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San Tan Loop, AZ
mini location map2018-09-09
21 by photographer avataradilling
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San Tan Loop, AZ 
San Tan Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2018
Hiking15.00 Miles 1,883 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   7 Hrs   44 Mns   1.94 mph
1,883 ft AEG
1st trip
We have recently moved to the Power Ranch area and I decided to head over to San Tan Park to check out the trails. I have hiked the Goldmine Trail and Dynamite Trail before, but I have never gone on any of the other trails at the park.

I was browsing triplogs and routes and came across HikerDW’s route: San Tan RP Outside Loop

That looked intriguing and despite the fact that it was going to be hot one on Sunday, I left the house at 5am to give it a try. I was hoping to get a nice sunrise shot, but the mountain blocked the great colors. I did manage to get a few in, but only after I headed down the saddle and got into the flats. It would have been better to start at the visitor center for that.

The Goldmine Trail is what it is, it’s a nice hike up and give you a nice workout. I tried to climb up the ridgeline to get a better angle, but I could not get around the end mountain.

The Goldmine Trail connects to the San Tan Trail. This trail started off ho-hum. Lots of people hiking, biking and horseback riding, even at 6am. As I passed the visitor center, the trail greatly improved. It’s really quite scenic the farther down you go. I found the cool crested saguaro I saw in others triplogs, it was right off the trail. Very nice.

I continued on to the Malpais Trail. Every triplog I read said it was a bit of a slog as most of the trail is in or around the wash. That did slow me down a little and my miscalculation about that ended up costing me later on in the hike.

I loved the scenery along this trail as well. It was a little up and down and as I turned back to head back to the San Tan Trail, I missed the turn off and ended up on a little wash. I finally figured out I was in the wrong location and hiked up the hill to rejoin the trail.

Once back on the San Tan, it was also a little up and down all the way to the Dynamite Trail. I liked this section as well. The Dynamite Trail was an easy climb up and then down back to the parking lot.

The good: I was pleasantly surprised by the landscape on the southern and western sections of this loop. I am 15 minutes away from here, so it’s nice to know there’s a neat place to hike nearby

The bad: I overestimated by hiking speeds and ended up hiking in the heat. I am a bad heat hiker and it made for a very uncomfortable hike the last 4 miles. I was moving even slower than I normally move. I am very happy I did not underestimate my water needs as I needed every drop of the 6L I packed along.
Saguaro - Crested
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
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