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Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve, AZ

no permit
560 96 1
Guide 96 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.5 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.44 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,999 feet
Elevation Gain 265 feet
Accumulated Gain 265 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.32
Interest Peak
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2019-04-15
Sonoran Preserve - Peak 2383
27  2019-02-15
Great Horned Owl Trail - Sonoran Preserve
9  2018-10-26
Great Horned Owl Trail - Sonoran Preserve
6  2018-09-19 RowdyandMe
5  2018-01-29
Great Horned Owl Trail - Sonoran Preserve
11  2017-12-30 RowdyandMe
5  2017-12-26
Dixie Mountain Loop - Sonoran Preserve
9  2017-12-18 RowdyandMe
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 8
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  6:10am - 6:38pm
Official Route
18 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
The trail is reached at the .5 mile point of the Great Horned Owl Trail. It switches back up the peak to reach the summit of Union Peak at an elevation of 2,200 feet.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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  • 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.

Most recent of 28 deeper Triplog Reviews
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Just a glorified dog walk with the pups. Nice temps and great late afternoon conditions. The trails were a little busy near the trailhead, but still a pleasant walk with the pups. We knocked out Dixie and Union "peaks" along the way, making our own variation of the Dixie Mountain Loop.
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Phoenix Sonoran Preserve website states that the park is open from 5am to 7pm. Got to the Desert Vista trailhead just before 6am to find a line of cars waiting for the park ranger to open the gate. Crazy humidity made today's hike with harem member Maria quite unpleasant. Someone placed a summit register at Union Peak. Creative Maria left an interesting entry with yesterday's date :) One of my favorite city hikes!
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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I wasn't sure about this hike but Rowdy was restless so went anyway. I waited until after 4pm hoping the Monsoon would come on through. When we got to the trailhead we had it all to ourselves :D and we were greeted with cloud cover and a nice breeze.
By the time with we halfway up Hawks Nest Trail it started to sprinkle on us which really was welcomed by both of us. When turned off on Valle Verde Trail it stop but the clouds stayed but not as thick. It seems like it was raining all around us with lots of thunder and lightning. We finally made it to Union Peak and took in the views.
On the way back it was Horned Lizard Day as I got pictures of three and missed a couple more.
Just a really enjoyable hike.
[ youtube video ]
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Well I had planned on hiking yesterday but Rowdy wasn't feeling it. I just stayed home and drank beer watch channel 285 after watching it for 10 hours I decided to keep a close eye on my neighbors.
But today we did get a late start which is something I like doing, why? Because if I get there early I have to deal with more people than I want to. We hit the trail with three cars at the trailhead and we were the only car when we left.
Now it was a little warmer than I thought it would be but we did it anyway. Never saw anyone on the trails at all which is always nice.
Just a real nice warm and peaceful hike.
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Just another beautiful hike with one a couple of hikers out. No one on the peak which is always nice. On the way back I talked to this guy I have met before and he told me the owls are back. So of course I had to detour up to the nest and check it out and sure enough mom is sitting on the nest.
I always look forward to seeing them again every year. :y:
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Well the plan was just Union Peak out and back. But that changed once on Union Peak I had a energy bar. Anyone who has had one knows how dry they are so I washed it down with a nice cold Winterhook.
As I am enjoying my beer I notice another trail across the way on another small peak. So I decided to check it out.

Well first what I thought was a trail was an old road and very rocky at that. Once I made it to the top I found myself really checking out the area around the old dam. And yes I decided to go and check it out a little more.
So much green down there but no water to be found anywhere. As I kept moving I decide to check out Tin Can Tank while I was here and yes it was also dry.

After that I decide just to head on home so Rowdy could get in some trick or treating done.
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Well it was a beautiful morning just to be outside. When I reached the trailhead I stopped and talked to construction workers there and they said the new restrooms will be ready to go for this weekend. Which is great news as it will free up more parking spaces as well.
On the way up I stopped again and talked to a fireman sitting out by his truck to see what was going on. He told me it was just training for rescue and as Rowdy and I headed up Hawk's Nest Trail we saw four fireman heading down the trail. I thought it was odd that they were not carrying and gear at all and I also notice none of them had water as well. So I was just wonder what kind of the training they were doing.
After that we continued on our and as we started up Union Peak I did notice group of horse back riders coming up the trail. As they caught up to us on Union Peak Trail I decide to take a break off the trail so they could get by us. After they passed us we headed up to the top and met them there again. We talked a little as two of them told me they just retired from a mountain search and rescue team but I can't remember the name. Oh and they all really liked Rowdy even the horse. After our little visit Rowdy and I headed back down in front of them as they took a longer break.
It was really fun and interesting hike.
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Circle Tank Loop
Last night I was trying to figure out where I was going to hike today. All my regular hiking partners were not available, so I was on my own. I was desperately searching Hike Arizona maps for some inspiration. I was checking out South Mountain, but nah. Maybe do a big loop out of Apache wash, nah. And then I saw Widowmaker's Circle Tank Loop and bang!, I was in! I've been dying to check out the arch dam and Circle Tank so transferred the track over to my GPS and I was ready to head out. Started up Hawk's Nest trail and stopped to take some pictures of the giant owl, who was hanging out in his nest. Next stop, Dixie Summit Trail for a great vantage point overlooking the valley. Out Bobcat a ways and then bushwacked my way east to Circle Tank. Followed an old jeep road south to Cave Creek Dam. Built in 1923, the dam is a barrel arch design, which is pretty cool stuff! From the dam I headed west on a combination of old jeep roads and bushwacking until I got on the eastern portion of the Great Horned Owl Trail. Follow this south to the unnamed trail that ascends the south face of Union Peak. This was the 12 mile mark for me, I had to decide if I had the energy to climb the super steep back side of Union Peak. Well, I'm right here, why not? There were two couples on top when I popped up out of no where, they looked confused. I said howdy and headed back to the parking lot, I was starving! Great loop. Perfect weather for a valley hike. I feel awesome!

Spring is here!
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Southern Sonoran Preserve
Went for a fitness hike in the Southern Sonoran Preserve today. Nothing exciting to report except that Widowmaker & Rowdy beat me to the top of Union Peak earlier in the day. I was thankful for the breeze that kept me comfortable on this warm day and that I recovered from my face plant into the rocks hiking in the Supes on Saturday.
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran Preserve
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Cactus Wren-Peak 2383
Well it was a little warm today and Rowdy showed it. I think I'll break out his cooling jacket for tomorrows hike. We had the trail all to ourselves today.
We were heading up Union Hills Peak Trail when I heard a lot of coyotes down below us just east of the Cactus Wren Trail. Then I heard the sound of a animal I never heard before and it sound like it was in pain. When it stopped screaming the coyotes also stop making noise. Must have been their lunch I hope I never hear that sound again it sent chills through me.

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 1:30 pm
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