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Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN, AZ

no permit
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Guide 53 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.4 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 1.52 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,742 feet
Elevation Gain 137 feet
Accumulated Gain 138 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.98
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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27  2019-09-17
Balanced Rock Lollipop MSPN
38  2019-04-12
Balanced Rock Loop
5  2019-01-31 mazatzal
8  2019-01-21
Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPN
4  2019-01-17
Latigo Trail - MSPN
9  2018-04-21
Chuckwagon Trail - MSPN
10  2018-01-14
Maricopa Trail - Bartlett Dam to Pemerberton
12  2017-10-08 RowdyandMe
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, Feb, Nov, Jan
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

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  • MSPN Brown Insert
    area related
    MSPN Brown Insert
  • MSPN Trail List
    area related
    MSPN Trail List
  • MSPN Gate Schedule
    area related
    MSPN Gate Schedule
  • McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
    area related
    McD Sonoran Preserves - North 2015 - 1
  • Axle & West
    area related
    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 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Balanced Rock Lollipop MSPN
Another pre-dawn start of an exercise hike for the SloFolks. We started at the newly remodeled Granite Mountain Trailhead. They did a great job on this and also the Fraesfield TH to the south. Even included flushing toilets! Nothin' but the best for us hikers. :D

We used six different trails to do the reverse looking lollipop loop shown in the photoset. Started with lots of moonlight and only one car in ahead of us when the gate opened automatically at 5:41am . Driving over we passed the Pima/Dynamite TH and the cars were lined up two abreast and all the way out to Dynamite Road waiting to get in.. MB'ers I'm assuming.

Even without all the flowers of this past spring this network of trails is very scenic. Granite boulders of all shapes and sizes. The tread on the trail is so nice it allows you to take in all the sights and vistas. It's nice to occasionally lift my eyes from the sad, sad ground...(obscure Leo Kottke song lyric). The Mazzies with the sunrise behind them were beautiful. I got some good shots of the ranges to the south and east also.

With the early start we had the place almost to ourselves. Aside from a large hawk (Ferruginous?) we saw just a few MBers and one couple hiking in as we were leaving. Summer is breaking, you could feel it in the air! :y:
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Browns Ranch Loop
Nice hike on some trails in the MSPN area with Ryan and Lauren. Saw our first rattler of the year spotted by Lauren in the third hiker position :o Good for Ryan and I it was on its best behavior. Nice morning hike.
Balanced Rock 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.
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Judy, Terry, Claudia, Dick, Shanna, kathy & Larry. Started at Brown's Ranch Trailhead and took Brown Ranch-Maverick-Watershed-Balanced Rock-Chuck Wagon-Powerline-Vaquero-Brown's Ranch. Most of the group had not been to Balanced Rock before. Bonus...ran into steward Marianne Jensen on the trail.
Balanced Rock Trail - 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.
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Well it was beautiful day to be out on a trail. This wasn't the hike I planned, but it's the one my ankle would let me do. The trails were really busy with bike riders and only a few hikers.
The Preserve itself is really beautiful this time of year and not so much as flowers but all the other life it has. :y:
This is really a beautiful place to see.
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Took a group of 6-7 of my wife's friends on, effectively, a guided hike led by me and Trixie. These were folks who live all over the Valley and hadn't really experienced any hikes other than a climb or two of Camelback. They met at our house, from where we led a convoy to the Granite Mountain Trailhead. They loved this experience, of course. The isolation and newness of the MSP itself made it especially novel and fun for them.

My objective was to hike to Balanced Rock and back, in a loop. Bootlegger to Saddlehorn to Granite Mountain Loop to Balanced Rock, and then return to trailhead via Powerline. The minimal elevation climb was perfect for a large group that included a healthy grandma in her early 70s. There are awesome and sweeping views available even without a huge elevation gain, along the way. Balanced Rock is a great destination and turn-around point. Despite a huge bug problem as we walked, everyone was raving about the hike for the rest of the day.
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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Totally thrilled that the wife is becoming more interested in hiking this year. Today I introdduced her to the Balanced Rock, while simultaneously knocking out more ATC miles. I haven't crunched numbers because I'm relying on maps that I mark up, but I don't have a lot left!

Spotted some beautiful wildflowers, and a bright red cardinal.
Balanced Rock Trail - MSPN
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MSP North Loop
This was a mountain bike meander-patrol, with the aim of furthering my All Trails Challenge progress as an MSP Steward. Biking these flatter trails is just amazing. I'm getting a real high from looping and turning and dipping along them. Of course the flattest ones are still hilly here and there, and I wound up walking up slopes a few times. For the most part though, sticking to trails labeled on the official map as "easy" was a good bet.

Relatively crowded throughout, with bikers and hikers and a bunch of horse riders too. Balanced Rock had so many people (7-8) crowding around it that I didn't bother taking any photos. I'll come back another day.

The bike ride revealed at least 2 trails that aren't on HAZ yet. Will add them later.
Balanced Rock Trail - 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 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 Dec 26 2014 11:07 pm
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