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North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
mini location map2014-05-31
3 by photographer avatarblack_toes
photographer avatar
 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 31 2014
black_toes
Hiking2.65 Miles 306 AEG
Hiking2.65 Miles   1 Hour   22 Mns   2.69 mph
306 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to check out my home park as it sizzles into summer. Arrived at VC parking lot about 6 pm, temp 102 and only three other cars seen. A couple moseyed back in, saying 20 minutes on the trail was enough. I loaded up my camel with cold water from the fountain. That fountain is the best I've come across yet in any park, considering water temperature and stream flow.

Best route in late afternoon heat is counter-clockwise to the N dam, to junction of trails #306 and #100, then completing loop via the Trupiano Bench. That way you stay longer in the shadows of Shaw Butte and its east buttress. Had no hankering to visit the west side which was in full sun.

Interested in seeing the state of the ironwood trees, I stopped to inspect the first one I came across not far from VC. Found of course the beautiful flowers long gone and turned into reddish brown seed pods. They'll fall to the ground before long, providing good protein for wildlife.

Passed a pair of Gambel's quail who squeaked at me like two styrofoam cups rubbing together. Later saw a funny sight. A very young quail, skinny and maybe 4-6 inches long, scurrying between two adults, mom and pop I assumed. Touching. Turning around near the divide I looked for the tower shadows from Shaw, thinking they would make a nice photo. But by then the Shaw shadow had slipped over the side of North Mountain and was out of sight.

Last half of the hike was pleasant in the shadows, helped along by a westerly breeze coming through the basin. Saw a raptor of some kind gliding along 40, 50 feet above the ground and immediately thought of the baby quail. The raptor had what I thought were two whitish bands on its underwing but my bird book showed nothing like that. It was amazing, even as summer approaches, I can find this hike still interesting and relaxing
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black_toes'
242 Photosets

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