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Bajada - definition and pronunciation
This is one of the easiest trails at South Mountain with good views under choice conditions. You have the choice of enjoying this route as an out-n-back, shuttle, or part of a larger loop. Mountain biking is also an option, and great for beginners. Just watch out for those ravines where you might need to hike the bike.
If you hike this trail at 2 pm in July you'll think it's the crappiest experience in your life. An early February excursion with wildflowers will leave you with impressions of la-la land. The key to wildflowers is a wet winter, usually Nov-Jan. Mexican Gold Poppies blanket the hillside with nice accents of Coulter's Lupine. It's really a sight to see! Which by the way is easy enough for children and the elderly. There's no need to go the entire distance, just turn around when the family has had enough.
The wildflowers are great and obviously the main attraction. However, I'd like to share another unique opportunity. Sunrise, any time of the year hiking from east to west. The view of Butterfly Peak (Sierra Estrella Range) in the distance is beautiful beyond words. The sun lights up the steep ravines casting shadows, which in turn gives depth perception. I simply love it! What makes it so special is you're in the middle of a city and you'd never know it.
This trail also plays a major role in two looping options. The Bajada Trail itself skirts the lower-northern-flank of the Gila Range. Atop the Gila Range is a section of the National Trail. As seen in the map below you can create a loop with the Ranger Trail. This would be my loop of choice. The popular loop is with the Alta Trail (Ma Ha Tuak Range). Which gives you fascinating views of downtown Phoenix Arizona!
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.