Summiting Saddle Mountain

Visited on: Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Cost: Free

I had no doubt that when I chose this place to camp, I would have to try to get up to the summit of Saddle Mountain. As I was working, I realized hiking to the top would be a great reward for launching my new business.

So, after I took the website live yesterday, along with the first video and social media posts, I donned my hiking hat and boots and headed out to enjoy the day.

Here’s a video I shot of the day’s adventure.

It was a beautiful morning to tackle my first summit of a mountain in the Sonoran desert.

The cactuses still enthrall me, as does all of the life that manages to live in this harsh environment. Like so many people, I’ve become enchanted by the saguaro cactuses. This one is getting very serious about producing arms.

As I gained elevation, I realized there was another type of plant that I was seeing. It was way too early in the day for a drink, but I might’ve been thinking about tequila. I know that this is an agave plant. I’m just not sure that it’s the blue agave used in tequila production, but seeing another species of desert plant was cool.

And I found an adorable little barrel cactus. I should’ve put my hand in the picture to show how small it was. It was someplace between the size of a baseball and a golf ball. Plus, it’s sitting in a colorful location with the rocks covered with lichen and moss.

As I mentioned in the video, the desert is full of little pokey bastards. The spines help the plants conserve water and also act as a deterrent to herbivores that would like to eat the plant.

Of course, if they stick in you, they get your attention, especially if you get a bunch of them stuck in you (which I’ve only done once so far). A loose piece of a cholla cactus got stuck in my boot.

I decided I needed to take a few selfies on the mountain’s summit. I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.

Of course, I had to snap a few pictures from the summit of the surrounding area. I imagine it’s even more beautiful in spring when everything’s a bit greener, and the cactuses are flowering.

On the way down, a smart-ass cactus tried to hide around a corner and within an indentation in the cliff to try to scare me. Nice try, cactus. I saw you!

Back at my campsite, I kicked back and enjoyed a little protein pudding 😉 before doing a little work and getting a wonderful pasta dinner started.

Considering how much time I’ve been trapped in my trailer because of the cold weather and not getting much physical activity, this hike seemed a little bit longer than it was. Plus, I felt like I gained a little more elevation than I did. Fortunately, the weather turned and I should be able to get out and do more of the things I love.

Here are the details of the hike from Gaia GPS.

While I was on the summit, I also shot a quick video for The Hiking CEO TikTok account.

Saddle Mountain BLM Dispersed Camping

Reading my big Journal Entry about camping on the Saddle Mountain BLM Land?

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A jeep and teardrop trailer parked in the desert near Signal Mountain.