Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Although I’ve experienced a lot in Tucson, there’s much I’ve missed. My hiking expeditions are proving a wonderful way to explore. You view things from a different and fresher perspective when on foot rather than driving by in a car.

Source: Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Yesterday my friend/neighbor Cindy and I hiked Pima County’s Colossal Cave Mountain
Park in the Rincon Mountains, about 10 miles from our subdivision. This park is on the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses 2,400-acres. Major features are Colossal Cave and La Posta Quemada Ranch, a 128-year-old working ranch.

Discovery Tour

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

We picked up the self-guided discovery tour map at the entrance. You visit 18 different stations around the park, punching the icon at each station, and then take your completed map to one of the gift shops to get a prize. We visited all 18 stations and were rewarded with our choice of polished gem stones. It’s a great way to discover the park.

Path of the Ancestors Archaeology Trail

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The trail we explored is the Kekelbada Ha-Wo:gga, Path of the Ancestors Archaeology Trail
. Don’t you just love that name? Sometime around 900 A.D., the Hohokam Indians walked here. Walking in their ancient footsteps makes me wonder what they thought as they journeyed the same path.

Analemmatic Sundial

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The park has an analemmatic sundial, different from the usual round version known as an equatorial sundial. The analemmatic sundial uses a central calendar grid and an ellipse showing the hours.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The gnomon, a vertical rod or pin, is used to tell the time in equatorial sundials. However, in an analemmatic sundial, you yourself serve as the gnomon. In my photo, Cindy stands on the August section and her shadow marks us at this section of the park at 9 a.m.

Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

This 1930s adobe Park Service building was built and used by the CCC as the office for the Colossal Cave Project and is dedicated the men of Camp SP-10-A. Inside we read actual camp newsletters and listened to a 1937 radio interview with Robert Fechner, National Director of the CCC at the time.

There’s more to explore at the park as well as the famous cave itself, but we’ve decided to pursue those another day. Arizona’s state motto is Ditat Deus (God Enriches)—I think that’s true of any place if only we take time to notice.


  • Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park
  • North American Sundial Society


Thimbleanna said...

You're so lucky to have such interesting places to visit June. I love going to those places with you too. Let's see...10 minutes from my house...I could take you on a cornfield maze adventure LOL.

Heidi said...

I've never heard of an analemmatic sundial before. The things I learn from you, June!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Very interesting place to visit! I never heard of a analemmatic sundail either.

I like your mermaid tattoo, June! No ink on me, but my daughter has more than made up for that on herself.

Diane Schuller said...

that is so fascinating. I have never heard of a analemmatic sundial before -- thank you for sharing all this great information!

Storybook Woods said...

It sounds like you are finding all sorts of amazing things right in your backyard. Clarice