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Golf Course Gawking
Overview: This an easy loop, recently designated as a 'new' trail, utilizing the plethora of existing trails around the Pima Canyon trailhead.
Hike: This loop can be hiked in either direction, although this guide describes it going counter-clockwise ↺. From the Pima Canyon parking lot, the trail starts on the north side of the lot, east of the picnic benches/ramada, and is signed. The trail will immediately drop down into a wash. As soon as you reach the wash bottom, turn right at the trail marker. Surprisingly, this marker is not signed. It's just a brown post, but take the trail that heads east from the post. As you head east, stay on the main trail, and you will see signed trail markers again.
The trail is easy, with Beacon Hill on the north side of you and a golf course on your right. Continue heading east, following the signs. This section of the trail has a great variety of Sonoran Desert flora and might be a good choice for tourists wanting to see the local desert plant life without making a big hike. After squeezing around the east end of Beacon Hill, the trail turns north, roughly paralleling the golf course as it makes its way gently uphill.
After passing the signed east end of Santa Cruz Hill, the trail drops back down as it winds its way north and west behind several businesses and an apartment complex. Continuing past the apartments, the trail heads west to meet up with Beverly Canyon trail. Turn left, and take Beverly Canyon south, which will still be signed as Pima Canyon Loop. The trail generally follows the power lines, veering back and forth slightly, as it heads slowly uphill. After passing the turnoff for Ridgeline Trail, the trail will drop down into Pima Wash.
At Pima Wash, the signs get a little confusing, then they abruptly end. You have several options--the official route crosses the wash, then immediately up to the big dirt road. At the dirt road, turn left and take it east about a half-mile back to the Pima Canyon parking lot to complete the loop. If walking a dirt road isn't appealing to you, turn left on Pima Wash Trail and take it east back to the Pima Canyon Parking lot. The distance is the same as the road. For a slightly longer loop (and what was one the South Mountain Master Plan, which they are not following very closely), continue south on Beverly Canyon Trail, which will now be signed as Beverly Canyon. As you head south on Beverly Canyon, you can take Marcos De Niza Trail back east to the parking lot for a steep workout or Desert Classic back east to the parking lot for an easy stroll.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.