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Monday, December 19, 2016

DAVID YETMAN TRAIL

DAVID YETMAN TRAIL

Tucson Mountain Park
View of the Tucson Mountain on David Yetman Trail
How exactly do people get a trail named for them? Well, there’s probably no one formula, but it certainly helps if you’ve made considerable contributions in the fields of conservation, outdoor recreational planning or the sweat and grind of construction and fund raising for Arizona trails. Or, maybe you become a celebrity scientist who stokes curiosity in desert biomes. David Yetman Ph.D., is that kind of guy. As a scientist, author, photographer and host of The Desert Speaks series on PBS, he’s been educating the masses for decades.  
The "stone house" is made from local rocks.
The eponymous trail is a roundup of all things desert-y offering a rich trip among Sonoran desert plants, animals and homesteading history wrapped up in the ragged peaks and jumbled washes of the Tucson Mountains.  One of the most popular attractions along the trail is the Bowen Homestead which is also known as the “stone house”. The still-standing walls and foundations of the 1930s-era ranch house can be found 1.1 miles from the Camino de Oeste trailhead. Built of native stone that mingles quietly with its surroundings, the structure appears more grown than built.
The trail is rich in desert plants and animals.
Large picture windows that lost their glass years ago, frame sharp-edged escarpments and softly rounded, saguaro-dusted slopes while the footprints of living areas hint at a life far removed from 21st-century excess. An interpretive sign at the site describes the homestead floorplan and gives some background about the Bowen family and their impact on the surrounding territory.
Bowen Homestead
The 5.9-mile one way hike is the longest route within Tucson Mountain Park’s 62-mile trail system. Because it’s anchored by two trailheads and linked to several other trails, it’s easy to customize a long out-and-back or shorter loop trips.
Mesquite trees flourish near washes that flank the trail.
LENGTH: 5.9 miles one-way
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 2600’ – 3000’
GETTING THERE:
Camino de Oeste Trailhead:
From Interstate 10 in Tucson, take the Speedway Blvd. exit 257. Go 4.5 miles west on Speedway, veer left at the Speedway/ Gates Pass Road fork then make an immediate left onto Camino de Oeste. Continue 0.6-mile along a narrow, dirt road that’s passable by sedan to the trailhead. Roads are 100% paved.
David Yetman West Trailhead:
From Interstate 10 in Tucson, take the Speedway Blvd. exit 257. Follow Speedway/Gates Pass Road roughly 9 miles (mind the narrow, mountain curves) to the trailhead/scenic lookout on the left.
INFO:
Tucson Mountain Park
About David Yetman:
Arizona Public Media (PBS)

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