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Hiking in Arizona – saguaros, chollas and prickly pears by Ann Treacy
March 30, 2018, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Arizona

We’re not gone yet – but tomorrow we start the road trip home, I thought I’d get a jump on the archive of the trip. We’ve had a great time. First – it’s snowing back home and I’m sitting in an air-conditioned house with 90 degrees outside.

Second – we got in a lot of hiking. Aine, Grandpa and I made two trips to Tonto National Forest; both times to the Sears Kay Ruins, which are a pretty easy but high walk to the peak of a mountain. The ruins include a village, homes and fortification of Hohokam – an ancient Native American Tribe, who “may be” ancestors of the Pima Tribe.

The location is beautiful but it’s amazing to think that people would choose to land here – high up in the mountains with limited access to water. The village isn’t built on the side of a cliff as we were used to seeing in Ireland but it’s slippery enough. You can definitely see the where the rooms would be in the building of the ruins. It’s pretty cool to see. We also like see the rock formations that look like a strong wind would take them down. (Though none toppled while we were looking.)

On one visit we made a detour to see Lake Bartlett – a reservoir for much of the water used in the area. Pretty and huge.

Aine and I spent about 30 minutes climbing Piestewa Peak. It’s a much more difficult climb, many more people and it was a super-hot afternoon. I can’t tell you what the top of that peak looks like. I’m sure it’s not as nice as the Sear-Kay Ruin.

We three also went to the Botanical Gardens. The big highlight was the butterfly pavilion – and some of the art. It also gave us a quick 101 on cacti. We learned about saguaros, chollas and prickly pears. I think my favorite part of visiting Arizona is the fact that you’d never mistake a drive through Minnesota’s Superior National Forest with a drive through Tonto National Forest.

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