Passage 8 – Rincon Valley

February 12, 2017

A partnership between the Southern Arizona Hiking Club (SAHC), the ATA and REI – what a powerful team! The southern portion of passage 8 leaves the Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead and follows an old utility easement road down into the bottom of Davidson Canyon. The descent has always been steep and subject to regular erosion, and the final few yards dropping into the wash have become somewhat treacherous as the tread is washed out by periodic floods. Working with Mark Flint (who is both the Regional Steward for the passage AND the land manager’s representative), the SAHC and ATA came up with a plan to not only re-work the last little drop, but also make the upper two-track into a sinuous, gentle single track.
Thirty three volunteers participated in the event. REI assisted in recruitment and provided some excellent incentives for attendees (hello T-shirts!). Volunteers worked in five teams along the quarter mile of trail to clear drains, reroute the bottom and create chicanes in the upper portion of the descent. Prickly pear was transplanted into the detour areas and new drainages were created to prevent future washouts. The lower portion of the trail was benched into the hill with stone retaining support to bring it out of the washout.

At the end of 4 hours of hard work, volunteers were amazed at the difference they’d made in such a short time. What was once a visual and navigational scar was now an attractive, winding trail that felt as though it had always been a part of the desert’s plan.

Many thanks to REI for the support and to Beyond Bread for helping out with lunches for the crew. Get out, get dirty, dig in and give back!