A friendly wash hike!
Looking for an easy introduction to wash hiking with a chance to see some desert critters? Then head out to Usery Mountain Regional Park and check out the Amigos Wash Trail.
You start the hike by heading east on the Blevins Trail. At 0.2 miles you'll reach the signed intersection for the Amigos Wash Trail. Hook a right and head south. You'll notice right away that the mountain bike tracks have disappeared. Although marked as a shared use trail, mountain bikes tend to avoid the deeper sand of the wash. In addition, most hikers will flock to the trails at the northern section of the park. It's likely you'll have this trail to yourself.
The wash walls will immediately start to rise. At certain sections along the trail they can get up to 10 feet high. As with all wash hikes, use caution if there's a chance of flash flooding. Take a close look at some of the natural alcoves carved into the walls. This is the only place I've ever had multiple encounters with desert tortoises on one hike. Be careful though, I've had multiple rattlesnake encounters here as well.
0.7 miles into the Amigos Wash Trail (0.9 miles total) you'll cross the southern portion of the Blevins Trail. After this the sand will get deeper and the wash walls will fade away. After another 0.5 miles of hiking you'll reach the intersection with the Channel Trail. Either return the way you came or use this as a connector trail to create a loop with other trails in the park.
Note: An alternate access point for this hike is the 103rd Street TH at the southern end of the park. The distance to the Amigos Wash Trail is about the same and the cost to enter the park from here is two dollars as of Sept 2011.
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.