18 December 2019
Santa Rita Mountains: Hike to Rogers Rock
After a nearly sleepless night from the constant movement of our trailer by high winds I finally crawled out of bed at about 4:15.
The wind gusts were buffeting the trailer like an old shoe box and, as many times before, I was mighty glad for the protection of the tall arborvitae on both sides of our "candominium".
I had a hike scheduled today to Rogers Rock in the Santa Rita Mountains and already I was down to one participant. The high winds had made everyone a bit wary and the cooler temps in the low 40s promised a chilling experience down in the Santa Ritas. Then the last person decided against going. Too windy.
But I was determined to go and I was actually looking forward to hiking in the blustery weather. I had all the clothing for it - many layers and a good windbreaker, gloves and warm hat.
But as it turned out I would barely need any of this "winter" clothing.
Here is a map to help you get oriented. All of our regular hikes in the Santa Ritas are started from Madera Canyon - a lush, north facing canyon with a beautiful creek and always an interesting bird or two.
I started the drive down around 9:30. The wind was still buffeting the trailer and the trees were being tossed about in such a wild manner it is a wonder they weren't airborn.
As I drove down I-19 south the low profile Buick was getting moved about as well. I kept my speed down and let all the others pass me by.
And then, low and behold - the wind subsided. And by the time I got to the head of Madera Canyon it was calm, sunny and a comfortable 44 degrees.
Let the hiking begin.
Click on the photos below for a larger image.
This is looking across Madera Canyon from the Super Trail. Few know it but Superman actually had a hand in building this trail, thus the popular name.
The total mileage for this lariat hike is 5.3 miles with 1,450' of total elevation gain. The trail head elevation is at 5400' which puts Rogers Rock at about 6500'.
Agave paryii perhaps? I find agaves and yuccas difficult to sort out and identify.
A closer look. Just about everything in these here parts have sharp claws or needle point spines.
This is a little creek at the beginning of Fern Canyon. It is named for the abundance of Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) growing here amongst the oaks and conifers.
The destination. Rogers Rock, a house sized boulder in the foreground. There is a short scramble up to the top which makes a nice rest stop and turn around point.
The view from the top - looking up towards Mt Wrightson, the highest peak in the Santa Ritas at 9,452' elevation.
I relaxed and enjoyed the view for a bit and then headed back down the the trail
The last shot of the day taken from the Super Trail and looking out towards Florida Saddle.
These Chacos are made for hikin'
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these Chacos
Might take a hike with you...
Are you ready Chacos !?!?
(Sung to the tune of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" )
~~~~~ BONUS Photo ~~~~~
Christmas with Betsy's family in 2004
See you next time...
Mike and Betsy