Steep Fish Creek Views
Here's a rather simple off-trail hike with rewarding views. From the trailhead, as noted in the directions below, simply head up the moderate slope. The vegetation is patchy enough to negotiate without much thought. Nevertheless always watch your step as this mesa is covered with tiny prickly cati. Within five to ten minutes you will be on the mesa. At this point you can't see across just yet. The mesa is made up of two high points with a gentle dip in the middle.
Heading northwest you soon reach the lower of the two high points. Continue through the gentle dip and up to the other high point. The vegetation gets easier to negotiate. From the northern high point, the jaunt out onto the peninsula-fin becomes pretty clear.
Just as you reach the peninsula-fin the mesa drops off to your left. Careful as it's a direct 400 foot drop and your carcass would likely roll down another 400 feet to the creek. You have a nice overview of FR80 twisting down to the salt river.
It's a minor scramble out to the edge of the peninsula-fin. Interestingly enough you are now above the narrows of Fish Creek. The views in all directions are simply stunning. I seriously doubt anybody believes views like these exist only thirty miles from Phoenix. Head back as you came.
HAZ History: Five years ago I had this great idea to shortcut it out to the narrows of Fish Creek. The idea was to go over Coronado Mesa and come down the other side. As it turned out I missed the unmarked turn onto FR80 and ended up turning around at the Tortilla Trailhead. On the way back-tracking I was hit by a truck. Moral of the story, don't miss that damn turn...lol! Just kidding, actually I just remembered all of this writing here and wondered if going down the other side is even possible. I scoured the zillion photos I took and believe there is a doable route. It appears there's a steep slanted ravine coming down from the southern high point area. If you do it, do it for the adventure as the narrows are nothing exciting.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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