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Garwood-Carillo Loop
Saguaro National Park, Tucson
February 21, 1998
by Jeannie Van Lew
  GPS Map 
Front Row: Barbara, Tracey, Peggy, Chuck G.
Back Row: Scott, Kim, Ann, Jeannie, Tom, Bill, Yefim, Chuck P.
[Mike Wargel taking the picture].

Tom Van Lew, Jeannie Van Lew, Yefim Minkov, Chuck Parsons, Tracey Pastore, Mike Wargel, Bill Ruppert, Chuck Giovanniello, Peggy Giovanniello, Scott Fell, Barbara Brackett, Kim Hackbarth and Ann Canada attended this hike. We met at Einstein’s in Awhataukee and enjoyed their bagels and muffins before heading to Tucson. It rained all day Friday, but we had clear skies all the way to Picacho Peak. In the distance we could see thick gray skies covering Tucson and the surrounding mountain ranges. We all separated going through town but met at the trailhead by 9:30, except for Chuck and Peggy who assumed east meant turn right! They finally found us and by 10:00 we took our customary group shot.

Seasonal runoff is free-flowing.
    We started down Garwood Trail under an overcast sky. We were quick to find all the normally dry creeks full, causing us to rock hop to cross them. When we arrived at the dam built by Nelson Garwood we saw water spilling out the gates, tumbling down the rocks, rushing down the creek bed. The grass behind the dam was lush and green and it was easy to forget we were in an Arizona desert.

We opted to visit the first of the three water tanks in the area. We were cut off at the creek crossing but took the opportunity to photograph the water cascading down the rocks. We stopped and enjoyed a quick snack as the sun also peeked out of the clouds. We continued on to Rock Spring where we discovered goldfish still inhabiting the steel stock tank. At this point we decided to alter our loop to include a side trip to Bridal Wreath Falls. This added an additional 2 miles to our trip, but the view of the falls was worth the effort.

First we had to cross another creek that was about 10' wide and at least 1' deep. We spent some time placing additional rocks for crossing the swollen creek. Tom tried to assist Mike across and ended up with water up to his knees, but saved the camera! Others jumped the rocks or removed their boots and waded across. We found a comfortable spot to enjoy lunch with the falls as a picturesque backdrop. The water plunging down the falls made it difficult to hear the lunchtime conversations. Soon we began our return trip and found not only were our stomachs full, but the creek was a little fuller as well. The sun that had warmed us also melted the snow that was still visible on the peaks above us.

Mighty chilly up there.

We came out on the Douglas Spring Trail. Some took a side trip to photograph even more waterfalls. As we neared the trailhead thoughts turned to ice cream. Everyone agreed that was a good idea so we found a Baskin-Robbins on our way down Speedway Blvd. While eating our ice cream it was noted that only in Arizona could you sit eating ice cream under a palm tree and view snow-capped mountains in the distance!

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated March 3, 2017