Corona de Tucson
November 18, 2023
Ramsey Canyon is a deep, wooded ravine on the east side of the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista in south Arizona...about 70 miles from our home. The stunning beauty of Ramsey Canyon has attracted folks for centuries. The canyon namesake is Gardner Ramsey, an early settler looking for gold in the area who built by hand a 2.5 mile road from what is now the preserve headquarters to Hamburg Mine back in the 1880s. The first documented resident of Ramsey Canyon is William Berner. Unlike the prospectors, Berner admired the canyon's unique beauty and spent his time planting trees and building cabins. Dr. Nelson Bledsoe lived in nearby Bisbee and was the company doctor for Arizona Mining Co. who also treated nearby residents. As it turns out, Dr. Nelson treated William Berner for an illness. As a form of payment for his medical treatment, Berner willed (upon his death) his land holdings in the canyon to Dr. Bledsoe and by the mid 1930s, Dr. Nelson was the owner of 280 acres in Ramsey Canyon where he and his wife spent much of their time. Official recognition of this ecological significant area came in 1965 when the canyon was registered as the first National Natural Landmark. In 1974, Dr Nelson generously donated his land to The Nature Conservatory fulfilling his wish that the natural values of the canyon be preserved for future generations without any disturbance whatever to habitat, plant, or animal populations.
|Acquisitions have expanded the preserve to 380 acres.|
Also just outside the backdoor is a bird viewing area complete with rocking chairs and lots of benches...which we enjoyed at the end of our hike. As you begin, the trail meanders along Ramsey Creek
We only heard and saw a trickle of water today...
Along the Ramsey Canyon Trail, there are two optional loops. Joe and I enjoyed both. First is Grandview Loop. The highlights are...
|The log cabin was built by John James in 1902. From the late 1880s to the late 1920s, the canyon was home to almost 100 settlers.|
|This 1911 cabin was built by John James after his family outgrew the smaller log cabin.|
|Beautiful views from the cabin and the creek was just past the grass.|
The second loop is Bledsoe Loop.
|There wasn't any information about this fireplace, I loved it and suppose it along with other foundations we saw are from homes William Berner and/or other early settlers built.|
|We did notice this plaque on a tree behind the fireplace.|
|Mule Deer call the canyon home. Our brochure included a long list of wildlife a visitor might encounter...Ringtail Cats, Arizona Black Bears, Mountain Lions are just a few of those listed.|
We turned right. It was quite the workout as we climbed 500 feet in a half mile up a series of switchbacks to an overlook on Miller Mountain. There are 9 benches strategically placed along the way. We made a stop at bench #6 for water and to catch our breath. I realized I didn't get any photos going up, but I did turn around once...
At 9,465 ', Miller Mountain is the highest mountain in the Huachuca Mountain Range and Miller Peak, is the second highest peak in Cochise County. This is also the most southerly peak and land area to rise above 9,000' in the Continental U.S.
And what goes up...goes down.
After the hike back down, we followed the rest of the Ramsey Creek Trail back to the VC. All total with Ramsey Creek Trail, both loops and Hamburg Trail we logged 3 miles on this in-out trail. As written in Arizona Highways...There are better known canyons in Arizona - Canyon de Chelly, Oak Creek Canyon, the Grand Canyon - but Ramsey Canyon belongs on any list of the state's most spectacular chasms. Unlike the others, Ramsey is not defined by its panoramas. Rather, it's the intimacy of this wooded wonderland that makes it so special. What a wonderful, peaceful, and beautiful way to spend a few hours !
|Along Ramsey Creek Trail there are 16 numbered markers and a brochure from the VC gives information about why the marker is there. The tree rings in this Arizona Sycamore date it to 1760.|
|It is explained how its brittle branches are prone to breaking and eventually becoming stumps that provide homes for the birds.|
|Ramsey Canyon has been visited by birders for over a century. It is best known for its diversity of hummingbirds in season, but many other birds are often seen such as the Elegant Trojan, Bridled Titmouse, Spotted Towhee and Painted Redstart. |
Today was the day for a big Tucson event...Tour de Tucson. It has been an annual event in Tucson for the past 40 years. There are three different routes varying in miles with the longest ride at 100 miles passing thru Vail and Corona de Tucson. I read that 7,500 cyclists participate in this renowned and popular event.
Back at the oasis, we had clouds all week...every single day ! It was wonderful...I do love the clouds !
|We changed the routine and enjoyed late afternoon walks this week.|
|Turkey photo taken in September at Madera Canyon|
|Ramsey Canyon Road|