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Garden Valley - Hackberry Loop, AZ

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Guide 6 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
Rated
3.3
3.3 of 5 by 4
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,232 feet
Elevation Gain 429 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.15
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2019-04-20
Garden Valley Loop
Daytripper
4  2019-02-19 jjburnes
8  2019-02-12
Hackberry Spring from horse lot
markthurman53
5  2018-12-31
Garden Valley Loop
PJackalope
4  2018-09-15 bezzantine
Author bezzantine
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 1
Photos 23
Trips 2 map ( 20 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:23am - 7:22pm
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Official Route
 
2 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
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Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Great hike, outstanding trail run
by bezzantine

A similar loop has been already published, but this cuts further west on the first/last leg, giving probably the best panoramic view of the loop, and rounding the mileage to an even 6.0. I like to park at the more western, "horse" lot, run the road to the trailhead lot, and end back at the horse lot. Nice clean loop. In the hot months, a dawn start this way keeps you in the shade for maximum time. Trail is almost always clear, but there are a few key intersections, so using the GPX route is highly recommended.


Half an hour east of Mesa, this has become my favorite local trail run. First Water trailhead is National Forest, but no pass/fee required. Aside from a few short stretches of running on "baby head" size streambed rocks, the elevation shifts and terrain are (for the area) unusually well-suited to trail running. There is no major peak to bag, but the trip hands out several awesome 360º views of the northern Supes out to Weaver's Needle. The real star though is the bit through a decently tight, relatively shady, steep-walled canyon.

An encounter with a very big, tightly coiled, loudly vibrating rattler right in the middle of this trail today convinced me how dangerous it could be to wear headphones (even in just one ear) on a trail run. Hearing this guy when he was just a well-camouflaged step or two away absolutely saved me a trip to the ER.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-09-16 bezzantine
    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Horse Lot Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 2.1 miles to the huge parking area on the left surrounded by horse rails.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.6 mi - about 57 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - about 2 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 3 hours 1 min
    page created by bezzantine on Sep 15 2018 10:32 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

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