I recently joined the Green Valley Recreation Hiking Club as they do a lot of hikes into lesser known places in this area. This is a hiking club and does not focus on photography so, while I can take few pictures, I can’t take the time to shoot everything I might if I were doing this on my own. On December 2, 2010, I went on a hike in the Atascosa Mountains in the Coronado National Forest, which was very interesting and beautiful.
This is a hike that is only done by this club and there is no trail maintained by the National Forest. It was a fairly easy route and was much like a game trail. The area of interest was an eroded limestone basin and had a lot of rather unusually shaped rock outcroppings.
The location was off the Ruby/Nogales Road that runs west of Highway 19 near Nogales. The first few miles of this road was paved but it turned to dirt after Lake Pena Blanca. This section of the road was rough but passable with a passenger car. We left this road a couple miles past Sycamore Canyon (and before you get to Ruby) and from there a very rough jeep trail took us another mile and a half to the starting point for the hike.
This area is mostly high grasslands with wonderful views of Atascosa Peak and Montana Peak. This area is used for grazing, it is fenced and one needs to be sure all gates are left as they are found. The first mile took us on a loop along a ridge that led to the easterly end of a canyon. It wasn’t long before a number of outcrops and rock formations caught my eye.
As we descended into the first basin the terrain became even more spectacular. The hike for that day took us to two basins with unusually shaped formations. Some of them looked like faces or other definable shapes. In “eagle basin” there was even a rock that did look a bit like an eagle. Here is a sample of photos I took along the way.
I could have easily spent hours there, shooting various views as the sun and the shadows shifted through the day. By the time we got back to the car we had hiked about 5 miles and had seen some amazing landscapes. There will be another hike in this same area later that will cover yet another basin, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing that too.
I’m glad you could join me and enjoy this hike too. Keep looking for the strange and wonderful beauty in your world.