"MT" of roses
The Desert Rose Trail is a relatively newer trail in the Estrella County Park that is also a section of the Maricopa Trail. The trail connects to the eastern part of the Gadsden Trail loop on its west side and ends at a makeshift trailhead of sorts on its east end by what looks to be a parking area adjacent to Phoenix International Raceway.
From the Gadsden Trail by a wash with very steep walls, the Desert Rose Trail heads generally to the east, but also follows a kind of a zig zag pattern, giving alternate views of metro Phoenix to the north and Estrella park to the east. A long section of it heads northeast before hitting the first wash crossing. The trail is must flatter on the eastern section, in contrast to the Gadsden and Butterfield Trails that you would need to hike in order to get to it from inside Estrella Park. There are about 3 wash crossings where the trail dips down into the wash and then comes out. Each crossing seems to follow a hairpin pattern for a less steep ascent and descent.
The vegetation on the west end of the trail is much sparser, leaving the area much more open. There is more vegetation as you approach the butte and obviously in the washes. Vegetation is mostly comprised of Palo Verdes, mesquite, bushes, and a few saguaros. There are no roses, desert or otherwise, to be seen anywhere.
At the eastern end of the trail, it ascends over a butte, with one major switchback, before reaching a saddle and heading north to the PIR lot. The saddle appears to be the highpoint of the trail, and gives a better view of the trail to the west, PIR, and the competitive bike track that is also part of Estrella park. The trail follows an easy grade down to the PIR lot, where signage notes it. Heading NW from this point across the parking lot, you can continue along the Maricopa Trail, which appears to pick up on the north end of the lot and head west towards a canal. The signage at the end of the trail also has a small Maricopa Trail sign and an arrow pointing northbound to follow the MT.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.