Desert Delights…


Hi Friends!

One might think that having lunch with a Roadrunner would be the highlight of any day,

but our afternoon was even more memorable!

Recently, while exploring the Tonto National Forest, in southern Arizona,

we were drawn to so many beautiful oases in the desert.

I can’t wait to take you to two of my perennial favorites!

We seek out these breathtaking oases each time we visit our family nearby.


Come join us!

For our afternoon hike, you will need:

sturdy shoes, a hat, water bottle, sunscreen,…

and you might want to bring your camera along, too.  ☺


Follow me…. but watch your step!

Tonto National Forest, with Four Peaks in the background

Tonto National Forest, with Four Peaks in the background

Don’t worry. I have been here many times.

We won’t get lost.

Let’s begin our hike at the trail head, and walk down

to a beautiful oasis.


The lower Salt River winds its way through the Tonto National Forest.

The Salt River provides a lush green oasis

in the midst of the harsh Sonoran desert.

People love to fish, canoe, and hike here.

Turn around, very s-l-o-w-l-y.

You will see the reason that I come

to this breathtaking oasis!


These mountains bring tears to my eyes

every time I hike here.

I stand here in awe… fully mindful and present.

My worries seem small whenever I stand in this beautiful place.


The Salt River is low at this time of year.

We can walk out onto the river bed.

I just love to look at the river rocks,

worn smooth over time.

During the summer months, when a nearby dam is opened,

the Salt River grows much wider and deeper.

The river flows over the

rocks where we are standing.


Saguaro Lake, with 22 miles of shoreline, is actually a reservoir. It was created when the Stewart Mountain Dam was built on the Salt River in 1930.

Just a short drive brings us to our next

beautiful oasis.

Saguaro Lake is a sparkling gem in the desert!

It is very popular with boaters.

Visitors can cruise the lake on the Desert Belle tour boat,

and enjoy a wonderful meal on the patio of the marina,

overlooking Saguaro Lake.

It’s so hard to believe that this beautiful lake

is surrounded by the wild desert!

We love to come to the lake

for a picnic breakfast

at sunrise,

and we are not the only ones…  ☺


It’s mid-afternoon already, but our hike continues.

The best is yet to come!

We can find the trail head for

my favorite place to hike

at Saguaro Lake,

 just past Butcher Jones Beach.

This trail is very uneven,

as it meanders along the water’s edge.


Peregrine Point, along the trail at Butcher Jones Recreation Site

Be very careful, as we walk up along this narrow, winding trail.

I am always so amazed to see

these giant Saguaros

growing at the edge of this lovely lake,

named in their honor!


I always stop to take in all of the unique beauty

of this special place,

where the water and the desert come together



We can hike quite a distance, before the trail becomes much too rugged for me.

Then we will just turn around and retrace our steps.


Oh, how I love this very spot!   ↑

Calm.   Peace.    Solace.


Looking across the lower Salt River to Red Mountain.  The mountain is on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Native American land.

Driving south along the lower Salt River,

we always stop here to admire Red Mountain.

Seeing this beautiful mountain

always means we are

very close


the dearest part

of the Arizona desert…

my parents!

We were here celebrating their birthdays,

 making wonderful family memories,

and counting our blessings.


Thank you so much for hiking with us today!

I appreciate the time you spend visiting and truly love your comments.

Hoping you will find solace in nature this week…

Sending sunshine!

♡ Dawn


14 thoughts on “Desert Delights…

    • So true, Karen! Walking in nature always brings me peace. Now that we are back home, I will be taking a snowy walk tomorrow! It’s the perfect week to count our blessings. Sending grateful hugs! ♡

  1. Oh Dawn, thank you for taking me along on your gorgeous hike! Your beautiful photos make me want to return to Arizona just to take this hike! I too, get emotional when I see beauty in nature. That happened to me many times when we were in Arizona. Grayden and I take daily walks and I always find them to fill my heart with peace. Even if it’s just a walk through our neighborhood. There is beauty if we look. ♥

    • Hi Martha Ellen! I knew I just HAD to save these two special oases for last. You would both love this hike (especially on a cool Autumn day!). We also have a “secret place” in the desert where my husband proposed. So special… and so beautiful! {whispering} We love to hike to our “secret place” every year, and my parents keep watch over it while we are far away. You are so right about daily walks in nature! Now more than ever, they fill our hearts with peace. So thankful for our friendship, Martha Ellen! Sending snowy hugs! ♡

  2. This was such an inspirational and peaceful walk, Dawn. I enjoyed every step. 🙂 What a sweet photo of you, and what stunning views. It looks like you had a lot to celebrate with your parents, their birthdays, and all the beauty that surrounds them. Thank you.

    • Your thoughtful words bring tears to my eyes, Penny! It always brings me comfort to be near bodies of water (and bottles of water!) while hiking in the desert. It makes the harsh, dry desert feel much more gentle and friendly! I really love learning about all of the plants in the southwest. My parents retired to Arizona so long ago. It is such a blessing now that I am retired, so that we can visit for their birthdays. We make such sweet memories each time we are together! Sending snowy hugs, dear Penny! ♡

  3. How wonderful to recall warm and sunny days in the desert when Winter knocks too early on our doors! Oh, Dawn, I hear you, for I will also weep tears borne by some deep and wondrous feeling that rises from my soul as I stand in awe before such majesty of nature. To that list of what to bring, add tissues! The desert is a magical place for so many reasons and I do regret not being able to spend more time on the three occasions I drove across America now those were ~~~Road Trips!~~~ It isn’t only the miracle of finding oases in the dry and arid landscape, but the incredible colours of the earth and sky that change to another scene of glorious perfection with each passing moment.
    ~~~waving from Across the Big Water~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • Good Morning, dear Deb! Kindred spirits, to be sure! No matter how many times we have hiked to these favorite oases in the Sonoran desert, they continue to inspire awe (and tears!). It was our great fortune to hike on a cool day, with puffy clouds casting the prettiest shadows upon the mountains. The colors were ever-changing that day. Just looking back at our photos always brings such warm memories ~ for the sweetest of reasons! So grateful for your visits, Deb. You always add so much to our conversation here! Waving back! ♡

  4. Off to the beach today. That is my place for solace and communing with nature. A quiet walk along the shore is always restorative. By the way, my license plate is IN AW!

    • Oh, Anne! It would be so lovely to join you for a walk on the beach. May the waves carry in peace, and carry all your worries away! Pure license plate perfection, dear friend!:) I am always in awe of your retirement journey! You inspire me in so many ways! So grateful for our long friendship, Anne! ♡

    • Hi Mom and Dad! Huge thanks! I can still remember the very first time you took me there to hike, so long ago. No mater how many times we hike the trail along Saguaro Lake, it’s serene beauty always takes my breath away! Hope you are having a sunny day. Sending our love and happy hugs! ♡

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