UPDATE 9/23/13: I was interviewed this last Friday by the local NBC TV station doing a piece on rattlesnakes. You can see the video here.
I often go hiking on the trails at the East end of Speedway, as there are quite a few trails to pick from, all are pretty easy, and the trail head is one of the closer ones to where I live. I also like going on the Three Tank Trail as it isn’t as steep as the Douglas Springs Trail and has a lot less people on it. This time though, after getting out to where you turn south to see Bridal Wreath Falls, I instead turned north on Ernie’s Falls trail which leads out of the park. The trail down the mountain is quite rocky and is more like a narrow road for four wheel drive vehicles, but it leads down to the Tanque Verde Ranch, founded in 1868, and the views are a pleasant change from the ones I’m used to seeing.
I’ve hiked a lot, but I usually don’t see certain animals. I’ve never seen a mountain lion or a Javelina while hiking, but I have seen a couple Gila Mounsters and about three rattlesnakes. But this last hike I saw FIVE rattlesnakes and the previous week a tarantula! I got some video of them so be sure to check out my iPhone video of the hike:
Here is a map of the 8.5 mile trail (1060 feet from bottom to top) I went on (GPX file available here):
And the Google Earth elevation profile:
And since I’ve been on this trail so many times, I only added one new panorama, taken on my way down Ernie’s Falls trail: