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Tortoise Trail - MMRP, AZ

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Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,865 feet
Elevation Gain 101 feet
Accumulated Gain 101 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.04
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
13  2019-02-08
Wash Day plus Marcus Landslide - MMRP/MSP
8  2018-12-14
Wash Day - MMRP
7  2018-09-28
Wash Day - MMRP
5  2018-06-15
Wash Day - MMRP
6  2018-05-11
Wash Day - MMRP
14  2018-02-02
Wash Day - MMRP
4  2018-01-06
Wagner-Delsie-Stoneman-Tortoise Loop - MMRP
12  2017-09-22
Stoneman Wash Trail - MMRP
Page 1,  2
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   Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby

Overview:The McDowell Regional Park is located on the east side of the McDowell Mountains, north of Fountain Hills. The Park is 21,000 acres, composed primarily of the lower Verde River basin. The Verde River is still a few miles east of the Park, but from any elevated vantage point you can actual see the land sloping down towards the river. There are over 20 trails in the McDowell Mountain Regional Park leading to a variety of combinations for varying difficulty and distance.

Hike:The Tortoise Trail is one of the shorter trails within the park stretching for .7 miles. It can be reached from either the Pemberton staging area or from the visitor's center. The Pemberton staging area provides much parking, picnic tables, bathrooms and drinking fountains. To get to the Tortoise Trail take the western Pemberton track (which is located where the cars enter the parking area) for about 20 feet. The trail is well established and signed so it is difficult to miss. The trail, which is about 2 ft wide and composed of crush granite, heads in a northward direction up a gradual slope. The elevation change is very minor. The track has a few twists and turns but is overall very straight. The trail is very exposed providing little protection from the elements. There are a few ironwood that crowd the trail at one point, but otherwise it is mainly low lying shrubs like creosote and brittlebush. The trail ends when you reach the visitor center.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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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 Triplog Reviews
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Wash Day - MMRP
Mike, Bob, Sara, and Jill joined me for a morning hike in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Starting from the Wagner Trailhead, we went across the main park road, then on Tortoise, and right (SW) on Pemberton. When we came to Stoneman Wash, we turned south and then took a feeder wash west crossing Pemberton. Continuing west and somewhat north we eventually came to some deep arroyos. Working our way into one of them, we headed back towards Pemberton again and briefly visited the very, very low pond. (The pipe feeding it has become disconnected again; I told Ranger Amy about it after our hike.) At that point, we made our way back to Stoneman Wash.

We could have kept going north in Stoneman Wash which would have been my preference. But one of our group had done a glute workout a few days earlier and was really feeling it after trudging through the washes for at least 5 miles. So, instead, we made things a bit easier and returned via Granite and Wagner.

We saw an owl several times while in one of the washes. Later we saw some bees. We also saw some rabbits.

It's really dry out. I hope we get some rain this weekend.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Wash Day - MMRP
Another "wash day" - sort of - in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Ranger Amy rode her bike with us for part of our hike, so I opted to stay on hard packed trails for the initial part of the hike. Starting from Wagner TH, we crossed the street and hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, turned right and followed Pemberton to the pond.

The water level in the pond was very low today. We found that the pipe which fills it had been disconnected from its water source. Amy fixed it, though at the rate of flow that I saw, it could well lose more water to evaporation than be filled by the trickle coming from the pipe.

After the pond, we hiked some of the washes to the west. We met up with Amy again on Tonto Tank. Amy continued west on Tonto Tank while we made our way over to Stoneman Wash and then NW on Stoneman Wash, meeting Amy again at the intersection with the Bluff Trail. When we hit Granite, Amy turned right to check on some stuff going on in the Campground while the rest of us took Granite and then Wagner back to the trailhead.

We saw lots of rabbits today, but not much else in the way of wildlife. We hiked an arroyo where we had seen a number of long eared owls earlier this year, but they were not there today.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Escondido-Pemberton-Shallmo Loop - MMRP
An evening loop on Escondido, Pemberton, and Shallmo Wash in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. I threw in a really short out and back segment on part of the Tortoise Trail too in order to make sure that I hit my mileage goal for the evening. (It's better than doing laps of the parking lot.)

I saw five mountain bikers several miles into my hike of the Escondido, but after that I saw no one.

It's super dusty out there - it's especially noticeable in the headlamp beam.

I saw some small mice doing whatever mice do at night during the last mile or so of the Escondido. I also saw a reflection along the way. Last week it turned out to the eyes of birds, but this week it did turn out to be a broken bike reflector which is what I first thought the birds were last week.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Wash Day - MMRP
I led a group of nine on a hike in which we wandered through a number of washes in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Starting from the Trailhead Staging Area, we hiked southwest on Pemberton, and then turned SSE into Stoneman/Pemberton Wash. We followed the wash all the way to the Long Loop (which is one of the competitive tracks). We turned right (west) onto the Long Loop and then took the service road back to Pemberton. Near the site of the ranch homestead, we meandered through some of the feeder washes for Stoneman Wash, eventually ending up in Stoneman Wash again. After further meandering through Stoneman Wash, we returned via the Bluff, Granite, Wagner, and Tortoise trails.

We were fortunate to see a barn owl several times during our wash meanderings.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Wagner-Delsie-Stoneman-Tortoise Loop - MMRP
Just a late afternoon hike in McDowell Mountain Regional Park - I did a loop comprised of Wagner, Granite, Delsie, Pemberton, Stoneman Wash, Pemberton, and Tortoise.

Stoneman Wash was moderately churned by horse traffic. Much of that churn was avoidable as the wash widened.

I saw only mountain bikers; no other hikers at that time of day. And, when I got to Stoneman Wash, I saw no one else at all. I guess that hiking the wash isn't that popular. I like it though - just about every time I hike it, I see something new.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Bob, Mike, Mona, Marilyn, and I did a 9.1 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, and then took Pemberton to Stoneman Wash where we turned south down the wash. We hiked back to the Pemberton via one of the many feeder washes and then went northwest on Pemberton. We hiked into an arroyo west of the pond (where the homestead once was). Exiting the arroyo area, we hiked Tonto Tank back to Pemberton, continuing north back to Stoneman Wash. This time, we took the wash WNW until we got to the Bluff Trail. From there, we returned via Granite and Wagner.

We saw an eagle, at least two owls, other smaller birds, several rabbits, and one (western diamondback) rattlesnake on our hike. The only critter which cooperated in my photographic pursuits was the snake.

We saw some more Senna on the hike. I don't recall seeing any other flowers.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Marilyn, Bob, and I hiked a little over eight miles on Friday. Starting from the Wagner Trailhead, we hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, then south down Stoneman Wash. We took a feeder wash west to the Pemberton, then went north on Pemberton back to Stoneman Wash. From there we went northwest on Stoneman Wash, then to Granite, and back on Wagner.

It was cooler and less humid than other recent Friday hikes in the area. The temperature was in the mid-seventies when we started - just cool enough (and dry enough) to feel slightly chilly at the start.

We saw a small snake along the way, but it moved too quickly for me to get a photo.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Bob and I hiked seven miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked: Tortoise, Pemberton, Stoneman Wash, (left on) Bluff, Granite, and Wagner.

It was a warm morning: temperatures at the start of the hike were in the high eighties; when we finished it was in the high nineties. The humidity was a bit higher too.
Tortoise Trail - MMRP
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Mike and I hiked a loop of 8.5 miles in McDowell Mountain Park on Friday. We saw lots of flowers, especially in the washes. The grasses are quite dry now - nearly all are brown. I spent perhaps two hours on Friday evening pulling grass seeds out of my socks and (trail running) gaiters. I need to find some better gaiters for that sort of thing.

Buckwheat, Senna, Goldeneye, Brittlebush, Sweetbush, Lupine, Palo Verde, Mesquite, Sandwash Groundsel, Ocotillo, Poppies, Desert Pincushion, Chuparosa, Miniature Woolystar, Hedgehog cactus, buckhorn cactus (just starting), Banana Yucca

Permit $$
AZ State Parks more info
2018 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30

Map Drive

To hike
To get to the park, from central Phoenix, take Loop 202 east to Beeline Highway (SR 87). Continue northeast on SR 87 to Shea Blvd. Travel west on Shea Blvd. to Saguaro Blvd.; turn north. Continue through Town of Fountain Hills to Fountain Hills Blvd; turn right and travel four miles to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park entrance. Yes, you have to pay to enter ( see Fees / Permits ). Take the park drive past the family and group campgrounds to Shalimo Dr. Turn right and follow road to Trailhead Group Area
page created by mt98dew on Mar 23 2014 9:01 pm
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