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Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN, AZ

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Guide 55 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
2.8 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,840 feet
Elevation Gain 181 feet
Accumulated Gain 226 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 3.75
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
30  2019-05-06
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25  2019-04-29
Stagecoach Trail - MSPN
38  2019-04-12
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18  2019-02-26
North Diablo Trail - MSPN
4  2019-01-17
Latigo Trail - MSPN
6  2017-11-11
Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPN
2  2017-11-02
MSPN loop
10  2017-03-17
Cholla Mountain Loop from Brown's Ranch TH
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  6:10am - 6:35pm
Official Route
21 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

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  • MSPN Brown Insert
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    MSPN Brown Insert
  • MSPN Trail List
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    MSPN Trail List
  • MSPN Gate Schedule
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    MSPN Gate Schedule
  • McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
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    McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
  • Axle & West
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    Axle & West

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 15 deeper Triplog Reviews
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Big Granite Mountain Loop
What a perfect day for a nice little hike. I met Linda at the Granite Mountain Trailhead. This was her first time here so I decided to show her some of my favorite areas. The temperature was very nice with a nice welcome breeze.
We started at the Bootlegger Trail and worked our way to the Balanced Rock then continued to the Cholla Mtn Loop Trail. From here we connected to the Branding Iron Trail where I pointed out a Crested Saguaro along they as the trail became the Granite Mountain Loop Trail. We stayed on this trail until we reached the Coyote Canyon Trail turn off and head down it. I took Linda to the nice size Crested Saguaro that's on this trail. And it was time for Rowdy to take a water break of course in the shade.
I figured while we were here to take a little side trip down Soapberry Wash Trail to checkout the Michelin Man Saguaro. From here we went back and finished the Coyote Canyon Trail and head back to the trailhead so Linda could pick up her little ones from school. We did have the pleasure of also see two Cardinals. Just a really nice smooth little hike.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Well the weather was perfect today for hike with Rowdy. We did meet Sun Ray in the parking lot. He just finished his hike and we were just getting started on ours.
Browns Ranch Trail was busy but once we turned onto the Maverick Trail we pretty much had the trails to ourselves. It is always nice hiking on new trails and checking out the area. I did see a bow hunter just off 118th street and did not see any deer. I am not sure if it is bow season or not. It was really a nice peaceful hike.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Dropped kids off at school then drove to BR trailhead and parked car. Called Uber for a ride to the top of Stagecoach Road - cost me $17 with tip. Didn't get murdered or kidnapped or molested. Took Powerline Road #1 Trail (that is an official trail now and is not on HAZ list yet) to Dove Valley Trail and then did the entirety of Stagecoach Trail. Connected with Cholla Mtn and back to my car. Still had time for nap at home before picking up kids.

Many of the new area 2C trails in far northern region MSP are hard to get to by foot unless you have endless free time and no hobbies or work or family. You can park in Tonto National Forest on the other side up at 136th St -- but it's still several long day hikes to cover all these new trails. I prefer the shuttle idea and Uber gives me endless options. Just need an address and cell phone signal and I can get a ride back to my car.

Stagecoach is pretty - winding - narrow - mostly made for bikers. Didn't see any hikers until I got to Corral trail.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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This was a MSC Steward only fundraising hike for the Conservancy. Caroline and I hiked together and raised $700 from 25 donors! Advertising for the event encouraged hiking crazy hat or costume - - so of course Caroline and I both got our capes on and Wonder Woman gear. However we were the only ones in the hike or bike category that dressed up. Our capes had shredded edges by the end of the hike with all the cactus and wind combo.

Stopped for a break at Cathedral Rock and also went up to the Amphitheatre. Paul Staker led the hike - he is chair of MSC leadership team - was great to chat about goings on with him as I have missed a few CLT meetings with house move. Those CLT meetings are where you learn all the good stuff - real deal advance info from City personnel and MSC board, etc.

Proud of Caroline for raising so much money - helping me make the letter to ask for donations - talking to her friends' parents - and writing thank you notes to all our donors. Good life lessons there about volunteering and protecting land from development.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Browns Mtn - Cathedral - Amphitheater Loop
It was fine time turtle got a bit of elevation in his rehab diet.
We were treated to a bobcat siting on the way in. Denny about wet himself.

Overcast, misted a couple of times, a bit of a breeze, the weather was perfect.
We saw a couple of hikers and some mountain bikers enjoying the day.

I ran the Turtle up Brown's Mountain, then was going to show him around some of the Brown's Ranch ruins.
The McDowell Mountain Conservancy had a large group of stewards out (15-20) in the Browns Ranch ruin area. They were comparing old documents/surveys to the current ruins, documenting and recording what they found.

Next off to show Denny the Metates at Cathedral Rock and a stop by the Ampitheater.

An enjoyable morning catching up with my favorite Testudine. :y:
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Granite Mtn Loop via Brown's Ranch Trailhead
wow what a nice morning for a hike. I only met one hiker early on and after that bike riders only. Oh they all very nice and really like how well Rowdy handles himself on the trails.
The hike was so nice early on as we had cloud cover for the first four miles after that we still enjoyed the scattered clouds ever time the got between us and the sun. I counted five Cardinals today got pictures of three but only two came out. And Rowdy got to see his first Gila Monster and it was no big deal to him. We did also see two deer but they were faster than I was with my camera.
It did warm up and Rowdy took advantage of a lot of the pools of water on the trail, mostly to lay down in them. It was a nice day to go hiking.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Well Rowdy and I got another late start. As we started up Browns Ranch Road everyone else was heading back. It was windy and a little chilly but we had the trails to ourselves.
I was planning on hitting Balance Rock and hitting Granite Mtn. Loop Trail the going around Black Hills Trail. But the weather change all that. We stopped off to check out Cathedral Rock and take a break but the Bees had other ideas so we moved on. Next we hit the Amphitheater and took our break there. Rowdy eat a whole bag of beef jerky and drank some water that's when I notice a change was coming. We got back on the trail and started heading to Balance Rock and all at once it dump on us.
So I turned back and jumped on the Watershed Trail as the weather looked better going south, right. It rain on us the rest of the way back. Once we got on the Latigo Trail the rain lighted up and the wind pickup. We made it back to the trailhead soaking wet. Still a nice hike as the rain makes the desert look so clean :) :)
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Wanted to hit both Cathedral Rock and the Amphitheater on Cholla Mtn Loop - but I didn't want to do the whole CML. So came back via Watershed, Whiskey Bottle, and Latigo.

Signs are up on Maverick trail at MV2 showing the legal mini-connector over to Cholla Mtn trail.

The smoothness of the metates at Cathedral Rock is impressive. Oblong shape. Good contrast to the ceremonial cupules at Dove Valley Trail that are circular and not smooth. Different purposes and different methods of creation.
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Since I already hiked my monthly goal, decided to goof off today. Went to dove valley pseudo TH. There is one car already there and parked behind it. Later on found out that I blocked the gate :o . Sorry preserve folk. Someone left a very nice note on the gate now asking not to block it.
Did the loop ccw and there are no signs still. I followed 2 hikers first. Then stopped at the water tank which has no water despite rain :( . Saw a hunter and had a nice chit chat. He is hunting quails and really wants the big buck lot of people already told me about. He said there are 2 more weeks of hunting season left.
Off I went and ran into another group of hikers. My third time seeing that group this winter and chatted a bit. Then I kept going marvelling the beauty of coyote canyon. Saw lots of sps of fern there(should be nick named fern canyon). Wild flowers are starting :y: . Glad they don't move around like fauna :sl:
Saw no one else in the canyon. Heard horse like sounds twice. Looked around bit saw no horses or any other wildlife :?
As I am on granite mtn trail, there is a flight school helicopter practicing all sorts of feats. Glad I was not in it :)
Had a secret wish to see large animals today but no sightings :(
On the other hand, I photographed a new bird for me-abert's towhee :y:
Cholla Mountain Loop - MSPN
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Well i hit the trail at about 11am and was lucking to find a parking spot. I am not sure whats going on but it seems like every place is busy right now.
There were all kinds of people out today. I saw bike riders and groups of hikers plus some climbers and horseback riders. The weather was nice and Rowdy and I really enjoyed the cool breeze as did a lot of other people. When we got back to the trailhead there were just a few cars left. All n' all Rowdy and I really had a great day together.

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Map Drive

To Brown's Ranch Trailhead
From the 101 in North Scottsdale, drive North on Pima/Princess drive and go East on Happy Valley Road to the stop sign at the instersection of Happy Valley & Alma School Road. Follow Alma School Road North past Dynamite until it ends at Brown's Ranch Trailhead.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 34.0 mi - 44m
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 135 mi - 2h 4m
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 139 mi - 2h 15m
page created by joebartels on Dec 26 2014 7:20 pm
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