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Hawk's Nest Trail - Sonoran Preserve, AZ

Guide 157 Triplogs  1 Topic
  2.5 of 5 
no permit
1.2k 157 1
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.47 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,612 feet
Elevation Gain 236 feet
Accumulated Gain 236 feet
Avg Time One Way 15 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1.26
Backpack No
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14  2021-04-26
Hawk Valle Union Tortoise
8  2021-04-09
Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran Preserve
15  2021-04-07
Union Peak Loop plus
10  2021-03-14
Dixie Loop Highpoints
12  2021-01-17
Union Peak-Great Horned Owl Plus
8  2021-01-08
Dixie Mountain Loop - Western Vista
2  2021-01-07
Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran Preserve
15  2020-12-20
Dixie Mountain Loop - Tortoise
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Author Barrett
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 9
Photos 1,346
Trips 284 map ( 1,514 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:17am - 7:41pm
Official Route
45 Alternative

Easy Owl Fix
by Barrett

The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve's Hawks Nest Trail starts at the Desert Vista Trailhead, climbing steadily to a Cholla choked saddle that gains access to the Dixie Mountain Loop and the interior of the park. What would otherwise be an uneventful half-mile is made eventful by the Great Horned Owl nest located on the northwest side about 0.4 miles up.

Like other saguaro nests, the nest was originally constructed by Crows, Ravens, or Red-tailed Hawks and taken over by a yearly nesting of the amazing Owls. The pairs mate in January, and the babies arrive a month later, usually leaving the nest by May. A great view of the nest is possible due to the trail passing close and nearly at the same level. The adults and Owlets can usually be seen during daylight hours during those months, with the adults hunting in the morning and evening.

Like others in the park, the trail is relatively smooth, and you will typically see as many bikers as hikers on the weekends. Although a great destination for the very young and old due to its distance, its AEG makes it somewhat more challenging for those who are used to flat trails. There's no shade along the way, but the Paloverde, Creosote, Brittlebush, Saguaro, Barrel Cactus, Buckhorn and Teddy-bear Cholla make for a decent Sonoran stroll.

A popular hike uses this trail and continues on the Dixie Mountain Loop to create a lasso, bagging the two peaks along the way via spur trails. A good description of this by MEWhiteman can be found under Union Hills Loop.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2014-06-14 Barrett
  • SPS 2016
    area related
    SPS 2016
  • map
    area related

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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Desert Vista Trailhead
From I-17 and Jomax Rd, take Jomax to it's east end. Turn left on North Valley Pkwy, right on Copperhead Trail, left on Melvern Trail, and right on Desert Vista Trail to go behind the neighborhood community center. Desert Vista dead ends at the trailhead parking lot. Studying a map before you go is recommended as the trailhead is somewhat hidden in the neighborhood.

Address: 1901 W Desert Vista Trail, Phoenix

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 29.4 mi, 34 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi, 2 hours 4 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 122 mi, 1 hour 54 mins
page created by hippiepunkpirate on Jun 14 2014 11:13 am
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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