The early morning views are so awesome as I arrive on the west side of Gates Pass at the Yetman trail head. From the parking lot, I can see Goldengate Mountain to my right and to my left is the little known Bern Mountain. I’ve read a couple of hiking reports and there are a few different approaches. I follow Yetman to a point where I see the above view. I’ve reached one access point from a gps track I have but see 0 evidence anyone has ever tread so I turn and follow a…..
…. trail that is well worn but not on the park’s maps. It goes clockwise around Bern and gives nice views of Gates Pass Road and the distant Bushmaster Peak.
I approach a saddle and soon am in an area of the Tucson Mountains I have not previously visited. The trail mostly climbs and when reaching another saddle, I hear a noise to my left and…
….see a couple of deer bounding away. I continue to look for a way up and see a couple but don’t see any cairns and have no interest in pioneering a new route in today’s heat.
I started the hike in roughly the 6 o’clock position and now at about the 12 o’clock position, see a cairn and begin heading up. It’s getting too late so I turn around but now know the access point. The trail I have been following continues but not certain where/if it emerges on a known trail (it does I learned later), turn around.
Retracing my route, I see the serpentine Gates Pass Road and as I continue my descent I….
….see a black tail rattlesnake cross the trail a few feet in front of me. I suppose it is returning from its morning hunt and pays me no attention as it slithers into its den. Finished with under 4 miles so not a difficult hike but will be back to finish the trek to the peak.