||Nice hike uphill
(approximately 5000' elevation gain) to The Window, a small natural arch located in a fin
of rock below Window Peak.
||From I-10 take the Ina
(pronounced eye-na) Road exit near Tucson. Turn east onto Ina Road and follow it as
it becomes Skyline Drive and then Sunrise Drive. Turn left (north) on Kolb Road and
follow the brown signs to Ventana Canyon. The trailhead lies within property owned
by The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, who are very specific about where the disreputable hikers
can park and where they can walk while within their property boundary.
||Passenger Car - paved all
||Easy, well marked trail
||13 miles roundtrip
(according to the map, I suspect this one is a little longer however)
||Too hot - except for the
top which had a nice breeze.
||From the Ventana Canyon
trailhead (0.0 miles), begin walking uphill. For the first 20 minutes you will be
flanked by fences posted every few feet with 'No Trespassing' signs (ahh ... the flawless
aesthetic tastes of property rights advocates). There are several stream crossings
in this area though none should pose much of a problem except, perhaps, after extremely
heavy rains. As the canyon narrows the fences drop away and the trail begins
climbing more steeply. As you climb you will notice that first the buckhorn
chollas cease to grow, then the saguaros and barrel cactus, which are replaced by
pointleaf manzanita, scrub oak and sotol (desert spoon). The trail follows a stream
which had running water when the author did this hike (though it is probably dry most of
the year). After 2.4 miles (2.4) you will come to Malden pools (no pets allowed past
this area) with opportunities for cooling off in the water (if it's flowing).
Continuing up canyon hike another 2.8 miles to a signed junction (5.2) , turn right and
continue steeply uphill for the last 1.2 miles to The Window. Eventually you will
reach a flat saddle which winds among the alligator juniper towards Window Peak. As
you begin climbing again towards the peak the trail follows a ridge of rock. Look
for a short unmarked trail on your right which branches 20 feet to The Window and
some nice views back down into the canyon you followed up (6.4). Return the way you
My rating of this hike is probably clouded by the fact that it was so hot
the day I did this hike (105 F). The stream provided some relief, though not enough
to be comfortable. Otherwise the hike was quite nice and remote (after the first few
miles the author did not encounter any other hikers).
||Santa Catalina Mountains
- Rainbow Expeditions Inc.
||Click picture for larger
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