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  1. #1
    Senior Member hikingjer's Avatar
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    backcountry camps in Saguaro Nat'l Park near Tucson, AZ

    Last week, we went down to Arizona to see my brother and hike and camp in the desert to escape awful, rainy, dreary, miserable typical western Washington winter weather.

    We dayhiked at Saguaro NP's west unit and broke ourselves in at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum (highly recommended!). Then we did a 34 mile backpacking hike in Saguaro NR's east unit. We hiked up the Tanque Verde Trail and camped at Juniper Spring. There are trees for hammocking hanging at Juniper Basin. Then we hiked over Tanque Verde to Manning Camp. Manning Camp has a lot of nice ponderosa pines for hanging but it was dropping down to about 25 at night so bring the insulation. We did not camp at Manning Camp. We camped at Grass Shack the second night. There are places to hang a hammock at Grass Shack and at 5300 feet elevation, this backcountry camp is a little warmer. There are alligator (?) junipers ad AZ sycamores that could handle a hammock. There was a small creek with flowing water at Grass Shack 3/10/11.

    We tented on this trip out of uncertainty of where we'd go, i.e. desert or higher zones. I wish I would've had the hammock for this trip.

    Pics at

    Crazy thing: at Juniper Basin we bumped into a dude who I've been kinda' looking for for 18+ years. We met while he was thru-hiking the AT at Harper's Ferry, WV and I was section hiking. He visited me in Glacier Park, MT in '93 but haven't heard from him since. He's thru-hiking the Arizona Trail and we happened to be Juniper Spring the same night as him. Wow, the odds of that!
    Last edited by hikingjer; 03-22-2011 at 00:06. Reason: typos, add comment

  2. #2
    Senior Member gRaFFiX's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Sacramento, Ca
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    Nice pictures. I've been up that way before but never camped, or hiked for that matter.
    Those who expect disappointment are never disappointed.

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