We mostly hung out around the campground this weekend. Tom and Nicolas got started on the final step of waxing the RV, while I entertained myself by watching the hummingbirds feeding on the lupine on our site.
By Sunday, the cooler temperatures had moved east, and we were firmly back in the 70s . . . with increasing temperatures expected all week.
We decided to take the truck out for a drive to the north end of the park and hike the Pipeline Canyon Trail. Last time, the boys took bikes and I walked the southern half of the trail, so this time we decided to drive to the north trailhead and hike south to the midpoint and back, a total of just over 2 miles, but without too much elevation change.
We parked at the Cottonwood Day Use Area at the trailhead – we were the only vehicle there -- and set out on the trail.
It was a beautiful day for a hike; we couldn’t believe there was nobody else there!
The boys took the lead, and we quickly put the parking lot behind us!
As with any hike in the desert, there were plenty of hazards,
but the trail is nicely maintained and fairly easy to walk along.
Bryce has no fear of cactii . . . in fact, he dares them to stick him!
Nicolas says “Oww! Even the trees have pickers!”
From the north end of the trail, you are already almost at the top of the mountain, and after a short climb at the beginning of the trail, it’s mostly gradual up and down along the ridge until you reach the halfway point.
There are lots of Palo Verde trees along the trail,
Soon we reached the halfway point, and stopped for a rest on the bench there.
Bryce took the camera from me and snapped some pictures of Tom and I . . . see, I really was there!
From here we had another great view of the lake,
and a field of teddy bear cholla.
We could have continued along the trail, dropping down to the water and back up the other side of the canyon, but we decided to skip all that elevation change and just head back.
These guys didn’t mind – they were ready to go home for dinner!
As we made our way back to the truck,
we continued to admire the view and the wildlife around us.
Saguaros – both young and old.
Almost back to the trailhead, we were startled by some snorting from the brush – it turns out we weren’t alone afterall!
This guy kept his distance and tried to stay out of sight behind the Palo Verde!
Once we got back to the truck and headed out of the park, we found a family of donkeys on the road . . . these guys weren’t quite as skittish!
It was a beautiful day – perfect for a nice hike in the desert!