Upper Molino Canyon

There's a use trail that breaks off of the Bellota Trail a short distance from the highway in Molino Basin and continues up Molino Canyon.  After a little less than a mile the trail makes its way to the top of a fall.  After that, the trail disappears and it's a boulder scramble up the creek bed with some other short falls to bypass.

January 10, 2010

After leaving the trail behind, the creek maintains a steep grade.  This is looking down canyon from the top of that section.  At this point the creek grade flattens and becomes more sandy as it passes through a small basin.

This is looking upstream of the previous photo into the small basin that's filled with oaks and some pine.  The west slope of the canyon is in the background and was burned by the Aspen Fire, Molino Canyon was the eastern limit of this fire.

Airmen Peak rising to the west of the basin with some Emory Oak covering the slopes.

Two views of a large Chihuahua Pine in the basin.  Its bark looks much more like that of an Arizona Pine, which is a very rare characteristic for this species.  It also had some obvious charring from a fire which may have something to do with its appearance.

Looking down canyon from the west slope above my turn around point.  The canyon gets rougher again in this area upstream of the basin.  The opposite ridge is covered in thick pinyon forest that escaped the fire.  This ridge forms the east edge of the Catalinas before it drops down to Redington Pass. 

Back near the trailhead in the oak grassland of Molino Basin which is primarily composed of Emory Oak like the one at right as well as Mexican Blue and Arizona White Oak.

This is the GPS file for this hike that can be opened in Google Earth. You may have to explicitly specify the gpx extension when saving, molino.gpx.