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Quartz Ridge Trail #8A
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mini location map2013-03-07
2 by photographer avatarblack_toes
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Quartz Ridge Trail #8APhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2013
black_toes
Hiking2.39 Miles 445 AEG
Hiking2.39 Miles   2 Hrs   15 Mns   1.91 mph
445 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
Partners none no partners
Came across a huge field of golden poppies this afternoon. They bloomed radiantly from a slope east of the trail, just below what hikers call "the White House." I had parked at the trailhead at the end of Squaw Peak Drive and paid the price of admission, a traverse up the steep Ruth Hamilton Trail to the Davis Bench in the higher saddle. The trail shoots up 365 feet in less than a half mile. It's a rugged passage but wildflowers eased the pain. Purple lupine and phacelia with much yellow fiddleneck mixed in. A large poppy field dominated as I approached the bench, where I sat in warm sunshine and ate a deli sandwich. The Davis Bench seems a turn-around point for hikers coming up from the 32nd Street parking lot, so it can be busy. Then it was downhill to the lower saddle and a left turn onto the lonely Quartz Ridge (#8A) going north. From there, the huge poppy fields catch the eye immediately. This stretch of the Quartz Ridge down to the junction of the #8 going east and west is one of my favorites. In three hikes along it I've yet to run into a single human. Came back up through the wide valley that leads up to the east saddle of the Nature Trail. Some creosote have started to put out small blooms and the brittlebush is almost there. A very nice hike with plenty of beautiful wildflowers.
Flora
Flora
Wild Heliotrope
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lupine, fiddleneck, phacelia, blue dick and a small flower of light purple bedeck the trails. Three large poppy fields, one at the top of the Ruth Hamilton Trail and the other two on the slopes beneath the White House off of #8A. The latter two are off trail by about 150 yards so it is hard to fully appreciate them.
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242 Photosets

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