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Cholla Mountain Loop from Brown's Ranch TH
24 Photosets
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Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking Apr 19 2008
Hiking5.70 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   4 Hrs      1.43 mph
400 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked descriptions
Partners none no partners
This was a guided hike talking about the food of the Sonoran Desert. There were many stewards on this trip and a few passengers. We went to Cathedral Rocks at the north side of Cholla Mtn. One of the stewards gave a quick presentation regarding the indents in the stone between the big rocks.

Since I am not that familiar with this area and I don't see a map of the route, you can pretty well use the write up here done in 2006. From the Cathedral Rocks area you can see Tonto Hills and the Spur Cross area as well as Pinnacle Peak and Tom's Thumb. As I am sure many of you felt today, you couldn't have asked for better weather in light of the forecast for low 90s.

The trail is well groomed and has some deep sand in areas of the trail. There are several spurs that can also be taken. Today we did a bit of a loop over to the Cathedral Rocks and then back through the Brown's Ranch area. They did have their plant expert/photographer along as well, Marianne, so I was able to learn some more about the plants along the way. She said the reason we saw so many different wildflowers this season is because of the cooler weather (especially in Dec/Jan), not just the rain.

It was a very informative hike and a great day to be out and about in the desert. If one steward didn't know the answer about your question one of the others did. Oh, I got to see a whiplash tail lizard. Actually there were several along the trail but only one posed for pictures. There were many other flowers along the trail that I hadn't seen on any of my other hikes.

At the end of the hike one of the stewards talked a bit about the proposition coming up regarding trying to add more land to the preserve. They also have a couple brochures available and a book called A Field Guide For the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It is pretty good and explains more about Brown's Ranch too. They have several other guided hikes up in this area including exercise hikes for those of you who like to keep those heart rates up. They have a website as well.
Hohokam Mano and Metate
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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