B is for Butterfly LbNA # 64002
|Placed Date||Feb 10 2013|
|Location||TM Park, Tucson, AZ|
Difficulty: Easy with a few steep up and downs
Distance: 1.6 miles one way
Stamp: Hand Carved
This stylized butterfly represents the Arizona Powdered Skipper.
"Arizona Powdered Skippers are found here in Arizona and throughout the southwestern US, usually in canyons and washes. These butterflies have an up to 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) wingspan and will usually perch with their wings held open." To see a photo of this butterfly, check out:
http://fireflyforest.net/firefly/2006/03/06/arizona-powdered-skipper/ which is the source of this description.
How to get to trailhead:
From I-10, take Speedway west for 7.1 miles to Gates Pass. After coming through the pass and heading down towards Old Tucson Studios, you will arrive at the stop sign. Turn left. Parking area K14 is down the road on the right. Park here.
To the box:
All degrees are from magnetic north. Take the trail heading roughly southwest. The trail loops left, crosses through a wash and then you will walk until you come to an intersection of a cross trail feeding in from the right. Go straight through the intersection heading roughly south/southwest. Walk about .6 miles (you will go through 1 small wash and 2 very significant washes) following the mostly level trail and notice on your left side when it starts to parallel and come very close to the banks of a deep wash with steep walls. About .3 miles from this point, start looking for a trail that feeds in from the right at 270* and out to the left at 80*.
Turn right onto the trail at 270*. Start counting washes from here. About 45 steps (I'm a tall person), takes you to the bottom of the big 1st wash. Another 50 steps takes you to the bottom of the 2nd wash. The 3rd is another large wash. Pass through the 4th wash. After exiting the 5th wash, on the right there is a half saguaro with 4 arms sprouting from the stunted top. Stop at the bottom of the 6th wash. Count 35 steps and stop at an interesting grouping of plants on the right side. The most interesting to note are 3 very close saguaros with a 2 headed one on the left. Stand on the north side of these 3 cacti. Looking down you will see a dead tree trunk to your left and a dead saguaro to your right. Take 40 steps at 15* to a couple of palo verde trees. The front palo verde has 2 baby saguaros as companions and the back one has a baby saguaro nestled at its base. Look under some rocks and plant debris to find the box hidden at the base of the front tree on the southwest side.
The standard warning applies when reaching for letterboxes in Arizona:
Rattlesnakes and “mean” things abound,
please take a stick and poke around.
It may save your hand or your life
and help to avoid loads of strife!
Please bring plenty of water. This trail has no shade and is very hot during the summer months.