Excursion Reconnaissance: Gates Pass and Saguaro West

Gates Pass is a straight shot west on Speedway into Tucson Mountain Park. Pull out just before topping the pass.

View East to Tucson.

Interesting rock formations. The Tucson Mountains have volcanic origins. Gravel is slippery but climbing-boulders have so much texture the grip is good…don’t forget shoes with good traction, a hat, and maybe a walking stick.

Top of the parking lot shade cover resembles a….ruffles potato chip and would make an excellent perspective practice opportunity, anyone?


Cruising just a little way down the west side of the pass to our second vista spot.

This scenic view pullout has a wonderful crop of the infamous teddybear cholla cactus and other dramatic features.

And now,  a short haul to Brown Mountian picnic area where we’ll lunch. Turn right.

After lunch we’ll head over to Saguaro West Visitors center where we can spread out in a shaded comfortable spot, observe a major wash bed surrounded by a very dense saguaro forest, migratory birds and entertain tourists and park personnel with our magical plein airing.  Yes, we may see people. Take this opportunity to insert them into your landscape-this may make them go away quicker, which may be okay…too

Turn right onto Kinney road at Saguaro West.

View west from visitors center. Lets hope our day is not so overcast so we can catch a fab. sunset.

See you there!

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