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High Desert Trail - MSPN, AZ

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Guide 27 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.4 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 4.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,766 feet
Elevation Gain 151 feet
Accumulated Gain 224 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 4.85
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
30  2019-05-06
Buckshot Trail - MSPN
12  2019-02-09
Camp Creek Falls
11  2017-03-25
McDowell Sonoran Preserve-North Loop
5  2016-12-11
Hawknest Trail - MSPN
5  2016-11-27
North Diablo Trail - MSPN
10  2016-10-04
Renegade - Diablos - Desperado
7  2016-09-11
Old Camp Trail - MSPN
13  2016-08-21
McDowell Sonoran Preserve North
Page 1,  2,  3
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
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Jan
Sun  6:15am - 6:26pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology 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 Triplog Reviews
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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McDowell Sonoran Preserve-North Loop
Short walk in the park.
Beautifully cool weather.
The park is busting with blooming flora.
Banana Yucca, Poppys, Brittlebush, Blue Dicks, Fiddleneck, Scorpionweed,Desert Chicory, Globemallow, Luppine, Woolly Daisy, Wiry Lotus, Chuparosa and even Microseris :), to name a few.

This is the best time of year to enjoy this park

With afternoon plans, the goal was to hit a few trails out there I had not been on.

There were no @Mazatzal or @Crzy4AZ sightings
High Desert 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.
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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Helping with a trail restoration project for McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. MSC, in conjunction with the City of Scottsdale, will be testing several types of seeding variations on trails that are no longer being used. They are in the vicinity of the High Desert Trail and Stagecoach Trails North of Brown's Mountain. I was part of a team of 6 that measured, using a meter tape, ten 25 meter lengths of trail. Some are 'control' area's that will not be seeded and others will use 2 types of seed mix and will be seeded before monsoon season or fall of this year. We had to find trail sections that did not have more than a 10% grade for the test as we were looking for areas where seed would not be washed away. The lead of the project had an iphone app where she could lay the phone down on the trail and it would calculate the % of grade....pretty cool. A narrow, small tractor will ripp the soil, so it's not as compacted, before the trail is seeded.
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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Well this hike started off nice and breezy by the time we hit the half way mark the breeze was gone.
And of course I made a mistake in my calculation on my distance. This hike I spliced together using Route Scout. Now it was done as balloon and I for got to double the miles on the stem. So my 10+ mile hike turned into a 15+ mile hike. Its hike like this when I appreciate the fact that I was carrying more water than I need. That being said Rowdy had all the water that he needed and that's all that mattered to me.

The hike its self was very quiet and peaceful only a few bike riders out today. It felt good to finish the High Desert as well as the Hawknest Trail today. Not to much going except for some guy riding his bike up and down the trail looking for his cell phone.
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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I can't link all the trails now b/c they don't exist yet but will by Fall 2016. They were finished but not open yet when I hiked them.
Hawknest :next: High Desert :next: Renegade :next: Dove Valley :next: Barb's :next: 136th St Express.

Renegade is absolutely gorgeous. Little hill sharp turns - panoramic views.
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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Trying to complete the trails North of Brown's Mountain known as the 2C area. Turned into an adventure when about half way through I started experiencing frequent urination and lower abdominal pain. Changed my plans a little and took the shortest way back to the car. Finished about 11:30 in the morning and asked my wife to take me to the ER when I experienced lower right back pain at 3 PM. Yes, as you've was a small kidney stone. Had a morphine shot and when that did not help within 15 minutes they gave me an IV push of Toradol...nsaid I'd not heard of. That worked! I'm lucky as I've not had any pain or discomfort for about 23 hours. Looks like it broke up and passed without any pain.

Guess I need to add another item to my statement "Where do you NOT want to be when you have your next heart attack?" The same can be said about passing a kidney stone.
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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Beautiful day for a long hike. Not as cold as last week and was sunny. Parked at the top of 136th Street in the Tonto National Forest parking area. Climbed over fence and took social trail to 136th Street Express :next: Hawknest :next: Broken Spoke :next: High Desert :next: Dove Valley :next: Barb's :next: 136th Street.

First time ever on High Desert - beautiful! Some of the perpendicular trails in the middle of 2C are still under construction and are going to be nice once completed in a couple months. Some go right up and over granite formations for good views. Looks like will be a better connection to Soapberry Wash trail too. Can't wait for wildflower season out there after it's all done.

Saw a dozen or so mtn bikers. Had lunch at Broken Spoke - left over filet mignon and homemade biscuits. Was thinking about post-hike hot tub dip all day - but something's messed up with the heater - total buzz kill. #momProblems
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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I am still not feeling well :scared: but when Rowdy gives that baby look I know its time to take him out :D . I wanted to hit Spur Cross today but just not feeling up to it. ](*,)
So I decided on something easy with little aeg and Granite Mountain Trailhead is where we ended up. The first marker I saw was for 136th Street Express and that's where we started. We hiked it until we reached Hawknest Trail and took it to the High Desert Trail and then decided it was time to start heading back to the trailhead. It was a really nice little hike and there were areas that I had not hike before. :y:
High Desert Trail - MSPN
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Hawknest Old Paint Wash loop MSPN
Friday morning date hike - very unusual but Brad took the day off for our Memorial Day weekend trip to Pine/Strawberry. So it was his idea to get in a hike just the two of us before our trip. Was last day of Kindergarten for Caroline - what a great year it's been.

Picked this loop to explore Old Paint Wash trail in its entirety and to make sure I can legitimately say I'm still in "ATC" all trails club with the newest trails added March 2015. We had hiked Hawknest to what I thought was the end on Christmas Day and sure enough the signs do show it finishing at that bent and chopped saguaro. However - it will extend further west by mid-summer. Construction on Phase 2C trails is complete for the summer - but signs won't be up (and another new Northern region map) until mid-summer. So for now I've done all the signed portions of the "super north"-eastern region of the Preserve.

The 0.5 north/south segment between Hawknest and Old Paint Wash is called "dove valley extension" on our MSC patrol reporting page; however none of the maps call it that. We will see how it all sorts out. There's an old AZ Game and Fish water tank for game at OP11 marker with a bunch of older signs and barbed wire.

Old Paint Wash is not really a trail - it is a natural sandy wash. You have to trudge through it. Seems like bikers would hate it - might have to push bike through some parts of it. Dove Valley Trail runs parallel to it with multiple places you can connect between the two trails.

Took Cow Poke trail (the newly extended part) back to 136th Street Express and saw dozens of beautiful saguaro blooms. A few at eye level. Saguaro stands around Granite Mountain are the best in the Preserve. Now I've done all 6.7 miles of 136th Street Express.

Home for lunch - nap - packed for trip - got to cabin by 8pm. Very nice start to the weekend.

saguaro blooms

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page created by joebartels on Dec 18 2015 9:01 pm
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