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Thunderbird Conservation Park, AZ

no permit
136 238 1
Guide 238 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.7 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 9.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,336 feet
Elevation Gain 528 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,855 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.68
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2017-01-20 RowdyandMe
20  2016-04-28
Thunderbird Freestyle
8  2016-03-20 broncod4
3  2015-02-14 Barrett
2  2015-02-07
Thunderbird Triple Summit
1  2014-03-12
H4 Loop - Thunderbird Park
1  2014-03-02 dabears0123
5  2014-02-10 Stoic
Page 1,  2
Author Cakewalk
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 11 map ( 34 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Glendale, AZ
Co-Author HAZ_Hikebot
co-author avatarGuides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map (6 Miles)
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Any
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:17am - 6:26pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Thunderbird Conservation Park, a 1,185-acre park in the Hedgpeth Hills, is a conservation park dedicated to preserving the desert environment. The hills were named for Robert Hedgpeth, an early homesteader in the area. The park took its name from the World War II pilot training facility located four miles south of the park. The city of Glendale acquired the park in 1951 through a lease with the federal government. Ownership came in 1956 with the assistance of the Glendale Women’s Club and Glendale Rotary Club. Maricopa County operated the park from 1963 to 1984 and many of the park improvements were made during this time. In 1984 the park was returned to the city. Park activities include picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, jogging and bird watching. About 15 miles of multi-use trails have been constructed, thanks to the efforts of many volunteer groups.

print map - area map

Coach Whip - H-1 4.75 mi / 450 aeg
Flatlander Trail H-1a 1.1 mi / 27 aeg
Arrowhead Trail H-2 1.35 mi / 475 aeg
Cholla Loop H-3 2.6 mi / 550 aeg
H-3a 0.15 mi / -64 ft
Sunrise Trail H-4 1.3 mi / 350 aeg
H-4a 0.25 mi / 65 aeg
Ridgeline H-4b 0.35 mi / 150 aeg
Desert Iguana H-5 0.65 mi / 50 aeg
Chuckwalla H-5a 0.27 mi / 45 aeg

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2002-05-13 Cakewalk & HAZ_Hikebot
  • guide related image
    guide related
  • Thunderbird Area Map
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    Thunderbird Area Map

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 of 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Well we had the trails pretty much to ourselves today. It was sprinkling at the start but not to bad at least in the beginning.
And by the time we hit the Sunrise Trail it went from sprinkling to just freezing cold rain and windy. When we got back to the trailhead my arms were numb and Rowdy and I were soaking wet. I carry extra towels which came in handy as I dried Rowdy off as best I could. Then we headed home to a warm house.
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Cholla Loop to Arrow Point
Stopped by my stepmom's in Arrowhead Lakes en route to Surprise from Scottsdale.
Pretty tired from Shaw/North/Squaw cuz I've been so dang lazy lately.

Opted for a cute quickie hike near my old neighborhood.

Didn't disappoint!
Plenty of Cholla and saguaroas to keep me smiling for the rest of the year.

Hopefully returning to my Ponderosas soon...
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Started at about 1pm with no cars in the 67th Ave Trailhead. Saw 5 other people on trail total, plus a guy having a picnic with his kids on the shaded picnic benches. More activity than I was expecting, honestly, but refreshing to have the place almost to myself, compared to the winter crowds on this mountain at least. 32 oz of water plus a 12 oz gatorade was a definite necessity for the short time I was out there.
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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My wife and friend wanted to get a last stretch out before her flight so we went over to T-Bird to stretch our legs. A light walk surrounded by creosote and a few blooming cacti - Di was thrilled to see a Christmas cactus along Desert Iguana. Busy day at the park with lots of pets (2 and 4 legged ones☺)
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Thunderbird Triple Threat
Went after the three summits again. Started at my usual 67th/Patrick TH, but went counterclockwise this time. Best wildflowers were on the Cholla Loop, lotta nice brittlebush. Felt a little toasty out, that's what I get for starting at noon. Thought about tagging the small summit a second time on the way back through, but my rumbling stomach had other ideas...
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Met James for a quick local hike, arriving so early we ended up completing the Glendale highpoint before the sun even rose.
Nice to have a hiking partner with a similar pace, and the conversation was enjoyable as usual. Topics included trail demographic variance, Centrist Libertarian politics, and James' fascinating step-by-step guide on how to enter a Bank. :D
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Thunderbird Triple Summit
Inspired by Hippiepunkpirate's Triplog, I decided on the counterclockwise 3 leaf clover, hiking by moonlight for the first summit 8) , seeing a Red-tailed Hawk and sunrise on number 2 :D , and a gathering of about a dozen adult and two dozen Mormon children on the last :-s .
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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Hedgpeth 3-Summit Hike
Finally got the motivation to do this one. Took an involuntary 1 minute break at the traffic signal, and a voluntary 1 minute break at summit #3, otherwise pushed along at a steady 3.5 mph. Brittlebush is starting to go on the slopes right next to some of the trail sections, and also some orange flowers in the valley near 55th ave (they look kind of like globe mallow, but they're something else).
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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I spent most of the dry part of the morning indoors looking up a hike to do, found an old Tbird loop that hits all the Hs, ah what the hell... soon as I set foot out of the Suby it's rainin' cat's n dogs! And I wore shorts and a tank top to work on my tan... :doh:

Three hours later, wet, cold, no birds, no people, no animals, heck I only saw 2 cyclists! Is it bed time yet? :zzz:
Thunderbird Conservation Park
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For some reason we weren't feeling up to anything too strenuous today, so John and I decided to spend the afternoon on my side of the valley with Thunderbird!

John played the role of a lost, confused, and whiny hiker a little too well, while I made sure to point out as many landmarks and trails as I possibly could. Gotta switch things up now and then! ;)

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take the 101 West to 59th ave. Take 59th ave north, pass a few stop lights, as 59th ave takes a sharp turn right, the park entrance is to the left. The very first parking lot is for H-1

*** Added by joe ***
Roger & Ethel Freeman best describe the area & history in their book 'Day Hikes and Trail Rides in and around Phoenix'. Interesting, check it out!

Trail data given here is wishy washy at best. Until I plot it myself use the book!
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