[Source: Doug Kreutz, Arizona Daily Star] — Golden winter grasses carpet gently rolling hills and hidden hollows along the Mariposa Trail at Oracle State Park. A trek on the trail is kind of like slipping into the park through the back door. Beginning at its own trailhead northwest of the park’s main trail system and the historic Kannally Ranch House, the 1.2-mile route offers a “walk-in” alternative to driving into the park.
The Mariposa Trail dips into a hollow near the starting point and then climbs gradually to a grassy hilltop affording good views of the Catalina Mountains to the south and the rugged Galiuro range to the east. It works its way down another hillside and then meanders southeastward to connect with a network of trails and the park’s main entrance road. Hikers coming in on the Mariposa might choose to visit the ranch house or link with other trails for a longer hike. By connecting with the Granite Overlook Trail Loop, the Windy Ridge Trail Loop or the Nature Trail Loop, it’s possible to fashion a round-trip trek of several miles. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]