Rincon Mountains, East of Tucson
May 19-22, 2006

Participants

Dave O'Brien
Jason Barnes
Jani Radebaugh
Catherine Neish
Oleg Abramov
Colin Dundas
Ann Revill
Delphine Perrodin

Description

This was a 4-day backpacking trip in the Rincon mountains east of Tucson. We drove around to the east side of the mountains to start at the Miller Creek trailhead, and came out back on the Tucson side at the Douglas Springs trailhead. We started at around 4000 feet elevation, reached a maximum of over 8000, and came out around 2500 feet, so there was a lot of up and down. Because of that, we hiked in everything from hot, low desert to nice, cool pine forests. Since there was only guaranteed water at the night 2 campsite, we had to carry at least 8 liters per person, which is damn heavy. Some of us, myself included, hiked to the top of Rincon Peak, and some others hiked to the top of Mica Mountain and/or Tanque Verde Peak as well. Oleg was the only one to summit all three, I believe. Enjoy the photos!

Photos

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Packing up and getting ready to go at the Miller Creek trailhead.
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Pictures from the hike up to our campsite at Happy Valley Saddle
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Our campsite for the first night at Happy Valley Saddle
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From the campsite, some of us packed up day-packs and continued up to Rincon Peak, which was another 2500 feet or so of climbing
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Giant rock pile at the top of Rincon Peak. I made sure to put one on it myself.
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Colin, Catherine and me at the peak
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Views from the top
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Oleg preparing a snack of crab and caviar at the summit
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Heading off on the second morning
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Looking back across the saddle at Rincon Peak
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Our night 2 campsite, Manning Camp, was at 8000 feet, so we were heading through pine trees to get there
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There was supposed to be water at Manning Camp, but the faucet we found wasn't working
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Worried, we thought we might have to filter water from some of the horse troughs like this one. Note the dead squirrel. We decided to look around a bit more.
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A sign said that there was a pond and a stream. I hiked down to the stream, which was dry, and then we went up to the pond, which was less than appetizing.
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Just down from the pond, fortunately, was a series of rock pools that were fairly clean.
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With the aid of a few portable water filters, we were all set with water for the rest of the trip. It was a lot better than this water that we had on one of my Grand Canyon hikes.
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An interesting spiny toad at our campsite
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Getting ready to leave on the morning of day 3
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Pictures from the hike to our next campsite
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Tucson off in the distance
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Taking a break at the halfway point of day 3. It actually got cloudy and sprinkled a bit. We didn't see any lightning, but it started several fires in the Tucson area.
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Day 3 campsite at Douglas Spring
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Visitor to our day 3 campsite. I was the first to see him as we were lying/sitting around relaxing, and I belive the first thing I said was "holy shit Jason, there's a big fucking snake right by your feet!" Jason, channeling instincts honed by 3 million years of evolution, instantly sprang away from it. It's an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (its actual official name) and was about 3-4 feet long.
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The snake slowly wandered through the campsite as we watched it, eventually slithering off through a wash and into some brush
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Anti-snake precautions
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What I saw when we woke up at 4 am to begin our hike out. We were at low elevation and would be hiking even lower, so beating the heat was important. The bright 'star' towards the left is Venus
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Sunrise
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Pictures from the hike out
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The end!