Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pipeline Canyon–Take 2

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.

Little green hummingbird





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.

Castle Hot Springs Road

We drove north on Castle Hot Springs Road and re-entered the park at the north entrance.  DSC_0014


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!

Lake Pleasant from Pipeline Canyon

We didn't see anybody else on the trail

The boys took the lead, and we quickly put the parking lot behind us!

Looking back at the picnic area


As with any hike in the desert, there were plenty of hazards,

Don't mess with this cactus!

Teddy Bear Cholla


Barrel Cactus


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!

Tough guy!

It's still so tempting!

Nicolas says “Oww!  Even the trees have pickers!”

Oww! It stabbed me!

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,

Palo Verde

as well as the characteristic Saguaro cactus that are all over this area.  This one seems to be giving directions – reminds me of the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”!     Interesting Saguaro












Soon we reached the halfway point, and stopped for a rest on the bench there.

Taking a break

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,

Beautiful day on the lake

Cholla Field


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!

Enjoying the beautiful day

As we made our way back to the truck,

Almost back to the truck

we continued to admire the view and the wildlife around us.



Saguaros – both young and old.


Saguaro Skeleton

Almost back to the trailhead, we were startled by some snorting from the brush – it turns out we weren’t alone afterall!

Hey, we have company!

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!

Why did the donkey cross the road?


Baby & Mom


Curious donkeys

It was a beautiful day – perfect for a nice hike in the desert!


  1. Its always nice to be able to hike the trailers and admire the beauty Nature has created.
    Another mystery is how the animals survive out in the wild where we would not.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. What a nice hike and your nature photos are fantastic!!! Keep enjoying that beautiful weather. It has finally warmed up here in Florida:o00

  3. Glad to hear that the weather in Florida is improving for everyone! We talked to our friends at Lover's Key yesterday, and they said that January was a little cooler than normal down there, but that February is off to a great start.

  4. Looks like a beautiful area! What kind of dog is Casey?

    1. Hi Jim & Barb, thanks for stopping by the blog! Casey is a mix -- but she's got quite a bit of terrier in her, and we think maybe a little bit of lab, too. She's a good traveler, and enjoys our life on the road! Good luck to you guys in your last weeks of preparing for the road, and safe travels as you make your way out of Wisconsin!


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