Horseback Riders enjoyed March ride at Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Right to left: Rebecca Williams (partial), Alyce Grover, Jan Westemeier, John Calhoun, guide, and Jamie Calhoun

Right to left: Rebecca Williams (partial), Alyce Grover, Jan Westemeier, John Calhoun, guide, and Jamie Calhoun

Rare Crested Saguaro along the trail

Rare Crested Saguaro along the trail

Rebecca Williams

There were so many interested in enjoying the spring weather that the total of 28 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, cottonwoods and barrel cacti.

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. Due to the colors the guide said this area is also known as the Rainbow Hills. She also pointed out the geologic contour lines clearly visible in the terrain that gave evidence to the uplift of what millions of years ago had been an ancient seabed. This was also the home of the Hohokam Indians from 900-1400 AD. The area has some natural springs, which support 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.

After the ride some of the group also enjoyed the small petting zoo, which had goats, sheep, llamas, and burros as well as some miniature ponies. Young children can enjoy the petting zoo for a small fee. Several of the group then headed to the Colossal Cave located within the park to see the iconic cave that has been enjoyed by tourists for generations.

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 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]