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Bees Knees Loop, AZ

no permit
147 42 4
Guide 42 Triplogs  4 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.3 of 5 by 12
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 7.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,246 feet
Elevation Gain 1,202 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,100 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18.4
Interest Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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4  2017-11-23 Hansenaz
7  2016-01-09 Nightstalker
10  2015-10-24
South Mountain Mine Trails
24  2013-12-31 bkraay
10  2013-07-08 RowdyandMe
8  2013-02-26 chumley
4  2012-01-22
Pyramid Trail - South Mountain
8  2011-09-03 johnlp
Page 1,  2
Author Dartmoor Hiker
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 1
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 8 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Chandler, AZ USA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:32pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Good to be new
by Dartmoor Hiker

This hike incorporates the new Bees Knees trail in area 620 of South Mountain. This is one of the two new trails built in 2010.

The route is relatively easy to follow as it is all well made paths, particularly the new Bees Knees trail which is the first part of the hike.

To start the hike I followed the directions in an AZ Central article. I simply went down the gravel road past the yellow end of road sign. After about 1000 feet turn right up a wash and after another 1000 feet you will come to cairn on the west side of the wash showing the start of the trail. You can cut out this first part of the hike by walking up 19th Avenue and crossing the wash at that point.

The first part of the trail is fairly level and by keeping left at each fork you will start going up the Bees Knees trail as it traverses the ridge you can see to the north. The Bees Knees trail goes on for about 3 miles when you bear left at another fork to go up the steepish Kebo Trail.

The Kebo trail links up with the National trail after about 0.5 miles and when you get the National trail bear right going north on the National trail.

Follow the National trail for about 2 miles and before you get to Goat Hill keep an eye out for a trail on the right hand side going down. This is the Mine Drop trail. This gets quite steep in places and the ground is loose so take it slow and easy. Once you get the bottom just follow the cairns in to a big wash and follow this wash down until you reach the beginning of the Bees Knee trail and get pack to the trail head.

Note - an easier route round might be to do this in reverse and go up the Mine Drop trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-01-02 Dartmoor Hiker
    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 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Bees Knees Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pre-turkey walk on the nice South Mountain trails at the end of Ahwatukee. Lots of people at the 11AM start...hardly anyone at 2:30PM. We just picked a combination of the many available trails to make a loop we hadn't done before. Main revelation was that lunchtime pond strolls and Saturday mesa walks does not mean I can effortlessly ascend the hills. :doh:
    Bees Knees Loop
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    Got in this one in the afternoon on the way home from work. I got started about 3:30 and it was pretty warm, but about an hour later some cloud cover came that made things perfect. Good grinder, I could tell I was still recovering from my chest cold from last week. I did this loop CCW so I could get the biggest elevation gains done first. This was my first time up the 'mine drop' trail, now I have officially hit all the trails in this part of the park. There were some really nice big Bursera on the south facing slopes, many with quite a bit of seed ripening. I got a text from a friend on the Bursera trail just as the sun was setting that he had an extra ticket for the Suns Knicks game, so I picked up the pace so I could make the circle around South Mountain and meet him down there. I warned him I might be a little ripe, but at least I had a clean shirt to change into in the car...Very exciting game, went to overtime and the Suns actually managed a win! Great finish to a good day, even if it ended up being a late one. Few things satisfy for dinner like overpriced stadium nachos and a Blue Moon. :D
    Bees Knees Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Another day off, and another good hike. This one may have been a bit ambitious after my hike yesterday, but it's been on my list for a while. Got to the Pyramid TH around 10am and there were about 10 other cars there. Guess a lot of people took this week off work. Cool and breezy out, and not as hazy as it was yesterday.

    Made my way up the Pyramid Trail and ended up getting on the wrong trail. I ended up on the trail just to the east of the Lost Ranch Mine Trail. I can't find a specific name for this trail, though it's part of the "Lost Camp Loop" and is named "Eliminator II" on Google Maps. I had already climbed up a good, steep 200 ft before I realized it, but I knew this one met up with the National just like the other anyways, so I kept going. The trail was very steep with a lot of loose footing. Probably one of the steepest trails I've hiked. Took a couple breaks on the way up, and eventually made it to the National. Woo!

    When I got to the top I saw Goat Hill on my right, practically begging me to visit... so I did. Nobody on Goat Hill this time. Just how I like it. I love the little white butterflies that are always on top of Goat Hill. Headed back west on the National, checking out the mines along the way. I love this western end of the National. Connected to Bursera and made my way back. I was pretty exhausted by the time I was climbing back up Bursera. Passed 10-15 other people on Bursera, and another 5 or 6 going back on Pyramid. I was kind of bummed that I was so tired, because I wanted to check out the Lost Ranch ruins. Next time.
    Bees Knees Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I had the rare occasion of having to convince 9L to not be lazy and get out there! (It usually works the other way around) Taking advantage of the cloudy skies and relatively cool temperatures, I decided to test out my lungs after a recent respiratory illness. Seemed to work reasonably well. A nice storm passed us to the east, and a shower threatened to our south as we got back to the car, but otherwise the weather cooperated, providing a cool breeze and a rainbow or two, but no rain or nearby lightning strikes. Nobody else out there tonight.

    Started from the 17th Ave and Thunderhill storm drain access, which was a world better than the 19th Ave route, or the actual trail route west of there. Might begin from here on all future visits.
    Bees Knees Loop
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    Unless something unforeseen happens, this will close out my February as far as hiking goes.

    I had a meeting in Chandler so I decided on a south side hike. Don't know why more people don't come out this way. It takes me less time to get here than to Squaw. The natural scenery of SoMo isn't nearly as nice as other desert areas, and the flora on the south side of the mountain is even more drab than the north, but the terrain is great and kicked my butt!

    All the while, I passed only 3 people, and spotted 2 others hiking on different trails than me. I'll take that over 1000 tourists climbing a mountain every time!

    I must be Norwegian, because I thought it was a little bit warm today. Perhaps I shouldn't complain, knowing what lies ahead!?

    Some of the trails out here are not on the official SoMo map, and even the HAZ hikes don't have them all labeled, so it's a little difficult to explain. Check out my GPS track for the route. I made a counterclockwise loop, starting up the hill on the far right trail. There's a parallel route just to the west and another farther west than those two. All three are total butt kickers ... seriously steep ascents!

    Once on National, it's smooth sailing for a couple of miles before gradually descending. The last stretch gets rather steep on the way down before meeting up with the Bursera Trail. Bursera climbs a short ridge before dropping into a large valley where i heard a pack of coyotes barking and howling at each other ... despite it being the middle of the day!

    Eventually Bursera climbs the ridgeline that leads back to Pyramid at the beginning. Bursera is paralleled by another trail to its north that stays in the valley and features less elevation change. I saw a guy trail running it, and it seemed like a good trail for that.

    Made it back to the car in under 3 hrs, averaging a respectable 2.7mph including a couple of short snack breaks.

    For my mental health, I think I need to telecommute more. :)
    Bees Knees Loop
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    Morning ride after yesterday's tailgating extravaganza at the Coyote's home opener. Interesting that our half-season tickets (just can't make the time commitment for 41 home games) are 10th row in section 102 by the visitors bench, 2 rows back from last year.Asked the people sitting in our last year's seats and they said they bought them online and were visiting from Winnipeg catching this game only - huh? Thought re-upping tickets on a team hurting for fans would give us some sort of priority. Oh well, stop the complaining, seats still rock and the home team won... :y: :y: :y:
    Bees Knees Loop
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    Area 620 Tour
    Decided to try and hit all the new trails in the South Mountain 620 area in one hike. I have been on most of the trails, but some of todays sections were new to me. Started from the end of Chandler Blvd at first light heading east up the Gila View trail. The Gila View trail meets the National trail at marker #33, between the stone hut and the ridge line on the National west of Telegraph Pass. Once on the National, I hiked west going up to Goat Hill, then west to the Mine Drop trail. I started down the Mine Drop trail then took the Lost mine trail, which branches off of the Mine Drop after only a couple tenths of a mile. After reaching flatter section of the Lost Mine trail, I took a spur trail west to connect back to the bottom of the Mine Drop trail. I then hiked up the Mine Drop to the National heading west to the intersection of the Ruins trail. Then I hiked down the Ruins trail past the ruins and took a spur trail west that connects to the Valley trail. Once on the Valley trail, I hiked west past the Kebo and Bees Knees intersections and took another spur trail up and over a ridge and eventually to the National trail where it comes up out of the San Juan Valley on a small saddle. Next I hiked east on the National trail onto the Kebo trail, up and over a saddle then down to the Valley trail, which then connects to the Bees Knees trail a little ways to the west. Then all that was left was to hike up and back to the trailhead on the Bees Knees (Gila View West) trail. Long hike but well worth the effort. Not as exciting as Area 51, but almost!
    Bees Knees Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    From the end of Chandler Blvd & 19th Ave went east up to the Gila View trail, over to the National trail, down the Ranger, up and over on the Alta trail, east on the National, down the Kebo trail to the Valley trail, and back via the Bees Knees trail (Gila View West). Getting a little warm by the end of the hike, but not unbearable. Not many people out on the trails. Bicyclists were doing time trials up Summit Rd from San Juan Rd as I was going by.
    Bees Knees Loop
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    From the end of Chandler Blvd/19th Ave., I hiked up Lost Mine trail which connects with the Mine Drop trail just before the intersect with the National trail. Went west on the National, down the Kebo trail, through the big wash to the Bees Knee trail (or is it the Gila View West trail?)and back up and down to the trailhead. Saw a couple coyotes on the Kebo. I took pictures of most of the trail intersections for reference, since only the National trail is labeled.
    Bees Knees Loop
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    Got in a late hike after our morning group hike aborted due to vehicle problems. First time on any of the new South Mountain trails. Lots of trails intersecting each other on this hike. Only the National trail has any signage. Good thing I had the GPS route with me or it could have been rather frustrating. Can't get lost here though. Good workout hike. Lots of loose rock in stretches made the hiking a little tough. Finished the hike after sunset as a huge orange moon was rising. Enjoyed a Guinness out in the desert fanned by a warm breeze. Yum.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Pyramid Trailhead
    From I-10 going S exit on 202/Pecos Road. Go W on Pecos Road for about 9 miles and turn right on 17th Avenue. Turn left on to Chandler Boulevard and go to end of road and park where road is closed off at 19th Avenue.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 22.6 mi, 28 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 104 mi, 1 hour 46 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 166 mi, 2 hours 48 mins
    page created by Dartmoor Hiker on Jan 02 2011 4:41 pm
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