Tucson and beautiful rolling foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains have always been my favorite. The Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson highest mountains reaching up to 9157 feet to the very top of Mount Lemmon. To get there and to reach the trailhead our tour, we zig-zag zagged through Tucson, drive east of Sunrise Blvd Swan Road, turn right (south), the River Road, turn left (east), then a right Sabino Canyon Road, turn left Tanque Verde road to the Catalina Highway and headed reached East Tanque Verde road years, known as the "Mount Lemmon Scenic byway" and then turned left again.
This was about four miles or so after making a left onto the Catalina Highway to enter the Coronado National Forest and start winding ascent up the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains. Although it's been a long time since I last went there, still I amazed at how nice and beautiful this drive is. Immediately the head up to the starting height of 3000 feet, the view breathtaking roller coaster every hairpin bend and offers a new and amazing rock formations and beautiful canyon vista in the distance. If you want to stop and take a lot of pictures, as I always like to do, you will find many opportunities to do so because this drive offers many vista points to enjoy along the way. However, around mile marker 5, just past the Molino Canyon View, there is a toll station where you need to purchase a $ 5 day use Coronado National Forest recreation pass, if you plan on stopping anywhere on the drive. We bought passes for daily use, a vehicle, and left for three more miles until we reached the Seven Cataracts Vista Point, just past Thimble Peak Vista and roughly around mile marker 8 and 1/3 of the way up Mount Lemmon.
We pulled into the Seven Cataracts Vista point, and we trailhead, parked and started our days hiking and canyoning adventure in 09:00. The view looking down below Willow Canyon absolutely beautiful, but incredibly steep, too! Immediately, from the beginning of the fall of the Willow Canyon on this "day use" trail it was intense, to say the least. It is estimated that roughly a 1000-1300 foot descent down the 60% climb all the loose dirt, gravel, stones, each one of us had to talk straight to the ground in our "butts", and part of the section, slide down a total of approximately ¼ mile, until he puts it down to the bottom. We see the site was also very exciting and very fun! However, this "unofficial" trail, especially experienced canyoneers, has been very hard, some even insidious and dangerous, so I would not recommend this tour on your own, unless you are an experienced hiker canyon, canyon or a seasoned tour guide with you.
was once all safely slid our way down and reached the bottom and after a quick group photo, Eric began leading the group through a canyoning exploration of deeper Willow Canyon, scrambling, rock hopping and Class 3 climbing section running water below. Really beautiful and spectacular scenery all the way too! We continued around the ¼ mile, which reached a very nice runner falls and enjoyed the opportunity to cool off, relax, and enjoy the peaceful tranquility and beauty of this remote and little-known wilderness canyon. Meanwhile, Eric and several other adventurous members traveled to the other third ¼ mile, and after several scrambling, boulder hopping and climbing 3-4 in the division, reaching a beautiful 100 feet under water, and a large swimming hole deep enough said that even a 10-foot jump off a cliff, they could not hit bottom! Wonderful!
After about an hour break, we decided that it's time to start making our way back. Now it is time for the most challenging part of the Canyoneering adventure, so back! So we started the trek back to Willow Canyon same way we came, scrambling, boulder hopping, wading pools, then climb all the way back into the water. It was only a short period of time, in minutes and although we were all back safely, and that was the base of the hill was originally "slipped away" in the past. It was here that we met up again Eric, then broke out between two groups. You can choose either to the same location ascension has come down to 60% climb all the loose dirt and gravel, which Eric said that all three keeps up, slide one or two back. Or my friend Dan decided it looked as if it took a little lower left, it will be easier to climb straight up the stones and rocks and all the way to the top. So I, along with several other members, Dan will hand over the lead and feet, we climbed it slowly and carefully, section by section, until it reached safely back up to the top. Wow, me and someone who is afraid of heights and experienced climber, this is a challenge, but a lot of fun and incredible workout too!
After returning to the top, and the Seven Cataracts Vista parking lot waiting for the last members returned safely and 12:15 we got back to our cars to drive the other way up to Mount Lemmon iron door restaurant for lunch. The views are spectacular along the way again as you make your way to the elevation 5000 feet up in the mountains Lemmon Sky Valley, elevation of roughly 8,200 feet. Although the signs of the devastating 2003 Aspen fire was noticed that he was still very nice, and the temperature at this time of day, low and middle 80s and very cold and refreshing.
However, the 2.5-hour wait at the restaurant because it was a weekend and have a holiday, we decided, it is best to turn around and return to the bench.
arrived back in Tucson about 14:00 and having a great lunch in a small restaurant called Renee's Organic Oven Tanque Verde Road, we returned to the Westin La Paloma Resort 4:00 where we who just came off the day, headed back to Phoenix from there return home again by about 6:00.
all this exploration and waterfall hiking adventure truly extraordinary Canyoneering TLC Hiking Group, carefully researched, well planned and thought out to the last detail Eric Kinneman himself. It had it all, incredible, exciting, but also very difficult. I think that this tour is best summed though Eric Kinneman her own words, quoted, "The Seven Cataracts Falls Adventure Tour is an amazing tour, I highly recommend people buy. This will test your fears, you get an incredible workout and guides you through some magnificent canyons, and a 100-foot waterfall and swimming hole, rarely seen by anyone. What more can one ask for! "