The McDowell Sonoran Preserve, about 20 miles north east of Phoenix, is the largest urban preserve in the United States. It contains roughly 30,000 acres of the Sonoran Desert and the majority of the McDowell Mountains. The Preserve has lots of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. This morning I hiked the Gateway Loop, a 4.5 mile trail considered moderately difficult with an elevation gain of 650 feet.
The annual winter Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil show is one of the biggest, most prestigious gem and mineral shows in the world. Each year brings a vast showcase of stunning rocks, minerals, and lapidary arts.
El Mirador is a beach in Rocky Point, Mexico. Rocky Point, or Puerto Peñasco. Rocky Point is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix, so it draws lots of Americans from both Arizona and California. I made my first trip down shortly after moving to Arizona in 2006. This was my first time back in several years, and likely the last time I will go.
One of the first things I did after moving to Phoenix in January 2006 was to head down to the world-class Tucson gem show. The full show is an amalgamation of shows staged in dozens of hotels and warehouses all over Tucson.