Water In the Desert — Cargodera Canyon

Water in the desert is such a rare thing — it is almost sacred. Com­ing from a place where you have more water than you know what to do with (the Ohio Riv­er Val­ley) it was hard to grasp the pre­cious­ness of water in the south­west. How­ev­er, hav­ing lived here for just two years I have learned to appre­ci­ate water in almost any form; rain, snow, sleet, riv­er, well, bot­tled, tap and I could go on. When­ev­er we are out on a hike, if I see even a trick­le of water or pud­dle that hasn’t quite dried up I get gid­dy with excite­ment. Well, you can imag­ine my state when we hiked in Car­godera Canyon a few weeks ago where you could hear the water rush­ing from over 100 yards away! Okay, so at some places it was more of a gur­gle and it nev­er got so fierce that we had to wade through it but, it was flow­ing the whole way down the canyon — in the desert that is some­thing to get excit­ed about.

Sutherland Trail
Suther­land Trail

So on Feb­ru­ary 27th, Lance, Erin (friends of ours), Aaron and myself set off for Car­godera Canyon in the front range of the Catali­na moun­tains just north of Catali­na State Park. We hiked up the Suther­land trail a ways and then dropped down to the creekbed of the canyon and essen­tial­ly boul­der-hopped our way out of the canyon. As I men­tioned the water was flow­ing down the entire canyon. If you do enough hik­ing in the desert you learn that water likes to play dis­ap­pear­ing acts . It will be trick­ling along then all of a sud­den it is gone and you are look­ing at sand. Then maybe anoth­er 100 feet or even a 1/2 mile lat­er it shows up again gur­gling along. So to say there was water flow­ing down the entire canyon is rather pro­found.

Cargodera Canyon
look­ing down Car­godera Canyon

Our hike was absolute­ly won­der­ful — I was ecsta­t­ic hop­ping from rock to rock over the water. Smelling it, hear­ing it, watch­ing it tum­ble, swirl, and cas­cade over rocks just made me smile the whole way. The day was awe­some, part­ly cloudy with big puffy dark clouds threat­en­ing the sky, adding an ele­ment of excite­ment to the hike. Every­thing was fresh and alive with all of the recent rains. Lance and Erin as always were such a plea­sure to hike with, shar­ing all kinds of infor­ma­tion about the land­scape and his­to­ry of the area. I wouldn’t have want­ed to spend the day any oth­er way.

water cascade in Cargodera Canyon
water cas­cade in Car­godera Canyon

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