Arizona: To the desert and beyond...
More complex than outsiders might realize...Not all desert, but the desert is beautiful...

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Ventana Canyon Wilderness

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The foothills around Tucson are home to some of the best spa-golf-resorts in the U.S. and you don't have to go far for a taste of the wilderness before you turn in. Just behind the Loews Ventana Canyon resort on the edge of the city, an unspoiled trail awaits.

This lush riparian canyon takes you into the heart of the Santa Catalina Mountains, studded with saguaros. Deer, bobcats, javelinas, and the occasional mountain lion might cross your path. About 2 1/2 miles in, you'll come across seasonal water; The Maiden Pools. If you're an experienced hiker seeking a challenge, keep on going and you'll reach The Window, a natural rock arch about 7000 ft high.

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by Joseph Cyr
AFAR Local Expert
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