You always bring the goods, Bill
This is a National Park trail system, and I don't believe that dogs are allowed on trails in any of the Parks...
PK: like they say, my bad. I was regrettably unclear about what I meant by 'trailhead' in my response above. I wasn't referring to the Yetman Trailhead/parking lot - definitely the 2nd most used in the Park, and busy year round, and yes the true trailhead here - but what I've referred to several times as the 'second saddle,' 2/3 of a mile or so up the mtn., where the trail heads east, into the hinterlands. Lazy writing on my part. Just so you know I'm not totally lacking in judgement or divorced from reality!
There's lots of other good insight and food for thought here that I'll absorb. At the very least it argues well for putting future writing into an eco-context, to some degree; it might also well give me reason to reconsider what might be included in future columns.
Thanks for your insights and detailed arguments of always considering the big picture.
Re: Bruce. That's really fascinating and kinda spooky, yes. I'd welcome some info about how to find the trail from the Gates Pass parking lot. In the spirit of not directing a whole lot of folks in that direction, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
I am also recovering from 20+ years under the grey skies of the PACNW.
Re: Pablocolada. While as the author here i'm not so taken with the 'momentary gratification of my ego' part of yr otherwise well stated message - it's a bit insulting to someone who spends an enormous amount of time hiking in these beautiful mountains - I'll take it as part of the greater message. And most of your points are quite valid and legitimate; the Tucson Mountains are a delicate ecosystem that needs to be respected, revered and looked after. The more hikers internalize themselves in all aspects of eco-managment (most of which is simple common sense), the better we're all off. The entire question of whether to direct attention to little known trails is definitely something I have struggled with and take very seriously.
As in regards to this particular trail (and some others, as well), my calculation is fairly simple: although it's impossible to know for sure, my belief is that a blog article like this is not likely to send any significant numbers of people onto this trail; I'd be surprised if it was more than a handful. given the somewhat difficult trek just to get to the trailhead. If it thought it was going to flood the trail w/rookie hikers, I wouldn't post it. I'm assuming (it is an assumption, granted) that most anyone that would make the effort to get up the mountain to the trail is already a hiker, and inclined to be respectful of the trail and and landscape.
And, despite the fact that it's not an officially marked trail, it's a real, legitimate trail, not just a faint path wandering off the hillside; the parts where it 'fades in and out' are when it's crossing rock faces; otherwise, it's quite easy to follow.
But, in the bigger picture, I'd urge anyone reading this to take what Pablo has to say with utmost seriousness; he does speak the truth, and I appreciate him underscoring it for all to consider.
Love and respect these beautiful Tucson Mountains, and they will return the gift many times over.
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