“If you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which patch you take.” – Cheshire Cat, Alice In Wonderland
I’m still in denial that it’s the end of October 2018! I was looking back on 2017, which held a lot of surprises and lessons for our family. In December of 2016 we got settled into our home in Arizona and by July 2017 we were already moving again! As much as I won’t miss the critters and heat of Arizona, there was so much more to that state than I could have imagined. I absolutely LOVED my job, it holds beautiful places to see, the food was delicious, and the term monsoon has a new meaning.
After traveling and living in a couple different states, I feel like Arizona is underrated. I can’t say I was thrilled to hear we were moving there, but when I reminisce, they’re all great memories (except that one time I almost stepped on a rattlesnake on my run thinking it was a stick!) So if you haven’t been, it really is a treat.
It is such an outdoorsy state with great hikes. Don’t for a minute think that because you have kids you can’t enjoy the great outdoors, we baby wear! We will occasionally let Stella run and walk on our hikes too so she can stretch her legs.
Here are some of the places we hiked while living in Southern Arizona.
Seven Falls, Tucson
So this trail is fun because you have numerous lengths you can make your hike. You can choose to take the shuttle bus (which you pay for) to one of the stops or you can hike to the trailhead and back (2 miles there and 2 miles back). They also offer a 3.8 mile narrated shuttle ride. We took the bus to the trailhead and back making the hike about 5 miles.
You cross the water quite a few times, so depending on the time of year your shoes can be soaked by the end. One perk of this hike is that when you get to the falls, there’s a natural pool you can take a dip in to cool off before heading back if you’d like. One tip I’d give people is, if you plan to do this hike, go when the park opens or you’ll be stuck behind non hikers, which can be frustrating. There are points in the path where only a single person can get by. I sometimes find it harder and more painful to walk slowly on trails behind others. I also got stuck behind some college students blaring music. Thanks, but I hike to enjoy nature’s music. 😒
Here is some more info about the trams.
Colossal Mountain Cave, Tucson
As the name indicates, this park has a cave you buy tickets to tour. We had planned to do the cave tour. But opted to just walk instead because it was a cool 70 degree day, but man, did it get hot hiking around! We were able to get up close with saguaros & see just how tall they get!
Garden Canyon, Fort Huachuca
There are all kinds of places to walk, run, or hike at Fort Huachuca. There is a lot of history & wildlife to see here. We were so impressed by this place that so many people knock down! We loved walking around and finding the prehistoric rock paintings that are still there. This is also a great place to birdwatch, search for wildlife, and see the diversity in what grows here!
Mount Lemmon, Tucson
I wish we had found Mt Lemmon sooner! In February, we went to Marshall Gulch & found snow in southern Arizona!! I am a lover of snow and winter, so I was ecstatic about this. We were almost under dressed for this day. I will always remember breathing in the cold, crisp air & feeling so happy. There are so many places to hike around here. I think we went twice in our 7 months in AZ, but only because we hadn’t gone sooner! It was cooler and much better hiker for the summer months in AZ.
These were just a few of our finds around Fort Huachuca and Tucson. I will also write a post about Sedona, probably my favorite place in Arizona. It is such a funky, fun town, which Arizona is full of! Don’t let anyone’s negativity of Arizona discourage you. If you are a lover of the outdoors, there are plenty of hidden gems here.