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Perl Charles Trail #1A, AZ

no permit
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Guide 442 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
2.9 of 5 by 30
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,200 feet
Elevation Gain 867 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,192 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.46
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,261 map ( 21,471 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:27pm
Official Route
47 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Urban Hiss
by joebartels

Overview: From the heart of the city to the heart of the preserves. The true trailhead is more for neighborhood locals. Most hike portions of this loop starting at other trailheads. For those that want to check off 1A as complete... read on!

Trailhead: This hike starts at the end of Myrtle Ave. The park will tell you it starts at 16th Street and the canal. However, there's no parking at that location. It would also involve walking 16th Street and Myrtle Ave. I call those streets not trails. They have it starting there to link the preserves in with other county trail systems that won't be finished or used until I'm dead so let's go with the end of Myrtle Ave for now.

Hike: Start off switchbacking down a fenced corridor to the Myrtle Tunnel. Pass through the concrete jungle and a real trail exist on the flip side up a ramp. Albeit a real trail it's right beside a street, a neighborhood and well that hissing freeway fifty feet above you. About 0.5 mi heading north you leave the neighborhood and come to the Y of 1A loop.

Hiss: Stay left for a clockwise loop. This also gets more of the undesirable out of the way. What you could hear before now comes into view. Bear in mind the freeway was kind of an afterthought. Planning dates back to 1955 as a spur to the I-10. Yet little surfaced(bad joke) until the mid 80's. It started out as a parkway from 1986 to 1991. Then was doomed by the massive valley growth to become a full fledged high speed hissing highway.

Loop: About 2.0 miles from Myrtle you approach the Dreamy Draw conglomerate of trails going everywhere. The 1A is the most signed trail in the preserves. Since there are several intersections without directions bring a map or a loaded GPS Route.

After a big Z switchback you are on the high northern ridge of the loop heading east. The city is still in the distance. Yet at this point the trail becomes peaceful leaving the hiss behind. You will pass a couple shortcut options. The first is the VOAZ 1B Trail. The second is called the Irregular Link. Past both of these the soil turns dark. It may not seem like much but with everything else in the preserves being white toned quartz it's a welcome sight.

Soon the loop takes you south towards the 304 Nature Trail. Here again you might have route finding issues if you're not familiar with the area. The 304 section doesn't even last a quarter mile then you are sharing trail with the 302 Circumference trail. This is the meanest climb of the loop. It's only 250 feet but it'll get your heart rate up.

From the saddle it's 1 mile through the tranquil valley to another saddle where you split away from the 302. Take the right which heads down quick into the biggest valley inside the city (that I know of anyhow). In the distance to the west you can just make out an old CCC stone structure. The trail misses it and goes above into the mountains overlooking the neighborhood. Even though it seems you should know the way a map still might come in handy.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-02-10 joebartels
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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 75 deeper Triplog Reviews
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Lollipop loop from the Myrtle trailhead off of 16th Street. Still trying to find my groove and playing around with some new training techniques. Tried to keep my breathing regulated and my heart rate low, so walked up most of the hills. Trying the old technique of keep your slow runs slow, really slow and your fast runs fast. Keep out of the middle as much as possible. Today was a long, slow distance day.

Have four more weekends in town, so might be able to sneak in one more run on this before I take off. Really busy packing and getting ready for the move, so this trail is great because it's only 10 minutes from my house. I can get out early and be home by 7:30 AM.

One last thing because I know Salomon's are a popular shoe around here. With REI's 20% off coupon I found some for under $100, then with a coupon and some leftover dividend funds bought some for $75. Shipping from their west valley warehouse was fast, had my shoes in one day. Got the Speedcross 4's and found them to be another great upgrade from my old Speedcross 3's.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Did a lollipop loop from the Myrtle Trailhead, had a big "to do" list at home and this is the closest trail to the house. Forgot how much I love getting out in April. The temps are still cool enough in the morning I can sleep in a bit plus the trails are full of locals. Really nice to run and hike on popular trails that have half as many people on them as they did 3-4 weeks ago.

Pam aka OutdoorLover told my wife about going full out low carb/high fat and this was the first 90 minute run I've done since we started two weeks ago. Felt a tiny bit sluggish still, so the merits of the whole fat burning hype when exercising is still up for debate. Will give it a month to see if that aspect of the diet works. But on the weight loss front I've lost 11 pounds in two weeks, which certainly helps on the uphill portions.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Double Horseshoe Loop - Phoenix Preserve
Missed out on my Jordan Hot Springs backpack due to a flared bulging disk; haven't had that for at least 5 years (originated in 1998). Well after four days of non-activity and little improvement in the level of pain, I did a strength class last nite and while my back felt it, nothing extraordinary happened so I decided to get out on the trail.

I started from 38th St TH and headed west and up over the Happy Hour ridge area to Horseshoe VOAZ and over to 302 and then another Horseshoe #1A back over. I proceeded up a few more hills west and north and back around Happy Hour ridge to the TH. All trails were in good shape.
Quite a few hikers and bikers out; helped a few with directions but there were times when it was only me. And the usual discourse of un-leashed and leashed dogs; one leashed had a growl, I figure it didn't like what I was wearing or something, ha!

A nice morning with a reward of Q-Trip frozen cappuccino. My lower lumbar was fine. I seem to recall when this happened before it took a week to ten days for the pain to no longer be noticed. Oh and FYI, my knee has been fine for a few months now... just needed more time to heal.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Trying to get back out there. There's been a lot on my plate recently and hitting the trail was the last thing on my mind. But have a few hikes and runs I would like to do this year, so guess I better start training. Did a lollipop loop from the Myrtle Street trailhead. Attempting to slow myself down and make my easy runs super easy.

Perfect day to hit the trails, not too hot and not too cold. Limited crowds despite it being the weekend.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Lollipop loop done slow and steady. Fairly successful at keeping my effort easy, slowed down to a walk whenever I started breathing to hard.

Went out on 1A, up and over the VOAZ then added a new section of trail I've never done. Did all of 304, I've done the western leg, but not the section to the east of the wash. In my view that is the better looking side and will have to do it again. Then hit 1A again and back to my car.

Quite a few people out this morning, saw people on trails I normally do not see people on.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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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.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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I've gone past this trail a few times and earlier this week Joe told me that this was one of his favorite trails in the preserves. Started on 1A at the Myrtle trailhead, dipped under the freeway and headed up along the western leg along the freeway. Turned off at the VOAZ trailhead and headed up. From this vantage point Joe is correct that this is one of the most scenic trails in town, plus empty on a busy weekend which was great.

Reconnected with 1A and headed back on the western route back to my car. Simply a great day to get out, perfect temps, air quality was good and only a ten minute drive from my house.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Coolish fall like weather is finally here in the morning. Set out for a leisurely trot around 1A at the crack of dawn to stretch my legs. Only downside to this loop that I can think of are some of the steep, loose descents. Takes me almost as long to go downhill in a few stretches as it takes to go uphill.

Didn't see any snakes this morning, but heard two that greeted me as I went past.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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Early morning training run from the Myrtle trailhead. Went north on 1A and then did a little exploring on Trail #100 and Trail #220 to make a short loop and back to 1A.

Hot and humid again, hoping the weather forecast is wrong for the next two weeks. I would kill for 70 degree temps right now.
Perl Charles Trail #1A
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I heard the voice of Brian (mt98dew) at the end of my run telling me that you just can't do 95% of a trail and not complete it. So after doing the loop clockwise from the Myrtle Trailhead I kept going down to 16th Street to the actual beginning of the trail just north of Glendale next to the wash. Only added an extra 7 minutes or so my run this weekend, but its all pavement except for a very short dirt path along the sidewalk going down 16th Street.

Hot and humid, but at least there was a breeze this morning.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
According to the Phoenix preserves trail map this hike starts south of Myrtle on 16th street at the canal. However their description says "The trail follows 16th Street north of Myrtle Avenue, then east along Myrtle and through a tunnel at 19th Street.". May the force be with you.
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