Nature surrounded by a big city
Overview: Dreamy Draw Nature Trail #220 consists of several adjoining loops and is not reflected correctly on any maps. The closest approximation is the park map displayed in trailhead kiosks that has a web of trails printed in the same pale pink color and an arrow marked "Trail 220" pointing somewhere in this web area. Heading from Dreamy Draw REcreation Area in the middle of the city this trail along with nearby trails #1A, #100, their branches and unsigned trails provides an excellent opportunity for evening hikes between work and dark that can be of any length and various elevations. Beware of mountain bikers who are frequent in the area.
Description will follow the route covering the whole length of signed Trail #220 and having the minimum overlapping of the same sections of the trail. From the parking lot go up the stairs to ramadas and then follow "To Trails" sign to restrooms. Cross the bike path following the "220" sign and turn right past the wooden fence. Shortly after keep left at the Y-junction with Trail #100 Dreamy Draw branch. The trail will steadily ascend along a gully on the right. At 0.25 mi reach the T-junction on the stem, turn right here. In less than 100 yards Trail #100 will join from the right and several yards later it will diverge to the left, go straight ahead on both junctions. The ascend becomes steeper and soon you will get to another T-junction, turn left here (trail to the right is a connector to Trail #100). Continuing up along the hill slope you reach a Y-junction. Trail to the right is another connector to Trail #100, keep left here and in 50 yards at 0.65 mi you will reach the highest point of this hike that has a shabby pole with barely seen painted trail number. Views from this point include Phoenix Mountains to south and east; Veterans Mountain, Stoney Mountain and Piestewa Parkway to northwest and nearby neighborhoods to northeast. Continue north on the trail while it is descending, keep left on unmarked Y-junction shortly. After steep but short descent you will be at a junction located on the small flat and marked with a short white pole, turn left (or turn right to follow Trail #220 directly to trailhead via horse tunnel intersection). At 1.1 reach junction with Trail #200A to the right and in several yards with Trail #100, turn left at both of them joining Trail #100 eastbound. After crossing the gully turn left and reach the junction that you passed earlier in opposite direction, turn right along with Trail #100. In several yards Trail #100 will diverge to the left, keep straight ahead. At the T-junction at 1.3 mi continue straight following a pole sign (or turn left to return to parking lot). After a short ascent the trail stays relatively flat and then slightly descends to horse tunnel intersection at 1.6 mi. Here you have another option to return to parking lot by turning left, or continue slightly right following the new style "#220" signs to cross the gully, cross Trail #100 and head east. At 1.8 mi there will be a junction with signed Trail #220A to the right, and at 1.85 mi the trail will turn right at X-intersection. Trail runs along the hillslope and at 2.1 mi reaches the short white pole junction. Next 0.25 mi will be the duplicate of what you've done half hour ago, so you won't notice much change of the landscape, but this will give you a chance to look closer to the nature features and creatures that you missed previous time. At 2.35 mi there is an option to turn right to connector Trail #220A to #220 to get to horse tunnel, or to turn right shortly after to Trail #100 westbound and get directly to horse tunnel, or continue along #220 southbound - the described route uses the third option. This time after crossing the gully at 2.5 mi turn right to the trail marked with light brown poles with no trail numbers on them (we can still consider this section a part of #220 as it helps to complete the loop). Follow this winding trail to horse tunnel intersection at 2.8 mi. Keep slightly left using the old style "220" sign. Follow the trail along the bike path for another 0.2 mi, then turn right and reach the starting point. - AndreyP
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.