I love going hiking on Sundays, but I also like sleeping in and slowly adjusting to civilization with a cup of coffee and a copy of the New York Times
and our local daily. Sometimes brunch is involved and later a nap. If that goes into the late morning, it's hard to get to Sabino Canyon or anywhere that's going to take more than a couple of hours. That's why the Yetman Trail was the perfect pick two weeks ago, even on a day that was a big windy and overcast.
We packed a quick lunch and headed west on Speedway Boulevard and parked at the Camino de Oeste trailhead. Veer left on Speedway/Gates Pass Road fork, then make an immediate left onto Camino de Oeste. A narrow dirt road goes to a small parking area at the trailhead.
The trail is named after David Yetman, host of KUAT's "The Desert Speaks," and an environmentalist who served three ter ms on the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Our goal this hike was to visit the stone house of the Bowen Ranch built in the 1930s by a typesetter-turned-newspaper-editor. I love the family's story and what remains of the house really does look like it is part of the ills and desert that surround it—as if it's been there all along.
It's an easy mile that I'm told was about 5.9 miles—part of Tucson Mountain Park's 62-mile trail system. Even if it's on the easy scale, it's still the desert, so bring plenty of water and wear good shoes.
The trail goes over washes and into some beautiful aguaro-filled scenery. The Bowen House ruins are amazing and the perfect spots to have lunch. While we were there several families had the same idea, and I'm pretty got up too late for a larger hike. We did go up one of the peaks north of the house to get a look from above and see what was on the other side. Not much, but still beautiful. The climb down, however, reminded me to bring that walking stick I keep in the car for such moments (but always seem to forget).
On the walk back, someone with extra Peeps decided to share them with the desert. Hope they got devoured. Get outside.
More info here