Hawaii, AZ

by Courtney on September 13, 2010

Yesterday, myself and three friends and two dogs took one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on in Arizona. It was my second time up ‘Casablanca Canyon’. The hike started about 15 minutes outside of Patagonia. A very 4-wheel offroading driving experience up to where we could drive no further and got out to hike the rest of the way.

Below: A view from our offroading
My friend Chris and Sarah.

We parked our car at the foot of the hill where the picture below was taken. Gorgeous landscape! We embarked on the hike, which ended up being about 3.5 hours in because we got lost. Yes, a long hike. Yes, we got lost. But to me, exercise is exercise and being in nature is amazing no matter what, so I was down with it all.

As we hiked along, we came to a stream and followed that to where we were headed, which was a canyon deeply cut through from millions (I would think?) years of water flow, complete with waterfalls, swimming holes and even water slides! Some pics along the river:

Pools like the one below were all over the place as we got closer. Perfect temperature, and totally pristine. No one for miles in any direction, and in the foothills of an 9,500 elevation mountain called Mount Wrightson.

This is at the entrance to the canyon. I’m up there on that rock on the right. The whole endeavor, with as much climbing and jumping as there was, made me feel a little like a combination of an avatar and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider). How do my youth’s video games seem to follow me everywhere? ;)

In the canyon! This is an example of the periodic waterfalls followed by pools that cascaded down this beautiful canyon. Although you can’t really see it from this angle, where the water is flowing was actually one of the many ‘water slides’ – fast enough and slippery enough for a perfect slide and exciting experience.

When in the canyon, we spent a while water sliding, swimming, and sunbathing on the warm, smooth rock and enjoying snacks we brought with us – raw trail mixes, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, and nori with avocado. These kinds of views – tons of water, fairly green plants and falls, reminded us of Hawaii, so we joked we were hanging out in Hawaii, AZ.
By the time we got back to our car, we had been hiking for about 6 hours and I thought my legs were going to fall off. On our offroading trek back to town, we got to see a momma horse and her baby by the ‘road’.

A beautiful day of nature and exercise and good company. When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of communing with and really being IN Nature?

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