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Hawk's Nest Trail - Sonoran Preserve, AZ

Guide 144 Triplogs  1 Topic
  2.5 of 5 
no permit
1.2k 144 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
Avg Time One Way 15 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1.26
Backpack No
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6  2020-07-19
21  2020-06-14
Dixie Loop - Valle - Desert Tortoise
36  2020-05-23
Desert - Union - Dixie Mountain Loop
13  2020-05-16
Desert Tortoise Dixie Mountain Loop
45  2020-04-13
Dixie Mountain Loop with Owls
10  2020-03-31
MSPN West Loop
22  2020-03-15
Union Peak Summit
20  2020-03-15 rrshort
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Author Barrett
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 9
Photos 1,311
Trips 283 map ( 1,483 miles )
Age 56 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  6:44am - 5:40pm
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 parks interior. 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.

The nest, like other saguaro nests, 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 adult hunting in the morning and evening.

The trail, like others in the park, 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 it's distance, it's AEG makes it somewhat more challenging for those who are used to flat trails. There's no shade along the way, but the Palo Verde, Creosote, Brittlebush, Saguaro, Barrel Cactus, Buckhorn and Teddybear Cholla make for a decent Sonoran stroll.

A popular hike is to use this trail and continue 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
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