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Hidden Valley via Pima Canyon
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mini location map2015-03-14
2 by photographer avatarastrobrewer
photographer avatar
 
Hidden Valley via Pima CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2015
astrobrewer
Hiking6.15 Miles 933 AEG
Hiking6.15 Miles   3 Hrs   21 Mns   1.84 mph
933 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Got off to a late start at 10:45 and it was warm and sunny. The parking area was very full, but I was lucky to find a spot close to the trailhead that was just vacated. Took the dirt road for the first easy 1.2 miles to the junction of the National and Mormon Loop trails. Then I followed the sign to the National trail which begins climbing up to the ridge line to the West. Up on the ridge there was a refreshing cool breeze. I continued along the National Trail until I got to the sign for Hidden Valley via tunnel. The tunnel is a natural rock tunnel that the trail goes through. It is a nice comfortable place to rest in the shade and drink some water. Hidden Valley trail is a short loop that connects with the National Trail at both ends according to the map. I followed the trail through the tunnel until I got to what looked like a dead end. There were lots of foot prints in the soft sand, but I didn't see any easy way past some boulders. I tried to climb over the boulders, but rock was steep and slippery. I explored for a few minutes to see if there were any side trails that went around the boulders, but decided that I didn't feel like getting lost and back tracked to the National Trail.

I continued on National until I got to the second junction for Hidden Valley at Fat Man Pass. The trail goes through a narrow split between two large boulders and it was a tight squeeze, but I am happy to say that I made it through. After the squeeze the trail appears to follow the wash. After a couple hundred yards I reached a place where I had to either climb over a boulder with a big drop off on the downhill side or crawl through a narrow hole to who know what. Neither option looked good to me, but I didn't see any way around. I back tracked and ran into some other hikers at Fat Man Pass, but they couldn't help. So back to National Trail for the return trip.

On the way back I took the fork to the left to take the Mormon Trail and then took fork on right for Mormon Loop. Mormon Loop gave nice views of downtown Phoenix and Tempe as it went downhill to the East. At the next fork I went right to stay on Mormon Loop back to the dirt road. The trail drops off the ridge and follows a canyon wash. When I got to the junction I decided to take the Pima Wash back to the trailhead instead of the dirt road. I don't think I'll do that again. The wash is very sandy and slow going.

The entire hike took just over 3 hours and was very pleasant, especially once I got past the end of the dirt road and out of the crowds. I drank four of the seven 0.5l bottles of water on the trail, and was glad I was carrying as much as a had. I had hoped to see some wildflowers, but there weren't many.
Named place
Named place
Fat Mans Pass
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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