After our journey through the small towns of the foothills of the Blue Mountains we arrived at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. As I said, it's the newest of the State Parks, and was once a working ranch. There are a lot of great old buildings near the campground that has campsites and cabins, but we hit the trailhead before the entrance which is quieter.
I visited this trail only once before, in early spring a few years ago. I had a little "need new underwear" moment on that trip. I was paying attention to a butterfly through my camera lens that I had been trying to capture all day, and had convinced myself it was too cold for rattlesnakes yet when I heard the buzzing sound I knew pretty well, but not normally this close. I looked down and it literally was coiled next to my boot. Why it didn't strike I will never know, I even dropped my medium format camera next to it when my upper body tried to jump away and my legs stayed put, and still it didn't bite. So jump I did, and it went off into the brush and continued to buzz, and I got lucky. My camera strap fell toward me and I recovered my camera and got out unscathed.
I did email the park service and told them that with families hiking their new trail, they might want to post a warning. They emailed me back and said they had posted a sign. So it was fun for me to see it there at the trailhead.
This time with Shelly and Bentley we didn't see a rattlesnake (although we admitted to wanting to...maybe in a more controlled way). That said, we did see lots of other wildlife. Shelly loves Bighorn Sheep, and they are a fairly rare sight. We got lucky and saw a little family of them. Honestly I didn't even know they had them there, but there they were. So here are some shots from a beautiful desert hike on a blue day.
How was the hike Bentley?