Theresa and Shadow with the Rincon Mountains in the background

We celebrated Theresa’s birthday today by hiking the Ba’bad Do’ag trail in Coronado National Forest.  It was an amazing trail, very isolated, quiet, and with spectacular views the entire way of the Rincon Mountains and the city of Tucson.



Saguaro forest

The trail started in a forest of mostly-young Saguaro cacti.  You can tell they are young because Saguaros take as much as 75 years to grow their first arm, and many of these cacti didn’t have any arms yet.



Adult Saguaro

In the lower portion of this trail, there were almost as many Saguaro here as in Saguaro National Park (which is only a few miles away).



Shadow enjoying a great view

Coronado National Forest covers 1.78 million acres in Arizona and New Mexico, ranging from 3,000 to 10,720 feet in elevation.  The forest consists of twelve widely scattered mountain ranges called “sky islands” that rise from the desert floor.



Darby and Shadow barking at cars a mile away

It was funny when Shadow and Darby started barking at the cars along the road over 100 stories below us.



Theresa and Darby hiking along a ridgetop

The hike gained 1,200 feet elevation in just over 2 miles.



Shadow overlooking the city of Tucson, Arizona

Shadow is taking a long look at the city of Tucson.



In spite of its reputation, the desert is often teeming with life.  We were surprised to see the lower half of the trail was covered in beautiful wildflowers of many colors: pink, purple, yellow, orange and white.

>> Next Stop: Saguaro (West) National Park >>

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