Friday, March 7, 2014

Ramsey Canyon

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Trip 0

Friday March 7, 2014

After a day of laundry and other chores we were ready for some more adventure.  After breakfast, Jeff packed a lunch in our cooler, and we jumped into the car (well maybe moseyed) and headed out to Ramsey Canyon about 22 miles south of where we are in Huachuca City, AZ.

The weather today called for clear skies and temperatures in the 70s
    The Visitor Center- Ramsey Canyon

Ramsey Canyon is a nature preserve owned and operated by the NatureConservancy.  The canyon was  named for Gardner Ramsey, a settler that came here in the 1800s and hand built a 2-1/2 mile road into the canyon.  In it's hey-days the area was host to the Hamburg Mine where miners searched for gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc.  After the mines played out the area was still the home to at least a dozen families.
    The James family home.

In 1963 Ramsey Canyon was became the first site to be designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.  In 1974, 280 acres of Ramsey Canyon were bequeathed to the Nature Conservancy by The Bledsoe family to operate as a preserve.

Joan and I had our lunch in the parking lot under a large shade tree before we started our hike up the canyon trail.
    Ramsey Creek at the entrance to the canyon

The trail has two sections, the first is a fairly gently rising trail to Bledsoe loop, with a second section, the Hamburg Trail, branching out from there going very steeply up to the overlook.

    The trail up to the Overlook

The one mile trail kept giving us a glimpse out of the canyon and down into the town of Sierra Vista below.
The Visitor's center is at 5,500 feet of elevation and the place we were hiking to is at 6,200 feet.  I don't have to tell you that this is a major change for two coastal Oregonians.  We kept breathing, expecting to get some oxygen and there just wasn't any to be had!
We persevered, and it was worth it- the views out were awesome!  The overlook turned out to be a rocky outcrop in the trail.

    Sierra Vista as seen from Ramsey Canyon Overlook.

Luckily for us the trail down was a lot easier!  This is a beautiful counterpoint to the more arid landscape of the lower valley.  
    A deer browses in the shadows of the cottonwoods and oaks on Ramsey Creek

We have been working on getting our taxes done and this was just the reprieve we needed.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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