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Nice 8 mile loop from Vista Trailhead
A 3-mile loop hike around Union Peak in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. Requires a 2-mile each-way cherry stem hike to get to it. Which is a 7.9-mile / 1.1k-AEG hike including Union Peak Trail.
The hike begins at the Desert Vista Trailhead. There is lots of parking and lots of cars. There is not a lot of privacy in this area. The Great Horned Owl Loop is accessed by hiking 1/4 mile of the Hawks Nest Trail, the Desert Tortoise Trail's full length, and then the eastern part of the Valle Vista Trail. From Valle Vista Trail's end, the Great Horned Owl Trail goes East or South making a 3-mile loop.
Taking the trail South (counter-clockwise), the trail drops a couple of hundred feet and loops around the south side of Union Peak. Views of the sparsely populated neighborhoods to the south and east are seen as the trail winds back and forth around the peak. The trail then climbs steadily as it goes around the east side of the peak until it meets the Cactus Wren Trail. The Trail then continues to climb along the north side of the peak, reaching the Union Peak Trail, a nice 1/2 mile side trip with excellent views in all directions. From the Union Peak Trail, the trail continues downhill to reach the conclusion of the loop at the Valle Vista Trail.
The return to the trailhead is via the same route, or there are many longer trail options to explore the Preserve.
There is no water available on the trail. Bring your own as needed. The weather will be hot in the summer.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.