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Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird, AZ

no permit
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Guide 166 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.5 of 5 by 19
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,387 feet
Elevation Gain 346 feet
Accumulated Gain 346 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 - 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.5
Interest Peak
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
24  2018-05-26
Arrowhead Point H-2 - Cholla Loop H-3
10  2018-03-25
H4 Loop - Thunderbird Park
7  2018-02-16
Thunderbird Trifecta
1  2018-01-23
Thunderbird Park 2 Peaks
8  2017-11-17 RowdyandMe
3  2016-08-20
Thunderbird Sunrise Loop
3  2016-08-17
Thunderbird Sunset Loop
1  2016-06-03 Nightstalker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author Barrett
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 9
Photos 1,311
Trips 283 map ( 1,483 miles )
Age 55 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → Any
Seasons   Early Winter to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:33pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Watch for exploding Saguaros
by Barrett

The Thunderbird Recreation Area located along Pinnacle Peak west of 55th Avenue is named after a WWII Fighter training facility that used to be located 4 miles south of the park. It's trails wander up and around the Hedgepeth Hills, named for the Hedgepeth ranch that used to be at the site.

H2, or on newer maps the Arrowhead Trail, ascends the 1862' southeastern peak of the Hedgepeth range. It is most easily accessed via the H1 or Whip Trail from the eastern parking lot and trailhead located at 55th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak. By using this access, one can make a loop that adds .82 miles to the 1.4 mile H2.

Starting at the trailhead, take H1 across a sparse creosote flat leading to H2 proper. From there switchbacks wander up the slope in a clockwise direction, reaching a plateau at .6 miles (15 minutes). The trail stays flat as it heads west toward a notch at .75 mi.(19 min)that used to frame a huge Saguaro, whose exploded remains now remain (lightning?). From there the trail winds up to the main summit at .9 mi. (22 min, ), where a flag sits atop a huge summit cairn. It even had solar powered up lighting at one point, which is rare but nonetheless correct flag etiquette. (The American flag should not be flown in darkness)

From the summit the trail follows a ridge west to a lesser summit at 1 mi(26 min) that has a great slant back seat with nice views of the western half of Thunderbird Park. At that point the trail heads down to the saddle between the two eastern peaks of the park, reaching a set of Ramadas at 1.4 mi(34 min). This is where H2/Arrowhead ends, but H1/Whip continues east another .6 mi(11 min)to your starting point. Total loop 2.2 mi(45 minutes). The most rugged of the Thunderbird Park trails, this trail has typical Sonoran Flora, including Saguaro, Barrel, Cholla, and Buckhorn Cactus, along with Palo Verde, Creosote, Brittlebush and Perennials depending on rainfall. I've seen a number of Coyotes over the years, as well as some nice lizards, but only 1 Rattler in over 100 visits. The geology is volcanic tuft, I think, as are most of the peaks in this area.

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2013-05-27 Barrett
  • 2013 Map
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    2013 Map
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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 21 deeper Triplog Reviews
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Did the up and back on Arrowhead Point this morning with my Grand-Kiddos and nephew. Three, six and ten but they did it. So as you can imagine there were no speed records broke today. We didn't do the entire loop, simply made it to the flag on the summit then came down the same way. On the way down I ended up carrying the three year old most of the way, so I'm tempted to add a thirty pound pack in the info section, lol. Overall nice hike. Got out at sunrise so the temp was nice and the trail was as described probably a thousand times so I won't bother. But I enjoyed a great fathers day. I hope everyone else did as well.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Arrowhead Point H-2 - Cholla Loop H-3
Took off for a hike this morning, bright and early (4:30am), to catch the sunrise at Thunderbird Conversation Park. It's close so why not. Armed with my Nikon Camera, hoping to get some great pictures, and water I started up Arrowhead Point H-2 at 5:20. Right about the time the sun should have been breaking over the horizon. But no such luck. This is my first time hiking in over a year and the day I decide to go, it's overcast until after 7. Oh well. I didn't let that stop me.

Arrowhead trail is always a good hike. It's rocky, lots of loose rock, but it's not something that should deter your enjoyment of the hike. The first elevation is a great workout for the legs. Lots of high steps with sturdy rocks. The trail was clean, I didn't see a lot of trash like I have in the past. After about 15 minutes of continuous upward climb the trail levels out some, well a slight incline but after the leg workout it feels flat. I got some good pictures from this spot. The second elevation part comes up to the top of the mountain where the flag flies and you can rest. The view isn't spectacular, houses upon more houses, but it still nice to be on top. Many people stop here and return down the same trail. I continued down the backside where the trail becomes more rocky. Lots of loose rock. You can slip easily if you're not paying attention. This will take you to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over 59th ave and connects to Coach Whip. This will put you at right about 2 miles.

I took Coach Whip to Cholla Loop and started up the second mountain of the day. It was fairly steady on the west side and doesn't get to incline until the north side (about a mile in). Then the upward climb begins. The trail cuts back South and you begin to climb, but this is actually an easier climb than Arrowhead. I enjoyed this part and took many more pictures. From here you reach the top and another flag. It felt good to see it flying in the breeze on Memorial Weekend. Down this way was again rocky and there are many switchbacks. Next time I might start this way to come up those switchback to see if the gain is any different.

Cholla loop ends pretty much back at the parking lot and my app had told me I walked 4.8 miles. To finish up I decided to take a lap around the Flatlander Trail H-1a near the parking lot. It was very nice, soft and sandy. By the time I reach my car I was at 6.1 miles.

Overall a great hike, the overcast was nice, better then the heat, and there was a breeze the entire time. I had a great morning.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Cholla Loop to Arrow Point
Stopped by my stepmom's in Arrowhead Lakes en route to Surprise from Scottsdale.
Pretty tired from Shaw/North/Squaw cuz I've been so dang lazy lately.

Opted for a cute quickie hike near my old neighborhood.

Didn't disappoint!
Plenty of Cholla and saguaroas to keep me smiling for the rest of the year.

Hopefully returning to my Ponderosas soon...
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Thunderbird Sunset Loop
Having fallen into a summer rut of one Saturday morning cardio a week, I sucked it up and headed out for a Wednesday sunset Arrowhead/Coachwhip loop. The wind was gusting 20-30 mph, but the funnel created at the western lower summit was driving at 40, maybe 50. :y: My wet cotton shirt did the trick and I was rewarded with yet another great Monsoon sunset.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Hoping to get back in the groove! I couldn't drag myself out of bed yesterday, but today I had the will power. Parking lot was filling up when I got there at 5:42 and was about 80% full by 6:30! Someone put a solar powered light on the flag since the last time I was on Arrowhead Point back in April.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Thunderbird Conservation Park
It's been years since I've hiked in the Thunderbird Park off of 59th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak -- my old neighborhood. They have renamed all the trails and some like "Ridgeline" is not on Hike Arizona yet. The park is now called Thunderbird Conservation Park. Absolutely a gorgeous day for hiking and it was obvious I wasn't the only person who thought so. Hundreds of people on the trail and something I have not seen on a trail before....a parrot perched on the arm of a man. He was hiking with his dog and his bird. It was a beautiful bird and I should have asked permission to photograph it. Oh well.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Having a little fun returning the south ridge to it's natural state. :whistle:

Brittlebush 50%, scattered Lupine, Creosote and Fiddleneck just starting. 1 Poppy.
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Thunderbird Triple Threat
Went after the three summits again. Started at my usual 67th/Patrick TH, but went counterclockwise this time. Best wildflowers were on the Cholla Loop, lotta nice brittlebush. Felt a little toasty out, that's what I get for starting at noon. Thought about tagging the small summit a second time on the way back through, but my rumbling stomach had other ideas...
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Met James for a quick local hike, arriving so early we ended up completing the Glendale highpoint before the sun even rose.
Nice to have a hiking partner with a similar pace, and the conversation was enjoyable as usual. Topics included trail demographic variance, Centrist Libertarian politics, and James' fascinating step-by-step guide on how to enter a Bank. :D
Arrowhead Point Trail H-2 - Thunderbird
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Hedgepeth triple-threat
I had to make it over to my daughter's dance recital at the Beuf Community Center by 7, so I thought I would make it back from Tucson early and hit a local hike. Trying to wring all of the AEG I possibly could out of the Hedgepeth Hills, I completed this monster loop of H2, H4, and finally H3. I figured I would make up for a lack of effort with a relentless pace, I made my way without stops and I also jogged some stretches. I ran by an injured trail runner right by the H3 summit, he had taken a pretty bad fall and had called 911. Sure enough, after another few minutes of hiking the helicopter came searching, I did my best to direct them to the right spot. I ran into two groups of paramedics on the way down, the second group was bringing the gurney with the big tire in the middle to help get him off. I am guessing he broke his leg, but that has to make for a pretty uncomfortable extraction. So many people on these trails, it is a shame more don't get the whole "trail etiquette" thing. Beautiful sunset at least, and I was able to make it to dance class early even.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The eastern parking lot for Thunderbird Park is located in north central Phoenix, just southeast of 55th Avenue on the south side of Pinnacle Peak Road. The park is open from sunrise till sunset, with gates that are sometimes locked at night.
page created by joebartels on May 27 2013 12:02 pm
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