Friday, March 27, 2020

Superstition Mountain Cougar Shadow

Superstition Mountain Cougar Shadow, 27 Mar 2020

So first here's an official description about the cougar & something I found on line.

When and where to view the Superstition Mountains cougar shadow

  1. Timing is critical. The cougar only appears during the third week of March and September. The last thirty minutes before official sunset is prime time for viewing.
  2. If you want to see this phenomenon in person, head to the vicinity of Superstition Blvd and Goldfield Road in Apache Junction for a relatively unobstructed view.
#1 rule of enjoying nature: Leave only footprints, take only pictures.

Viewing tips:

  • There is a wide shoulder on the east side of Goldfield Rd (opposite the homes) where you can pull off to view the cougar and take pictures.
  • Check the forecast before you go. The cougar shadow is usually only visible if the western sky (where the sun sets) is free of clouds.
  • Please be respectful of people who live in the area by keeping music and voices at a low volume. And of course, leave no trace that you were there.
The picture of the Superstition Mountains Cougar below was taken from the open space access point at 4th Ave & Goldfield Road in Apache Junction, AZ on September 17, 2018.
Time lapse image of the cougar taking shape then disappearing as daylight fades:
time lapse of cougar shadow appearing and disappearing on a mountain
Time lapse image of the Superstition Mountains Cougar photographed from 4th Ave & Goldfield Rd in Apache Junction

Now, here's my pictures that we took outside of Marlyn & Michele's resort!

It's pretty cool!  Hope everyone gets a chance to see this fabulous phenomena!!

Hieroglyphic Trail Hike, Fri, 27 Mar 2020

Hieroglyphic Trail with Marlyn & Michele

Met Marlyn & Michele again for an afternoon hike.  Definitely a welcome diversion to the constantly depressing news of the Corona Virus.

Hieroglyphic Trail

Superstition Wilderness

Hieroglyphic Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.
2.8 miles Elevation Gain:567 feet Route Type:Out & Back

Easy & short drive to the trail head. Definitely a more popular hike that the Wave Cave. The parking lot was full. But it's easy to maintain social distancing in the desert, so not worried.

The trail is very well marked & was quite level to start. Scenery is lovely with the Superstition Mountains as a back drop.

Tons of Saguaro cactus & more & more wild flowers are blooming.


Again, the elevation gain was a bit of a rock scramble. But not nearly as difficult as to Wave Cave. 

 The destination is a clear pool with a small water fall surrounded by rocks that have hieroglyphs on them. Not being an expert, we couldn't tell the real hieroglyphs from things that looked like they might have been added in!

We could have gone a little higher, but just more of a scramble, so decided to turn around. The walk back was very easy, so the boys went on ahead & Michele & I dilly dallied - looking at the flowers & the beautiful sky & the scenery.

I had forgotten to take pictures of the signs as we started, so I made sure to take them as we made our way back to the car. It was a pleasant time out after a week of staying away from folks!