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Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve, AZ

no permit
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Guide 70 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.1 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.44 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,757 feet
Elevation Gain 43 feet
Accumulated Gain 114 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.82
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
4  2019-09-09 RowdyandMe
6  2018-12-28 RowdyandMe
1  2018-07-16 RowdyandMe
6  2018-03-04
Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran Preserve
9  2017-05-18
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
2  2017-05-02 RowdyandMe
19  2017-04-08
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
15  2017-03-15 RowdyandMe
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Sun  6:13am - 6:32pm
Official Route
21 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Access to the beginning of this trail is from the Desert Vista Trailhead via Hawk's Nest Trail, Desert Tortoise Trail and then Valle Vista Trail (a total of 1.77 miles to the beginning). This trail spurs off of the Valle Vista Trail and serves to create a larger, outer loop for the Great Horned Owl Trail.

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  • SPS 2016
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    SPS 2016
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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 29 deeper Triplog Reviews
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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After work run. Started from the Valley Vista TH. In on the Hawk Nest - Desert Tortoise - Valley Verde - and then clockwise on the Cactus Wren. Then took the northern segment of the Great Horned Owl back to the Verde Valley from which I retraced my track back to the TH. Nothing too exciting. Saw a couple of lizards and that was about it. Weather was perfect today. It was suppose to be 95, but it felt like 80 with the high clouds and breeze. Did this exact same run 2 years ago, with the same time :(
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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After work jog. Did a lasso starting at the Desert Vista TH. In on the Hawk Nest, Desert Tortoise and Valle Vista and the a CW loop on the Cactus Wren. I then took the northern leg of the Great Horned Owl to the Valle Vista and returned the same way I came. Weather was great! Cloudy, cool and a nice breeze. No wildlife and a surprisingly minimal number of hikers for having 20+ cars in the lot.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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It really was great to get out today with Rowdy. I had my granddaughter for the tree day weekend for her 15th birthday. So Rowdy was really glad to be on the trail again.
The really sad part is the way Joe list things on the menu as hiking, run/jog, hang gliding and storm chasing. If he would add sale chasing and mall walking I would have the most miles this month.
When we asked our granddaughter what she wanted to do for her birthday weekend she said shopping and she got an extra day to shop.
Well I think I walk over a hundred miles going back and forth waiting on my wife and granddaughter. They spent over an hour and half in a store called Pink. We shopped a three malls a few shopping centers and my ankle is killing me.

But today's hike was a real relaxer for me. Just Rowdy and me and the desert just the way I like it. When we reached the trailhead there was only one car.
It was not to hot but seemed very humid. I really had to hike in mind we just started hiking and I turn when ever I felt like it. When we reached the trailhead I saw this very beautiful young women and of course her mom. I did ask if I could take her picture and she said no so I let it go. This was the second time I seen a beautiful women on a trail with a wedding dress flowers posing for pictures in the sunset awesome.

Oh and I did talk to another park ranger about my last encounter with another park ranger. She knew who he was and laugh. I showed her that Rowdy was on a leash and that the signs don't say that I have to hold the leash and she laugh again of course Rowdy came over for her to pet him and she did.

I told her about the beer incident with the other ranger and of course he really doesn't know the rules. The signs are all the same everywhere but beer permits are for city parks and not preserves.
Hoping for another good hike tomorrow. Sorry if I bored anyone.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Well again we were the only the only ones at the trailhead and that is nice. We got started just after 11am and it was warm and humid. Rowdy struggled a little with the humidity and so did I. We stopped and took more breaks and longer breaks. I was not on a schedule and no particular place to be so we took it easy.
We got within a half a mile from the end of Cactus Wren Trail and I decided to turn back and get Rowdy home.
We stopped and Rowdy found some nice shade so I put my pack down gave him water. I decided to do a little exploring while Rowdy rested. I did check out a old mine that has been filled in and then walked up what looked like an old road but did not find anything. When I got back Rowdy was ready and I planned on some more breaks for Rowdy but he did not them as the weather change again.

The clouds blocked out the sun which Rowdy loved and as we moved toward the Valle Verde Trail. Once on the Valle Verde Trail the winds picked ... 9KS0. And shortly after the rains and hail came. I decided to head up to the Dixie Mountain Loop Trail. Once we were on the trail the rains let up and we headed toward the Hawks Nest Trail and by that time the weather improved so I decided to do the loop but as we headed down the trail the rain picked up and then I called it a day and turned around and headed back to the trailhead and then home.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Another nice day for a hike. Rowdy and I even got to enjoy a few sprinkles today.
There is a new sign on the trailhead which a couple of people asked me about. I know the only reason they asked about it is because I had Rowdy on the trail. And yet there was a Park Ranger there and he never said a word to me about Rowdy being off leash or even for being on the trail.
I guess dogs are no longer allowed in the preserve.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Cactus Wren Loop
Well I decided to take Rowdy out for a little hike before work hoping to miss the storm. Well at the 3 mile mark we got hit hard all at once :o . We got hit with rain, hail, lightning and thunder all at once. We both were really soaked and cold as it got really windy.
I had planned on hitting peak 2383 but decided not to as everything was soaking wet and I really don't need to slip and fall. It did stop about a mile from the trailhead. On a positive note the restrooms at the trailhead are now open. :y:
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Cactus Wren-Great Horned Owl Trails
What can I say my wife wasn't feeling well this morning so I took care of everything before heading out which was just afternoon. Believe it or not but it was warm when we started our hike.
I started out to do the Great Horned Owl Loop but decided to just jump on the Cactus Wren on the way back. There really wasn't a whole lot going as far as wildlife.
When I reached the Desert Tortoise Trail I just decided to stay on the Valle Verde Trail and I am glad I did. Once I started down the Hawk's Nest Trail I notice two baby owls in the nest. They were very young and mom was with them with dad very close by. It was really a awesome experience to see.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Well we hit the trail somewhere around 1pm or so and it felt really warm out. Luckily for Rowdy I had brought one of his hats along.
We did not see anyone until we were almost back at the trailhead. It was a really nice peaceful and quiet little hike.
I had thought about doing Peak 3465 but by the time I got things done it was just a little to late.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Circle Tank Loop
Well I finally hit the trail after 1pm this afternoon. I have been wanting to hike out to Circle tank and today was the day. The temperature was just above 60 degrees out with a light breeze. I decide to cut across the desert just before Bobcat Trail and head toward Circle Tank.
I talked to a heavy equipment operator along the way and he told me that the hiway coming thru here would connect to the I17 on one end and Pinnacle Peak Road which is where Piestewa Fwy will end.
After talking to him I made my way to Circle Tank which was low but I also notice a machine I think that was pumping water out of the tank, sad that water should be for wildlife only.
Once I passed this I decided to head over to Tin Can Tank. I knew there is a old road that connects to the old runway but I wasn't sure if it was to the East of me or the West of me. But I did know the old runway was to the South of me. Once I was there I climbed up to the runway and I could see the road.
Time was starting to be a factor as I did not bring any lights. But we did finish as the sun went down on us.
Cactus Wren Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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The Union Hills
Ah, makeup hike for the week. Almost as good as makeup, well... you get the idea. ;) I had to get in something close to home, but I wanted some miles so this was my solution. I saw the track from the Eagle, I did that loop with a few modifications. Started out from the TH heading clockwise, I hit the Western Vista first, then over to Dixie for a little break. Surveyed the surrounding mountains, and watched some of the construction to the north. After a snack, I headed on over to Union Peak, I took the old jeep road up the east side, and then the short scramble over to the peak trail. Back on to the truck, saw a good two dozen hikers and 6 bikers all day, not too shabby. They are building a bathroom with water at the TH, should be pretty nice in a month or so.

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 Dec 21 2011 1:25 pm
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