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Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail, AZ

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Guide 121 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.1 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,510 feet
Elevation Gain 1,075 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,075 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.93
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
1  2019-06-20
Corona Loop
1  2019-04-01
Geronimo Trail - South Mountain
2  2019-04-01
Geronimo Trail - South Mountain
1  2018-10-30
Corona Loop
1  2018-04-25
Corona Loop
1  2018-04-20
Corona Loop
3  2018-02-14
Crown of a wet hill
2  2018-01-21
Geronimo - Corona Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,834
Trips 4,262 map ( 21,474 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar → 7 AM
Seasons   Winter to Early Spring
Sun  6:17am - 6:24pm
Official Route
28 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Legend of Eagle Pass
by joebartels

Approximately a half dozen trails access upper South Mountain from Ahwatukee. This trail is located just east of Eagle Pass. It serves as a great segment for loops with Corona de Loma - West, Guadalupe Ridge & Gabriel Canyon.

Sections of trail are loose gravel on steep inclines. Going up is the preferred direction of travel.

Finding the trail your first time may require a GPS unit or some trial and error. Once you know it you'll be glad you took the time to figure it out. I suggest checking out the Official Route for specifics.

From the lower end at (33.33687, -112.02188) the trail parts from an access loop off the Desert Classic Trail. Nobody loses sleep over hiking South Mountain but this is a pretty good hike from the beginning. The trail shoots up a ravine before a switchback takes you to a ridge ascent. This is one of the more strenuous ascents on South Mountain. Fear not, it's still a tad under nearby Camelback or Piestewa grade wise. The trail is easy to follow with no real sucker trails of concern.

On the way up I noticed a good population of Ironwood trees. Most are medium to small and healthy. When you see an Ironwood you know you're in the Sonoran Desert as it's the only place they grow. They can live up to 1,500 years providing micro climates necessary for other desert life. The dense wood wards off birds from burrowing. On the same token, the dense canopy provides shade for birds and vegetation underneath.

In the upper reaches Ironwoods give way to Palo Verde trees. You have a nice overview of Eagle pass on your left. Look closely and you'll notice Corona de Loma (west) coming down inside the pass. At about 2,380 feet the trail levels off for a while. You get a chance to catch your breath in a nice stretch of desert flora. After 0.15mi (a couple minutes) you're climbing in elevation again. Views to the north open up before you top out. The Guadalupe Ridge trail junctions at (33.34270,-112.03435). Continuing up you soon come to the highest undeveloped ridge stretch on South Mountain. The radio towers sit about a hundred feet higher if you really want to top out. The views of the entire South Mountain range unfold in all directions. There's a nice perch to admire down into Eagle Pass and a fifty yard side trail to the high point.

The trail continues on down to the National Trail at (33.34297,-112.03893). The most popular looping option is probably with Corona de Loma West. From the Warpaint Trailhead it's a nice 6mi hike.

Popular nearby section to consider for various loops:
Note: If you plan on mountain biking this trail it's going to be hell unless you're a pro!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-04-14 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent of 22 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    wanted to do something else up in sedona. but that was a weather nope. drove to dead horse ranch and started the thumper loop. within minutes big lightning flashes and hail = nope #2 for the day so i said screw it, i'll just do something in south mountain on the way home.

    consulted HAZ traildex for something new, loaded up route scout and said "let's get out" :y:

    fun loop. occasional clouds and breeze kept it pretty manageable
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Crown of a wet hill
    Rain :y:
    It was a lovely evening for a hearty hike.

    Climbed into the clouds and lost sight of most everything. I'd never been to the old Holbert Lookout before. Makes sense they closed it since the view didn't include anything farther away than Baseline.

    Weather like this calls for soup, and nature provided. Pea soup. Couldn't even see the towers. Reasonable 10-foot hiking visibility, but a headlamp would have resulted in a reflective white out.

    It was wet and squishy the whole way. Good thing I was properly clad to enjoy it.

    'Twas a moist enjoyable hike! :)
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    Geronimo - Corona Loop
    wanted something a little longer with some elevation gain today
    i've done various combinations with corona loop but not for at least five years :o
    up geronimo, down corona de loma, east on desert classic, up old man, back on geronimo
    hit a little high point by accident on corona de loma, missed a turn on old man
    a nice addition to geronimo, holbert or mormon trails
    didn't burn it down today

    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    Old Man Midlife Corona
    Nice weather had me itching to get out during the week. I'd never been to this trailhead before, and a few of the trails were new to me as well. I think we were off-route once or twice but that just added to the adventure. I shared a full flow of complaints about all the things currently annoying me. Good thing it was a 3 hour hike! :sweat:
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    Corona - Guadalupe Ridge - Hidden Valley Loop
    A nice night out on the hills. Saw a couple of scorpions, a few coyotes (which we were promptly warned about on the way in by a concerned trail runner! :o)... hopped on some rocks. Explored another new wash that connects to Hidden Valley.
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    Tuesday Night on SoMo
    Well I started early and glad I did. The trail was busy only on the Mormon trail after that I did see a few back riders the Corona de Loma Trail.
    I used my new brace on this hike for just over a mile and had to take it of as it really was rubbing my ankle the wrong way. And of course once I removed it and I had no insert in my boot oh well.
    The views were just incredible as the breeze seem to clear out the smog. The most confusing thing was all the new names given to old trail :? . Anyone know why they did this?
    It was dark coming up Corona de Loma Trail and the coyotes were out in packs. I had two bike riders pass me and they seem to set off the howling of the coyotes. They also surprised me as they waited for Rowdy and me to reach them. But I had stopped and put Rowdy on his leash just incase. I thank them and they moved on.
    As it got dark I put on my full charged headlamp as we ascend the trail. But when I turned it on the only light that work was the red light and that did not help. At this point I decided to use the flashlight on my phone and not knowing how long it would last.
    We finally made it up to Buena Vista at that point my phone was down to 20% power. I walk out to the bench and decide to text my wife as I figured I will be latter than I though hiking down in the dark. At this point a gentlemen walk up behind me and asked it I needed a ride and I jumped on it. When I got to my car I thank him and gave him $20. I sat down to drink on of beers I packed for this hike. And I heard my name being called and looked up and saw Chumley then most of the group finishing up.
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    It seems every time I plan to watch my grandson play flag football it is canceled. backup plan, Take A Hike! I didn't hit the trail until 9 am. It rained lightly, off and on. I did this hike clockwise. I saw a few bikers down below and 3 solo hikers on the west Corona. Before hitting Bueno Vista I turned left in a wash and did some exploring. By the time I got out of the wash I was by the gate to the towers :o :) . Followed the National back to Corona East and finished the loop. Nice out this "mid" morning :D .
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    I hit the trail around 5:15 am. I started from warpaint road. It can be a little tricky finding the trailhead for Corona de Loma. There is a post at the start with the name on it to reassure you that your in the right place. I started on the west Corona. Once you get to the trailhead the climbing begins. This is the biggest climb of the hike and you get a good sweat going this time of year. The trail was slightly chewed up from the rain. After the climb you drop into a little valley. My favorite section. Climbing out to Buena Vista look out, you get a nice view of "The Chinese Wall" rock wall formation. National Trail was normal heading over to Eagle Pass. Once you get on Corona East the trail gets rougher as you go. I think for South Mountain this is the roughest trail, footing wise. I still like it though. This is a fun loop with a lot less traffic. I only saw one group of five by Buena Vista. I've also only seen one Mountain Biker on this loop in the few times I've done it. Nice morning hike with a great sunrise, breezes at the saddles, and 80% overcast. :D :y:
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    AWESOME. But where is "Midlife Crisis"? That was my favorite trail in this hike, it wound around peak-to-peak in the middle of the park and was my longest section. I would give it 5 stars. Anyway, I started with Geronimo which I also really liked. It's just a bit hard to follow and I got lost in the wash about halfway in. I did run pretty close to a hive in the stoney ledge along the wash, but not too close.

    Again though, all the scrambling and rock to rock jumps on Midlife Crisis trail was superb. I did miss the turnoff connector to Hidden Valley but found it using location on Google Maps with no issue. Thankful for the reception in the area. After that, it was a run on National and Mormon, then along Euclid back to my car. I had no problem parking just West of the 20th St. roundabout along a fence line.

    This was certainly the top South Mountain set I've done.
    Corona de Loma East - AKA Old Man Trail
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    South Mountain Southeast Loop
    In the past I have hiked up Telegraph Pass to National Trail, and at Buena Vista taken the Corona de Loma trail down to Desert Classic and back to the Telegraph Pass trailhead. This time I decided to reverse the loop and go out on the flat Desert Classic trail, climb South Mountain, follow National Trail and then return via Telegraph Pass.

    Desert classic is fairly flat running to the South of South Mountain. Some days there are lots of mountain bikers which can be a little annoying having to constantly step off the trail to get out of the way, but there were very few this time out. Creosote bushes along the trail were all covered with yellow blossoms and a few cacti were in bloom as well. About 1 mile into the hike the trail crosses a wash, but I made the mistake of following the wash instead of the trail. Walking in the soft sand of the wash I realized I was in the wrong place and found an easy place to climb out of the wash. On my way from the wash to the trail I saw a little garter snake and took a video of him with my phone. I walked about five miles before I realized that I had gone too far and I was well past the Corona trail. Not wanting to back track more than I had to I decided to take Old Man trail up South Mountain.

    The Old Man trail is a very narrow single track that is steep and goes right up South Mountain with no switchbacks and minimal traversing. This was my first time on this trail. It's definitely a workout for the legs. Every time it looked like I was at the top the trail turned a corner and kept going up. All in all it was about a 1000 foot elevation gain over about 1 mile. Old Man trail runs into Midlife Crisis Trail for the final short leg of the climb up to the ridge line. Reaching the ridge line after all that climbing felt like a real accomplishment. After a short level stretch along the ridge the trail drops off to the right to meet with the National Trail just East of Buena Vista Lookout.

    Once on the National Trail it was about a 4 mile hike past the antennas to the top of Telegraph Pass. My legs were quite worn out from the Old Man Trail so I took a brief break at the bench at the top of Telegraph Pass before heading down for the final leg of the hike.

    I would do this loop again. Old Man Trail is a bear, but once at the top the rest of the hike was nearly all down hill.

    Mostly creosote blooming. A very few cacti also in bloom.

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    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Warpaint Trailhead
    Take the I-10 to exit 159 for Ray Road. Travel west on Ray Road about 1/4 mile until you reach the signaled intersection for 48th Street. Take 48th Street north until you reach the signaled intersection for E. Knox Road. Travel west on E. Knox Road until you reach Warpaint Drive. Travel north on Warpaint Drive about 1/4 mile. There is parking on the street. Trail head is on the west side of Warpaint Drive.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 14.0 mi - about 21 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 99.7 mi - about 1 hour 32 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 158 mi - about 2 hours 27 mins
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