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Mercury Mine Loop, AZ

no permit
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Guide 53 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
3 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,450 feet
Elevation Gain 350 feet
Accumulated Gain 589 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.95
Interest Historic
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2016-01-18 black_toes
6  2015-10-23 black_toes
3  2015-10-12 Stoic
1  2015-09-15 Stoic
4  2013-12-08
Shaw Butte to Camelback
6  2013-02-14
Stony Mountain
7  2010-02-27 The_Eagle
5  2005-11-27 JimmyLyding
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 109
Routes 335
Photos 4,221
Trips 568 map ( 3,575 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:38pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Popular Neighborhood Loop
by JimmyLyding

Overview: This hike will not challenge many hikers, but it's very popular with neighborhood residents. It's a great way to stretch your legs if you're short on time.

Warning: This area is very popular with mountain bikers. There were a lot more horses on the trails in this area when I was a kid, but they're pretty rare these days.

History: The Dreamy Draw area formerly had many active mining claims. Mercury Mine Elementary School (where I went to grade school) is aptly named due to the numerous mercury mines that used to operate in the area. In 1916 Sam Hughes discovered cinnabar (a mercury sulfide), and built the Rico Mine. The Rico Mine site is now buried under State Route 51 (Piestewa Parkway). Mercury Mine School is located about 100 yards from the old Victoria Mine. There are numerous filled-in shafts and holes in the ground that are evidence of this area's mining past. An interesting note is that Dreamy Draw was named for the effects of inhaling mercury vapor.

Hike: This is a lasso loop that is popular with neighborhood residents and hikers coming out of the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area. Start at the northeast end of Dreamy Draw Rec. Area. Look for the map kiosk. Walk past the map, and cross the dry creekbed. There is a water catchment just downstream from this spot (a short spur trail takes you from this trail to the spot, and it can also be accessed from the parking lot) that can be interesting after rain. The trail here is the Charles M. Christiansen #100. The trail goes through a tunnel under SR 51 (Piestewa Parkway), and quickly ascends to a junction about 200 yards north of the end the tunnel. This is where the loop begins: go left (west) to stay on the CMC Trail #100, or right (east) to take the well-used unofficial trail portion.

Going west from the junction the trail gains a little bit of elevation, and there's a small mountain to the south that blocks a little bit of the noise from the freeway. Soon enough the trail descends into the large flat area just north of the spot where the freeway turns from north-south to east-west before it enters Dreamy Draw. The trail quickly bottoms out as it skirts the west side of the newly-renamed Veterans Mountain. There's a mildly interesting story behind the renaming of Peak 1922 to Veterans Mountain.

The trail begins a moderate gain as it turns to the northeast. It tops out as a small saddle between Veterans' Mountain and the southern end of Stoney Mountain, and there are great views of Phoenix, South Mountain, and points beyond. The trail continues clockwise around Veterans Mountain downhill to a junction a few hundred yards from the saddle. Go left (north) at the junction to reach the Mountain View Trailhead (unofficial with no amenities other than a few places to park at the end of the cul-de-sac and signage), or go right to head back towards Dreamy Draw Rec. Area.

The trail contours around the north side of Veterans Mountain then begins a nice little climb before rapidly descending to the east side of the mountain. You may notice some spur trails that run to neighboring subdivisions, but stay right and the main trail is easily followed. One note is that the portion of the trail between the junction on the north side of the mountain and Dreamy Draw Rec. Area that runs along the east side is NOT on the CMC Trail #100, though it sees as much use as the official portion that runs along the west side.

The trail makes its way to the south side of the mountain, and quickly hits the junction that leads back to the tunnel.

To reach this lasso loop from the Mountain View Trailhead simply follow the access trail up from the cul-de-sac, and turn left at the CMC Trail #100.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2009-12-06 JimmyLyding
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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 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
Mercury Mine Loop
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Mellow figure 8 loop going eastbound from the Dreamy Draw trailhead, went out on one of the northern social trails, intersected back on #100 to #1A. Swung through the parking lot for another loop around the Mercury Mine loop. First time on this part of Trail 100, so may need to explore the eastern end a few more times.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Think I've had about 6 hours of sleep total over the past two nights and Olivia couldn't sleep either. Neither one of us had the energy to do our planned hike this morning. Instead we got out early and did a simple counter-clockwise stroll around the Mercury Mine Loop. Impressive sunrise today, looking over to see the Four Peaks with blood red clouds behind them made the hike noteworthy.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Both of us are in various stages of a bout with the dreaded plantar fasciitis. I haven't been out in over a week and Olivia has been sidetracked for over a month. Took it nice and easy this morning before it got too warm. Nothing too exciting, but this was the first time around the loop for Olivia. Nice to have trails like this in the middle of town.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Combo hike after work.

Mercury Mine Loop :next: Stoney Mountain :next: Christiansen :next: Nature Trail
Mercury Mine Loop
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Pretty mellow hike from Dreamy Draw over to Stoney Mountain. Zipped up Stoney Mountain and came back down and meandered along Trail 100 for a little bit. Turned around and finished off the mine loop. Nice, overcast weather that was perfect for hiking. Nice to get out and stretch the legs this morning. Been doing a lot of squats this week in the gym and my quads are hammered.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Evening hike after all the rain this morning. The gate to Dreamy Draw was shut at 5:30pm. There were a line of cars parked on the side of the road so I joined them. I then made my way toward the tunnel where I crossed the 51. You could tell it flooded earlier today. A lot of sediment washed in. From there I continued and made my way up Stoney Mountain. The sunset was throwing off a soft light and the full moon rose as evening set in. I started my return and looped around the Mercury Mine Trail and made my way back to the jeep. Nice evening.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Slow slog today over Trail #100, trying to recover from Thanksgiving, too many IPA's and staying out way past my bedtime last night to catch a concert. Took a fairly straight forward route from Dreamy Draw out towards North Mountain and back the same way. Wasn't paying attention and got off Trail #100 and found myself over on Gold Dust Road and Cinnabar by the big mansions built along the base. So rather than backtrack I just bushwacked up the hill, found about 10 yards of class 3 climbing and did a little bit of the Stoney Mountain ridge line, then downclimbed back to the trail. Followed Trail #100 to the Mercury Mine split and took that route back to the freeway tunnel.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Quick little hike to stretch my legs at lunch time. Parked at Dreamy Draw and took Trail 100 under the freeway to start the hike.

Don't know the PC way to say this, but it appears that the northwestern edge of the Dreamy Draw parking lot is the "George Michael/Larry Craig" section of the park. The men sitting in their cars seemed very friendly and appeared to be furtively looking for something. :o
Mercury Mine Loop
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Once again we started from Dreamy Draw. Rachel's friend Matt was in town and we wanted to do a short and easy hike. We started on the Mercury Mine Loop and bushwhacked to the summit. From there we dropped backed down and then ascended up Stoney Mountain and followed the ridgeline for a short ways before returning to the trailhead via trail 100. Was a fun evening hike. Matt had a few blisters when done.
Mercury Mine Loop
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Met up with Haley and Devin on Friday evening at Dreamy Draw. For all my years hiking in Phoenix this was my first starting from Dreamy Draw.

We headed out on trail 100 and connected to the Stoney Mountain trail which was very well defined. We followed it up just in time to get a view of the sunset and of course take some cartwheel pics. From there we continued along the ridge line and picked up a spur trail that lead down and back to 100 as night set in. On the way back we took a quick detour around the Mercury Mine Loop trail. After that we were back at the car and headed on out.

I would do this hike again. It's very convenient and there are lots of spur trails to explore. You could probably rack up some decent mileage and aeg.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take Northern Avenue east from State Route 51 (Piestewa Parkway)in Phoenix into the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area. The trailhead is located at the northeast end of the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area.

Alternate: Take Mountain View Road west from 26th Street (north of SR 51) all the way until it ends in a cul-de-sac about 200 yards west of 23rd Street.

You can also get to this hike from anywhere you can access the Charles M. Christiansen Trail #100.
page created by JimmyLyding on Dec 06 2009 6:18 pm
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