There are many different ways to get to Hidden Valley at South Mountain in Phoenix. Thursday was one of those glorious days in early May when the sun was warm but the breeze kept things cool. We did a combination of the Mormon trail, National trail, Hidden Valley trail, National trail again and the Geronimo trail. This is actually a 7 mile distance. We started at the 24trh street large parking lotâ€”BTW, go during the week. Everyone fills the lot fast on weekends. First climb the mile plus up the Mormon trail past the loop that goes to the left and on to the National trail. We then went left on the National trail to the junction with Hidden Valley that is clearly marked. Right turn into Hidden Valley, through the tunnel, then over 2 rock obstacles and on over the Fat Man's pass. This time I had a photo taken of me going through that squeeze!
The Hidden Valley trail again joins the National trail and we turned left toward Buena Vista lookout. Fascinating views of the valley on both sides and astounding rock formations. Once at the Buena Vista lookout (parking lot there) we then went north to the Geronimo trail that takes us back down to the valley. The Geronimo trail can be fairly steep in places with quite a few switchbacks but it goes through some interesting rock formations. The only drawback is once you reach the end of the Geronimo trail you have to make your way back to the 24th street lot which involves some backyards and pavement. However, the total trip this way is 7 miles and it offers a very diverse selection of views and terrain.
You will probably notice by the few photos that I was hiking with a very beautiful woman that made the hike even more enjoyable. Even though she called me "daddy" a couple times and I introduced her to some as "my daughter", her presence added much to the enjoyment of the hike and the day. This was just another variation of the Hidden Valley route and for this one the weather was quite perfect!
Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
A campfire must be extinguished by drowning it with water, stirring with a shovel, and repeating that process until the campfire is cold to the touch. A campfire is still a danger if it has any trace of heat, and must not be left or abandoned. Wildfires can begin by abandoned campfires that rebuild heat on windy days and then blowing embers ignite surrounding grasses and brush.