Arizona Hiking Gallery
Table Top Mountain Hike
Table Top Wilderness, AZ
May 4, 2008
Gallery contains 35 photos
Gallery last updated: 5/14/2008

This was about a 7.5 mile out and back hike along the Table Top Trail in the Table Top Wilderness to the top of Table Top Mountain (elevation 4356 feet), a climb of about 2000 feet from the desert floor. The Table Top Wilderness is now part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 1
Saguaros stand tall in the desert flats near the start of the Table Top Trail. Table Top Mountain, the highest point in the Table Top Wilderness, can be seen behind the Ocotillo at the far right of this photo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 2
The top of Table Top Mountain looming above the desert floor is the destination of this hike.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 3
The arm of a Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus) load with buds and flowers.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 4
Saguaro Cactus flower.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 5
Flower buds cover the top of an arm of a Saguaro Cactus.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 6
At the tip of a long spiny cane the bright red Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) flower stands out against the blue sky.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 7
The Table Top Trail skirts the basaltic slopes of this unnamed hill.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 8
Trail sign at the wilderness boundary.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 9
The death of a Saguaro. This Saguaro is infected with Bacterial Necrosis which causes the cactus to turn brown and ooze a black gooey substance.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 10
Bacterial necrosis is thought to be caused by a species Erwinia bacteria which infects a cactus weakened by frost damage, heat stress or other wounds and openings.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 11
A closeup of the black gooey substance oozing out of the cactus. The trunk of the cactus was covered with this tar-like goo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 12
Another closeup of the black oozing goo. Although not visible in this picture, a few small white nematode-like worms, perhaps 1/4 of an inch long, were swimming around in this goo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 13
The goo was forming long black gooey strands. The outside of the strands were "skinned" over and quite rubbery.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 14
Another look at the gooey strands.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 15
The black goo oozing from the cactus was flowing down the trunk and pooling on the ground

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 16
Well, not only was the goo pooling, but it was practically forming a river of goo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 17
Little Table Top Mountain (on the left left) rises to an elevation of 3097 feet above sea level as seen from this southerly view from the Table Top Trail.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 18
The Table Top Trail starts to make a gradual climb on it's northeastward march toward the base of Table Top Mountain. It is about a 2000 feet climb to the top.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 19
A saguaro framed view looking back to the south east over the hills of the Table Top Mountains. The trail has started to climb more earnestly now.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 20
A basalt rock fall on the slope of Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 21
A prominent basalt rock outcropping begins to emerge over a ridge.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 22
The fruit of the Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata).

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 23
Dried flowers and fruit of the Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata).

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 24
The stalk of this Banana Yucca is load with fruit.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 25
Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi) became abundant near the top of Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 26
Paperflower, also known as paperdaisy, growing among the volcanic rocks on Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 27
Unknown buliders constructed an impressive rock wall near the top of Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 28
The dry rocky slopes near the top of the mountain were dotted with prickly pear, banana yucca, and ocotillo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 29
The dry rocky slopes near the top of the mountain were dotted with prickly pear, banana yucca, and ocotillo.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 30
The yellow mound of Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi) contrasts nicely with the black basalt rock on top of Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 31
On the way back down, looking over the rock wall to the deserts beyond. Little Table Top Mountain is in the center.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 32
Another view along the rock wall.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 33
Bare, thorny Ocotillo canes sporting red tips of flowers in this view overlooking the desert below.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 34
Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa) in bloom.

Table Top Mountain Hike: Image 35
Interesting details of the Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa) flower.

All images Copyright ©2008 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.