Tag Archives: gateway

rained out…..almost

We were rained out for sunrise so we decided to enjoy breakfast and then to head to a classroom (thanks Carol!) where Jennifer Wu shared her favorite photography and photoshop tips with us until about 4pm.
Then we headed to the Gateway Trailhead of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with high hopes.
gateway trailhead, mcdowell sonoran preserve

Light was challenging but we were all rewarded with a little bit of color.
saguaro sunset

And thanks, Claire, for letting us stay past sunset! All in all, an excellent day 🙂

bajada nature trail

You might remember my earlier post about the Bajada Nature Trail but it occurred to me today that I haven’t posted any images of the finished trail. Here are two showing hikers enjoying the signage which is filled with photographs of the preserve. The trail is less than a mile but it can take awhile to see/read/enjoy all the information on the signs. A very worthwhile visit!

bajada nature trail

bajada nature trail

The Bajada Nature Trail is located at the Gateway Trailhead on Thompson Peak Parkway. Click here for a PDF map. Look to the center left for the Gateway Access Area (P).



During our hike to Inspiration Viewpoint this morning, MANY wildflowers were spotted. The majority were seen about one and a half miles up but there were plenty of species in the first mile. All in all, I was very surprised at the number. Here’s a list: Fiddleneck, Filaree, Comb Seed, Lacepod, Chuparosa, Golden Eye, Cryptantha, Popcorn Flower, Blue Dick, Gilia (lots), Chicory, Phacelia, Blue Fiesta Flower (lots), California Suncup (1), Poppies (lots), Lupine, Fairy Duster and finally….a single Silverpuff at the ViewPoint!

The above photo was from last year on the same trail. Although I had my camera with me this morning, the hike was fast paced and if I was going to make the 7 miles round trip, I had to keep going!

tres amigos

I’ve been hearing about Tres Amigos ever since I first starting hiking with the MSC so I was excited to finally have a chance to photograph them. What makes them unusual is not that there are three standing so close together but that they are in perfect alignment….as if they had been planted. The general consensus is that it’s a fluke but maybe someone planted them about 200 years ago? Either way, they make a wonderful photo op. We’ve been having stormy weather for a few days so I thought these three friends would look great with a kind of antique look.