Molino Canyon Vista Overlook

Today my dad and I plus one of my dogs (a Doberman mix) visited Molino Canyon Vista Overlook and hiked upstream in the now mostly dry wash. Molino Canyon Vista Overlook is on your right side when you are driving up Catalina Highway. There are some short nature trails there with a few labeled native plants.

We took the path to the left and then headed upstream (left) in the narrow, relatively level, sandy wash. Downstream (right) there are large boulders and cliffs which make hiking difficult, although people do climb down to enjoy the pools, waterfalls, and nice, sandy beaches when there is more water in the canyon. The stream is intermittent and quite shallow now.

Stream near Molino Canyon Vista Overlook

The riparian trees in this lovely little canyon are adorned with colorful birds including orioles, tanagers, and hummingbirds, making it a very nice place for bird-watching right now. There are still flowers blooming along the wash, including Glandularia gooddingii (Goodding's Verbena), Mimulus guttatus (Seep Monkeyflower), and Castilleja lanata (Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush).

We hiked up the canyon until we came to a steep, rocky waterfall with a natural, hollowed out seat in the rock. A little water was flowing down the waterfall, but not enough to dowse yourself under it yet. I'll come back in the summer when the weather is really hot and there is more water in the canyon after the summer rains begin. I am quite careful in canyons like this one in the summer monsoon season because of the very real threat of flash floods, so I only hike in them on clear days with no recent thunderstorms.

Waterfall near Molino Canyon Vista Overlook