Horseback riders enjoy the last ride of the season

Don and Rebecca Williams

There were so many interested in enjoying this final ride for the spring season that the total of 18 riders had to be split into two waves. Riders headed up the trail at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, located southeast of Tucson in Vail. This picturesque venue wanders gently through the saguaros, offering magnificent views.

This area is adjacent to the eastern Saguaro National Forest and there were many fine old specimens to be seen, including a rare crested saguaro. The trail gave some really fine views of the Rincon Mountains, which contain foothills of varying colors from a pinkish magenta to a burnt orange. Interesting geologic contour lines are clearly visible in the terrain that gave evidence to the uplift of what millions of years ago had been an ancient seabed. The area has some natural springs which support the growth of a stand of cottonwoods. The available water was a key to the stagecoach line that ran through the area, servicing the route between Tucson and Bisbee prior to the railroad. The guide pointed out the wagon ruts from the road that used to run through here. Portions of the trail were a part of the Arizona Trail, a hiking trail that goes from the border with Mexico all the way to Utah.

A special treat was two foals that had been born recently and were enjoying the sunshine with their mothers in a large corral. Riders were able to pet and scratch the babies, who clearly enjoyed the attention.

After the ride, several of the group then headed to the Colossal Cave located within the park to see the iconic cave which has been enjoyed by tourists for generations. The cave tour was for one hour and the group really enjoyed the excellent guides and the experience.

Any resident of SaddleBrooke Ranch is welcome to join the SaddleBrooke Ranch Riding Group. There is no obligation to attend all the rides offered. Riders simply let the secretary know if they want to attend a particular ride. Car pools are generally arranged for those interested.

The group does not ride in the summer due to the heat , but will be back in the saddle again come late September.

If you are interested in receiving more information on the SaddleBrooke Ranch Riding Group, please contact the group secretary, residents Don and Rebecca Williams, at [email protected].