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Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird, AZ

no permit
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Guide 415 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.6 of 5 by 36
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,350 feet
Elevation Gain 465 feet
Accumulated Gain 550 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.43
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
24  2018-05-26
Arrowhead Point H-2 - Cholla Loop H-3
7  2018-04-27 RowdyandMe
4  2018-04-13 RowdyandMe
10  2018-03-25
H4 Loop - Thunderbird Park
7  2018-02-16
Thunderbird Trifecta
3  2017-01-24 desertRaVen
5  2017-01-20
Thunderbird Conservation Park
20  2016-04-28
Thunderbird Freestyle
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author kurthzone
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 43
Trips 53 map ( 273 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Peoria, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Any
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:33pm
Official Route
12 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A moderate hike in the park!
by kurthzone

Page data is for the official H3 segment. A loop from the 59th Ave TH is 3.55mi / 490ft.

Thunderbird Park Hedgpeth Trail #3 is on a nice little neighborhood hill located in the heart of North Glendale's Arrowhead Lakes. There is a network of trails in Thunderbird Park all named Hedgpeth and some of these trails have common sections. Part of the Hedgpeth Trail #3 loop is also a section of the longer Hedgpeth Trail #1. There is nothing too rigorous on the Hedgpeth Trail #3 loop, which is a little more than three and a half miles round trip. Watch your step though, there are a many lava rocks of various size in areas of the trail.

The summit is 1,816' from 1,320' at the trailhead and is located almost in the center of the loop, a mile and three quarters in. The view of the area is superb and on the west end of the trail are some small equestrian type ranches where you can watch training activities taking place below.

Along the trail are markers every 1/8 mile, including a zero at the trailhead. If you decides to hike the trail in a clockwise direction the ascent will be more gradually sloping up to the west end where there is a small series of switchbacks that lead to the ridge line. From there you follow the ridge line to the summit where the trail then descends in a more abrupt manner to the lower portion of the mountain on the north side. The rest of the trail on the east side is common with the H1 trail and parallels 59th avenue back to the trailhead. There is a side trail near the summit that dead ends at a viewpoint area.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2002-09-17 kurthzone
  • 2013 Map
    area related
    2013 Map
  • sat map overview map
    area related

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 25 deeper Triplog Reviews
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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My go to trail when I'm short on time. After work jog. Got there a little after 4:30, so I missed the 100 degree temps. Did my clockwise loop from the first parking lot. Stretched the length a little by doing the loop and then going up to the second access point. Then had to use "use trails" to get back to the car. Weather wasn't too bad. Probably, because it was only 98 while I was out there. Saw 8 hikers and two rabbits.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Route scout! Started well in the dark, but there was enough moon and ambient light I didn't turn on my headlamp. That is until I heard a coyote howling at me just off the trail. Turned on the headlamp and saw the glowing eyes staring back at me. That raised some pulses! The coyote left me alone and I continued on my way.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Did a loop consisting of the Cholla-Coachwhip trails. The first area for parking was full so I had to start from the northern access point. This adds a little more mileage to the loop because the entry trail is a little longer. Did my usual CW loop. Got spit the clouds.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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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.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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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...
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Thunderbird Conservation Park
It's been years since I've hiked in the Thunderbird Park off of 59th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak -- my old neighborhood. They have renamed all the trails and some like "Ridgeline" is not on Hike Arizona yet. The park is now called Thunderbird Conservation Park. Absolutely a gorgeous day for hiking and it was obvious I wasn't the only person who thought so. Hundreds of people on the trail and something I have not seen on a trail before....a parrot perched on the arm of a man. He was hiking with his dog and his bird. It was a beautiful bird and I should have asked permission to photograph it. Oh well.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Retired my Hoka One shoes and broke in a new pair of shoes called Altra. This was a good trail to try them out on...some elevation and kind of rocky so I could get a feel on how they handle on different surfaces. They provide good cushion (almost like the Hoka, so I didn't feel anything that I was running over, but like the Hoka, their ankle support may be lacking). The Altra also has a very wide toe which might be beneficial for running (not sure) but would definitely be a negative if I was doing any rock climbing. I'll have to wear them for a month or so to get a good feel for them.

Parked at the 59th ave TH and did what I consider to be the Cholla Loop, though technically it is partially composed of the coachwhip. Went clockwise, as usual. Saw a handful of hikers and joggers. Trail was pretty good considering all the rain we've had. I only had to negotiate one puddle. Weather was nice...cloudy, but not too cold.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Quick run around the most northern peak. Fairly chilly out, but still a decent number of people out. Felt bad because I parked next to a vehicle that had the misfortune of having their car broken into. Passenger side window had been broken in. When I got back I talked briefly with the owner. She said that was the third time she's had her car broken into...she didn't look that old.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Well this time around was a lot better for Rowdy. The temperature was nice and cool with a really nice breeze. We finished the Cholla and decided to keep going while enjoying the weather conditions. I am glad we kept on going as the views were really great. We were lucky as we were getting back to the trailhead it became really windy.
We took a little break before we left and as we pulled out of the parking lot it began to sprinkle. This was the very first time I really enjoyed Thunderbird Park.
Cholla Loop H-3 - Thunderbird
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Didn't have anything planned for today. So I did what is becoming a fallback option for me. I did what I call the Cholla loop clockwise. This is basically a loop consisting of the Cholla and Coach Whip Trails north of the bridge over 59th Ave. Trails were surprisingly not very busy, despite the clouds and the "cooler" temps.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take the Loop 101 Freeway to 59th Avenue and head North to Thunderbird Park. You can't miss it, there's an amphitheater on the side of a hill. The trailhead is a short distance North of the first parking lot through the gate. See map for details.
3 pack - loud whistle
go prepared
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