Sunday, 20 February 2011

Parker Canyon Lake

Parker Canyon Lake lies at an elevation of 5,375 ft in the Canelo Hills, part of the Coronado National Forest at the end of highway 83, a mere stones throw from the Mexican border.

It is a 30 mile drive from Sonoita through rolling grasslands before climbing high into the mountains. There are some beautiful homes overlooking the lake.

The signs not only warn you that you are in bear country, great we left the pepper spray in the Cougar, but also that you might encounter smugglers and illegals. Did we really want to do this?

Taking the advice of the guy in the bait shop we took the lake shore hike in the anti-clockwise direction so that the strong wind was on our backs for most of the way. Do not be fooled by the name, although this is not a difficult hike, it is not flat!

The start of the hike follows the trail along the shoreline with gentle ups and downs

Meandering in and out of the many inlets on the lake

Even though it was a warm sunny morning because of the strong chilly breeze one minute you were in a sheltered spot enjoying the sunshine the next you rounded a corner and were back in the wind, so the sweatshirts stayed on.

In several locations along the early part of the trail there were seats overlooking either the lake or an inlet, but it was so windy we didn’t bother to stop. There were more inlets than we realised, some were fairly short but the one below was so long it took ages to walk round before crossing where the stream leading into it dried up from this point you couldn’t actually see the open lake.

The further round we got the more wooded it became and the higher the trail was above the lake. We’d decided that we’d walk about ¾ of the way round before having lunch. What we didn’t realise was that by then we’d be on the narrowest, rockiest part of the trail where there were no benches, oops!

On our way round this side of the lake we met several fisherman, none of whom were having any luck, although they all said they were having a great day, I guess it was a ‘you should’ve seen the one that got away’ sort of day.

The only bench we eventually found on this side of the trail was almost back at the marina, so that is where we had lunch.

By this time the forecast clouds had rolled in, so headed home.

We walked just under 5 miles and had a great day.

Have fun, we are!

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