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Bootlegger Trail - MSPN, AZ

no permit
838 74 0
Guide 74 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.7 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,581 feet
Elevation Gain 163 feet
Accumulated Gain 163 feet
Avg Time One Way 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1.79
Backpack No
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2019-05-13
Divide Trail Loop
5  2019-01-31
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
1  2019-01-05
Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPN
8  2018-08-31 RowdyandMe
13  2018-03-08
Little Granite Mountain - McDowells
10  2018-01-14
Maricopa Trail - Bartlett Dam to Pemerberton
5  2017-11-25
Bootlegger Trail Loop
2  2017-11-13 gummo
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author TheMazzicMan
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 35
Photos 32
Trips 51 map ( 335 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Jan, Dec
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:32pm
Official Route
22 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Have Your Contraband Hootch on the Rocks!
by TheMazzicMan

An easygoing hike into a classic Sonoran landscape requiring minimal time or exertion. Would make a great hike for visitors wanting to get into the desert without getting too far from the parking lot. Also serves as an access to the larger MSP trail system.

This well-groomed, well-signed trail begins just past the Granite Mountain Trailhead kiosk. Set off confidently in the direction of your bliss with the view to Granite Mountain before you. All the favorites of the Sonoran landscape -- palo verde, ocotillo, saguaro -- are here.

At 0.3 miles, the first of several large granite rock formations appear alongside the trail, offering shade, shelter, or a seat. At this point, one might choose to contemplate the geology of the area, arriving at the profound realization that not only is there granite all around but also below, as evinced by the small protrusions of rock in sections along the trail.

As you press on, making your oh-so-gentle gain in elevation, you will be carried along to the junction, at 0.7 miles, with Saddle Mountain Trail, which provides a short connector to the southern portion of the Granite Mountain Loop trail. At this point, you would not be faulted for being completely overcome by the majesty of your surroundings and you may wish to turn around and ponder on your return the 1.4 miles of magnificence. Surrender. There is no shame.

If you haven't seen enough, carpe your inner diem and make a drunken beeline to the miniature saguaro grove that awaits you at the 1.1 mile mark. Bring the kids and astound the folks back east with a first-rate, classic Arizona photo-op in front of a trailside cluster of stately, multi-armed cactus. Yes, Grandma, they're that big.

For those whose curiosity is piqued by the gentle, mysterious giants, learn a little something about what's going on inside of one at mile 1.2 where there is an opportunity to see up-close a saguaro in a state of decay. The trail then continues another tenth of a mile to its terminus at the eastern portion of the Granite Mountain Loop. Continue on into the heart of this regional gem or return from whence you came, basking in the certitude that you have masterfully made efficient use of quality trail time. You rock.

Water Sources
Bring plenty with you as there is none at the trailhead

Camping is not allowed in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-03-16 TheMazzicMan
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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 24 deeper Triplog Reviews
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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It's been about 4 years since I was last out here and I remember I was impressed then and even more impressed now. Why? One word: WILDFLOWERS :y: Laurie had mentioned how that area was in a 20 year peak bloom and she wasn't kidding. Even though I was probably 1 week past prime; it was incredible... except for all that fox tail (at least that's what I call the low grass with a feathery plume). While the fox tail is pretty, way too much of it and thank goodness I didn't have to walk thru it. I stopped at the wrong TH at first so I had to get back in the car and drive further (I had turned at Frasefield TH rather that 136th St).

It was now 3:45 and I was hoping to be done at 5:45 which I would have been except there was one problem: WILDFLOWERS :y: . Actually the whole hike is pretty impressive. The banana yucca were blooming all over the place and then you have the giant boulders and saguaros mixed in. On the way out as the light was waning, the banana yucca looked like torches. I don't think I was quite able to capture it in the photos. And speaking of photos, I blew thru the rest of my memory card as I rounded the corner and finished off the last of the wildflowers so I had to resort to Kemosabe for the last 1/2 of the hike.

The most impressive flower show was as you came off of the Saddlehorn Trail onto the Granite Mountain Loop and around the corner to the southwest. Every kind of wildflower imaginable and en masse. Needless to say I got hung up here for awhile. On top of all this, it was a glorious afternoon temperature-wise and the trail is like gliding on ice; especially after Saturday's mostly off-trail hike in the Supes. Every time I come out here I think I need to rent a bike and go for a spin.

Once the wildflower show was done I was able to pick up my pace but I was still in Tibbernarian mode as I rounded each corner circling the mountain. I saw a dozen others with a mix of bikers and hikers. As I hiked into the shadow of the mountain it actually got a bit chilly but that didn't stop me from taking some more pictures; especially as I came around the corner with the Brittlebush providing the only light in the shadow of the mountain.

I think I got done a little after 6 and on the way home I got to see golden rain. Not sure that I've ever seen that before. And yes, there is much video but since I'm behind a couple weekends now... it's hard to say when that will be ready.

Bootlegger Trail to Granite Mountain Trail [ youtube video ]
Granite Mountain Trail
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

I would have said extreme except that it's past its prime but still worth going out for the rest of the week I'd say. Many of the desert wildflowers were well-represented out here as was the Brittlebush. The Banana Yucca seemed to all be blooming; there were groves of them.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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After hearing many Steward report about the wildflowers on Bootlegger and Granite Mountain trails decided to brave it on a Sunday morning. Wife Judy and friend Kathy joined me. We hiked it clockwise...Bootlegger-Granite Mountain-Bootlegger from Granite Mountain parking lot on 136th street. Yes, very good display of wildflowers and with our 7:30 AM start we avoided most of the crowds for 3/4 of our hike. Poppies starting to die off and Brittle-bush in full bloom.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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Joined an organized hike from McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. 15 of us started from Granite Mountain TH and used various trails to get to Hawknest trail and back. On the way back we had one individual who had foot issues that slowed the whole group down. Meet up was called for 7:45 AM and we left at 8:10. Wish we could have started at 7 as it was warm the last hour or so.

AVE HR:114
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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A Saturday morning with Judy. Bootlegger to Granite Mountain loop and back on Bootlegger. WAY :( to many mountain bikes today! Will not do this popular trail on a weekend again.... although it's very scenic. We started about 8 AM.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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Renegade Trail MSPN
Well after pm Laurie I decided to hit the end of 136st and see what was out there. I checked out the little map box but all that was in it was rules on what to do and what not to do for atv's. And of course driving to the end of the road I did notice where it washed out from the last storm and decided Granite Mountain Trailhead was the safe bet.
When I got back to the trailhead it was empty. I really had no game plan as to where I was going to hike so I just started hiking.
I ended up starting on 136st Express and just keep going until I came across a sign that read Bards Trail then I hit it. It ended in the Old Paint Wash and that's when I seen the sign for Renegade Trail and I jumped on it. I will have to say this is my new favorite trail in the MSPN. This trail runs up and along a few small hills. these hills have great views on both sides. I got to come back in the fall and spend more time exploring all these new trail.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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WOW - The Divide is a gorgeous trail!!! Hard to access in a day hike during school hours. But I found a way. Parked at Granite Mountain Trailhead. Called Uber cab and paid $17 to get up to the last house on Stagecoach Road. Took Powerline Trail #1 to Dove Valley then down The Divide. Lots of little rock formations. Found a fire ring - so stupid WTF. Saw old signs with yielding for jeeps, motorcycles, etc. from when this was AZGF Multi-Use Granite Mtn area.

Spotted a double crested saguaro on Branding Iron (in retrospect I had seen it before but mistook it for the Coyote Canyon double crested -but is way different not sure what I was thinking).

Made it back home in time to clean up - power nap - caffeine - then school pick up! Life as a Mom-hiker.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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Dancing in Granite
This is a perfect set of trails to take out-of-state visitors. Lots of beautiful granite boulders, desert views in every direction, easy, smooth trails. We did this back in December in the rain and it was really "mistical" with the clouds billowing below the hills. Love doing it today on a beautiful sunny day. Weather was perfect.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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Gamboling Around Granite
Very nice day for a hike, but we wanted something interesting but not too demanding. The area around Granite Mountain sounded just right. Used a bunch of trails to construct and easy 8ish mile route. A few folks on the trails, mostly close to the trailhead. Enjoyed all the granite outcroppings and Coyote Canyon was a nice surprise.
Bootlegger Trail - MSPN
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Wanted to show Judy the crested saguaro located at the CC1 sign post at the corner of Coyote Canyon Trail and Soapberry Wash Trail. We parked at the Granite Mountain Trailhead and hike Bootlegger to Granite Mountain loop to Coyote Canyon Trail....then .2 on to Soapberry. The double crested saguaro is at CC1 and a michelin man type saguaro is on the right side of the trail just short of the SB1 sign marker. We started at about 9:30 AM and saw more mountain bikers than hikers and 3 horses. More folks out on the way back then way out which makes sense. These CC1 and SB1 locations are shown on the green Northern Region map printed by City of Scottsdale and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. They are available at the trailhead.
Bootlegger Trail - 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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Granite Mountain Trailhead
31402 N. 136th St Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Parking, Horse Trailer Parking

Drinking water is NOT available.

Follow Fountain Hills Boulevard north out of Fountain Hills to Rio Verde Drive and head west to 136th Street to the Granite Mountain TH.
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 3 min
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 2 h 8 min
page created by joebartels on Mar 16 2018 9:45 am
3 pack - loud whistle
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