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San Tan Trail - San Tan MRP
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mini location map2020-01-19
20 by photographer avatartibber
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page 1   2
 
San Tan Trail - San Tan MRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2020
tibber
Hiking7.89 Miles 681 AEG
Hiking7.89 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   3.00 mph
681 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I was at Cousin Connie's overnite as Ambika and I had hiked Garden-Hackberry Loop the day before and since I was in the area, it's nice to visit with Connie in San Tan Valley. It's a long way to San Tan Valley. After she fed me an Eggs Benedict breakfast and we visited more, I drove the 20 minutes to the Regional Park. I asked the Ranger which way would be best to do the loop and she said left. The parking lot was pretty full but that didn't surprise me for a late Sunday AM. I got started later than I wanted.

This area is very deserty with hills here and there. The saguaros were fat and happy and entertained me with their different shapes. There was lots of creosote and Ironwood trees with the usual smattering of cholla and some octotillo. The trail is definitely very nice and well groomed. As I went up and down the hill though, you could see the rain had worked its magic as there were a few ruts.

Once over the hill you have views to the Picacho Mtns (Newman Peak and Picacho Peak), even thru the haze. So I did some zooming here. I wouldn't see as many people on the back side of this loop but I did see a Crested Saguaro, a coyote and a couple lizards. Most hikers did say hello but there's always those few that have hearing problems I guess. For this part of the hike you go up and down via washes which is a nice change for my hip flexors. I was curious to see whether we would go up toward a saddle I could see in the little mountains to the north of me or if we would continue around. The trail goes around.

As I came up another hill I got the views west to more of the San Tan Mountains and you stay closer to a wash so it was brushier. And then there would be another hill you would come over to get a good view NW to Phx including Camelback and the Phx preserve mountains. It's really quite something to look over the desert covered with brush and saguaros to loads of houses and then run right into those various mountains (Camelback, Phx Preserve, etc).

Heading north down the hill now the trail widens once again. I could also see what I thot were roads on the mountains ahead of me but would learn, those were the Goldmines and those were trails. A little while later I got the Arizona Trail treatment as the trail swerves pretty far west and north before turning east. I actually had to check RouteScout to make sure I was correct and didn't miss a turn. Here is the area I thot I saw a fox but after looking at the picture of my fluffy coyote I had taken earlier, I'm not so sure it was a fox. I tried to follow it for a bit but it got into some trees on the hillside and I lost site of it.

I had gotten hungry a little earlier but that feeling had passed so I continued as the trail finally veered more NE now. There were still smatterings of people and bike riders but never really too bad for the whole hike except closer to the TH. I'm still going up and down the washes altho they seem a little deeper on this north section. I bypassed the junction to the Goldmine Trail that gains pretty steady elevation from what I could see; looked like fun but not today.

As I got closer to the end I wish I had brot a beer but I didn't. And then when I get toward the TH there apparently are two little trails to take to the parking lot (one I had taken this AM) but I took the wrong one that took me to the top of the parking lot; I was parked at the bottom. At this stage, that seemed a bit of an annoyance. However, this is the first time I've ever completed nearly an 8 mile hike without taking a break.

I was walking past the horse trailers and I saw this one had a step for this gal to mount the horse but the horse was havin' none of that :lol: . I changed shoes and drank a pineapple coconut water so that would have to suffice in light of no beer; altho I said, "if there is a brewery somewhere along the way, I'm pulling over to drink and eat". But alas there wasn't. It was mid-afternoon and now was the time for the long drive home. Did you know there is a Gateway Freeway? I didn't either until I was more or less on it and then picked the wrong side of the fork and ended up taking the 202 to the 101 instead of the 202 to the 60. No big deal really as it probably made a 5 minute difference.

One thing to note as well, there are other trails intersecting through out so lots of variations can be done.
Here is part 1 of my heavily narrated video, this is what happens when I hike by myself sometimes. It is a two-parter.
[ youtube video ]
Part 2 after a couple technical issues: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
Culture
Culture
HAZ Food
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
one blooming brittle bush
_____________________
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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tibber's
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