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Gilbert Riparian Preserve, AZ

no permit
1.6k 151 1
Guide 151 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix SE
2.9 of 5 by 18
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,273 feet
Elevation Gain 3 feet
Accumulated Gain 6 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.53
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2018-01-30 rayhuston
13  2017-11-22 TheNaviG8R
3  2017-11-07 Tortoise_Hiker
7  2017-01-02 gummo
8  2016-12-20 gummo
4  2016-11-23 gummo
4  2016-05-28 gummo
8  2016-03-06 gummo
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 15
Author rally_toad
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 4
Photos 512
Trips 418 map ( 2,555 miles )
Age 28 Male Gender
Location Boulder City, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:09am - 6:36pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
does this count as hiking? well sorta I guess...
by rally_toad

Ok, so I have been throwing around the idea of posting this as a "hike" for quite some time, being as this preserve is so close to my house, and the fact that I actually go there somewhat often. Well its also an "Important Bird Area", which supports the argument for it being listed on HAZ. The fact that Scottsdale Greenbelt, Rio Salado and other urban hikes are listed on hikearizona also finally persuaded me to go ahead and list this as a hike. That being said, I don't really consider this hiking, more of a city stroll where once in a while you might see something cool.

The Gilbert Water Ranch or Riparian Preserve is a 110 acre preserve,is a series of ponds or "lakes" which are filled with reclaimed water. There are seven ponds in all, as well as a lake that is stocked with fish and where fishing is permitted. This is man-made urban riparian habitat in the middle of the city, and draws lots of interesting birds. Close to 200 species of birds have been reported at the preserve, and according to the preserve website people come from different states and countries to see the sometimes rare birds that can be found at the preserve. I'm not sure how truthful that statement is, but I must say if you are visiting Arizona from elsewhere, PLEASE go to the Grand Canyon, or the Petrified Forest, or the Sky Islands down south, don't waste your time in a silly town like Gilbert. I can't imagine visiting another state to visit an urban, city park. So in conclusion, this is not a destination, but rather a good sunday morning stroll if you live within a few miles.

On to the actual "hike". Well essentially there are various paths that weave in and around the ponds and lake and provide viewing areas for the birds. Some of the more common birds that I've seen are ducks, geese, avocets, great blue herons, and black-necked stilts. I've also seen burrowing owls and some other pretty neat animals there. Other than birds, not much in the way of wildlife. There are Pond Sliders, Bullfrogs, and feral cats, all of which are introduced pests. Supposedly there are native Mud Turtles, and Kingsnakes at the preserve but I am a bit doubtful about that, this is an island habitat surrounded by city, so unless the preserve staff introduced some of the natives I have to question where they came from. You can make a nice easy loop walk by connecting some of the paths, and you might learn a thing or two about desert plants or birds from the informative signs. I'd say you could make a loop of 2-3 miles pretty easily, and on the preserve map they actually have suggestions for routes you might take and the mileage of each route. Once you've had enough, or found that elusive bird, head on back to the parking lot and back home.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-03-27 rally_toad
    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 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    My wife almost never says no to my hikes. On Friday she said she wants me around this weekend. Check.

    Instead of the usual neighborhood walk, we drove to the Gilbert riparian preserve. Beautiful morning walk. Not as many "birds" this time of year but still an enjoyable experience.
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
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    Shooting Birds and Such
    October was a pretty Lousy Month. I couldn't do much and every set of Plans I had, to do something that wasn't too Physical, got Cancelled for some Reason or another... ](*,) Very Frustrating and I really needed to get out and Shoot Something... :gun: I Shot a few things around the House, including one Subject that Required doing an Army Crawl across the Neighbor's Front Yard...Not Easy to do across Landscape Rock with a Broken Rib... : rambo : But then I finally started getting better and got out to Papago and Gilbert...So I managed to get a couple of Miles in eventually... ](*,) I did include a few of the "House" Pics in this Set, and some from a quick Driving Trip, just because they were fairly nice... ;)

    November is proving to be much better... :wlift: X-Rays next Week and I should be good to go. The Last few weeks I've been feeling pretty good and I have been "Cheating" some...Triplogs and Photosets to come... :D
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
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    More Birding/Photography Trips
    For the Month of January...Lots of Trips, some with Friends.
    4 Trips to Papago
    1 Trip to Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    1 Trip to Tres Rios

    Got a few Miles in at two of the Locations, but when it's about Birding, it's always really slow... :sweat: A couple of the Papago Trips were just at the last Minute for Potential Sunsets... :) The Town of Gilbert is really screwing with the Riparian this Year, the Ponds are terrible with very little Water in the ones that you can really view...Lots of Water in the ones you can't and where you can, the Birds are 1/4 Mile away... ;) Very Slow Birding all around the usual Places this Year except at Tres Rios...It seems to be the Best this Year, followed by the Salt River....
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Hiked the Riparian Preserve near where I live to test out HAZ Tracks. The park area was pretty crowded, but I only ran into a handful of people walking the trail around the ponds. Pretty good place to go for a walk if you feel like "getting into nature" but don't have the time or means of getting into the wilderness.
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
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    Birding / Photography Trips III
    Last Compilation from 2014...Several Short Trips for Birding and Photography...All of these are in November and December...
    One Boating Trip on Saguaro Lake for a Sister's Birthday
    One quick Sunset Trip to the Salt River
    4 Trips to Papago Park
    1 Trip to Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    1 Trip to Freestone Park
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Birding/Photography Trips II
    Compilation of Trips from the end of September through October...
    3 Trips to Papago Park
    1 Trip to Gilbert
    1 Trip to Tres Rios

    Should be about the last of the Dragonflies as it's starting to get too Cold...Winter Birds are starting to arrive and there will be even more soon...
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Not as many birds as I have seen in the past, perhaps something to do with the cat population, just kidding... kind of. Had a great time watching the ones that were there, it might just have been the time of year. Took a little more time to understand the model of the solar system they have set up around their planitarium. Played in the sand box and dug up some bones... it's an fake archaeological dig they have for kids, big and small. Tried to wait out the burrowing owls but they never came out of the nests the park has constructed for them.
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
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    Of course, the morning I decide to go, it was cloudy and raining :o I've been putting off this trip, due to lack of time, but alas, I finally went to see the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck.....yippee :y: He is a bit rare in these parts, so all the lookie Lou's were there and making all sorts of noise :gun: I just gave them my old "go ahead and make my day" look and they quickly departed my immediate area : rambo :
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Great morning to go birding and walking. I encountered some species new to me, what an awesome experience. Jammed to the Doobie Brother's epic album 'The Captain and me" on the drive down, good tunes! :)
    Gilbert Riparian Preserve
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Left my North valley home and prepared for the 48 mile trek to Gilbert. I inserted the iconic RUSH album "Exit Stage Left" and boogied down the highway. It was a cool temperature upon arrival at 0800 and I was gleaning with anticipation. The morning did not disappoint, for as, I saw the Osprey flying about and was able to enjoy his aerial show(this was a life bird for me)and I got a few photos as well. Also, I was able to surpass 250 miles for the year.... :y:

    The remainder of the morning was fair, I met some other birders and had some conversations and talked shop about our photography equipment, or lack of, in my case ;) Some of these dude's have incredible camera set-ups, whereas, I still use a PS camera - a guy can only dream!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    The "trailhead" is basically the Southeast library parking lot, located at Guadalupe and Greenfield Roads in Gilbert.
    page created by rally_toad on Mar 27 2010 8:11 pm
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