Alamo Canyon Trail
A Different Kind of Desert
Many people expect a desert to be barren, brown and
boring. One look around and it's obvious that such is
not the case here. The mountains, washes, and bajadas
are teeming with plants and animals. Scores of birds
pass through this serene canyon annually. Throughout
the year there are innumerable shades of green and in
wet years colorful explosions of wildflowers bedazzle.
Of the four North American Deserts (Mojave, Great
basin, Chihuahuan & Sonoran) the Sonoran is the most
lush. What makes the Sonoran Desert unusual is not
the amount of rain, but that the rain occurs in two seasons.
Winter rains are typically gentle and long lasting, percolating
slowly through the loose volcanic soils. But the
monsoons of late summer can drop and inch of rain or
more in an hour, flooding normally dry washes with torrents
of muddy water. Both of these avenues of water
travel are important to the flora of the Sonoran Desert.
This 0.93 mile trail follows the wash past the old ranch
house (notice the adobe foundation as well as the still
standing brick walls) and terminates at the well and corrals.
In the wash just below the corrals are grinding
holes used by Native Americans. Past the corrals the
canyon divides into three forks which may be accessed
by hardy hikers (there are no trails or marked routes).