March 4 & 5, 2017
Robles Pass is a 1,000 acre parcel purchased by Pima County located in the Tucson Mountains. Even though the well marked trails are designated multi-use for hikers and cyclists, they are never crowded. Joe and I did a 6.2 mile hike that included Ledge Surfer Trail, Camaro Loop Trail and one wrong turn on a trail that led to W Ajo Highway (we think!). It was a pleasant day with some sunny skies, some overcast skies, and a steady cool breeze as temps climbed to 82 degrees.
It was awesome to pull into an empty parking lot. We had the trail all to ourselves until we were almost done and met a couple of bikers just getting started.
FYI : the cholla are full of buds...this means lots of beautiful flowers in a few weeks !
Al, thebayfieldbunch.com, first posted about Empire Ranch. Then John and Pam, ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com, went. Their pictures sparked our (ummm, my) interest...a nice way to spend Sunday.
Empire Ranch is located in the Las Cienegas Conservation Area. The ranch is located on the eastern slope of the Santa Rita Mts and surrounded by meadows of salt grass.
It is a working cattle ranch that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Back in the 1870s, it was one of the largest ranches in Arizona with a range spanning over 180 miles.
Today, the Empire Ranch Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) work together to protect and restore the historical buildings and landscape as an outstanding western heritage and education center. The ranch is open to the public everyday for a free self-guided walk/tour.
There are lots of pictures with details and information about the buildings. This one shows the changes made to the main house from 1871 to 1886.
Lots of western movies and tv series have been filmed here including 3:10 to Yuma (the 1957 film), Bonanza series (1959-73), and The Outlaw Josie Wales (1976).
There have been updates (during the 1950s) to the main house...an inside master bathroom...
a family kitchen...
and a front porch complete with daffodils...all of which bring back memories from my childhood.
Like Al, I took way too many pictures ! It was hard to sort through them all and pick just a few.
Our next stop for the day was Madera Canyon via E. Box Canyon Rd/NF-62. It was a very pretty ride through the Coronado National Forest on an unpaved, twisty, narrow road.
We weren't interested in a long hike...the 2.1 mile nature trail fit the bill. I was mostly looking for birds as we meandered along Madera Creek under huge limbs of Arizona White Oaks and beside tiny patches of Mexican Poppies.
Ahhhh...life is good ! Until next time,
|This old camaro gave the Camaro Loop Trail it's name.|
HAPPY TRAILS !