Exploring Rucker and Pinery Canyon in the Chiricahuas in Monsoon Season
July 13-15, 2017
Sometimes all your plans get rained out and you still have a grand adventure! I was getting a bit stir-crazy, with the monsoon long overdue and work keeping me inside much more than I liked.
So with an ominous forecast, we still opted for a quick trip to the Chiricahuas aka "Monsoon Central". We chose Rucker Canyon, an area I last visited nearly 15 years ago. According to the Forest Service,
it's one of the most popular recreation areas in the Chiricahuas, and we should get there early if we wanted a camping spot. But driving the slow 27 miles from route 191, we were surprised
that we did not see a single car. As we climbed into the high country, ours was the only set of tracks in the mud. In fact, the whole area appeared deserted. Of course, Rucker Canyon
Lake silted in after the Rattlesnake Fire of 1994, but the nearby Bathtub and Rucker Campgrounds were invisible — either overgrown or washed out. The one functioning camping area — Rucker Forest Camp —
was empty. With a storm brewing we retreated downhill to camp in a high clearing a safe distance from the creek.
Dennis has always wanted to drive over his very expensive camera. Today was the day!