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Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPN
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mini location map2020-03-24
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Granite Mountain Loop Trail - MSPNPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2020
Hiking6.07 Miles 732 AEG
Hiking6.07 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.43 mph
732 ft AEG
Thx for reminders from Richard and Bruce, and since the wildflower season is still active, I went to NE Scottsdale after work. The traffic is such a breeze now so it makes these distant trailheads fast to get to but even better, I get home quicker as well after without starving.

This is my first visit to the revitalized TH and it looks pretty impressive. Trying to figure out where the trail now starts was a bit interesting and after I got by the buildings, I actually ended up going left at a new intersection vs right so I had to backtrack a bit. I already knew it wasn’t going to be as spectacular out here due to no poppy sightings on the drive in and from all the foxtail grass that was inundating the ground.

Nonetheless, it’s a nice hike no matter what; gotta love these Cadillac trails :) . And yes, we were a Cadillac family growing up. I used to drive a ’63 caddy in high school (in the early 70s), called her Bertha. Anyway, I digress. I continued on thru the always cool yucca section, then the big boulder section and then around to the south and west of Granite Mountain. The intersection with one of the trails where there was an abundance of flowers last year was void. However, on the north side of the trail there was a nice grouping of the usual suspects though not as overwhelming as last year.

As I continued on, I was still impressed with the grand mixture of the golden-yellow blooms of the Brittlebush and the intense red of the Chuparosa. It really was stunning 8) . That lasted for quite awhile and on both sides of the trail too. And as with most wildflower hikes, it’s much more impressive in person as it’s hard to photograph. I feel the movies, this year, are a much better reflection of the landscape.

And as was mentioned in previous trip logs this year, most of the flora is on this SE section of the Loop. The color seems to stop rather abruptly but that’s a good thing as I’m also trying to get in a good hike which is hard to do when there’s non-stop distractions. This west section has its own beauty too and you have nice views of the mountains across the way (Brown).
I would see occasional wildflowers such as lupine and poppies, some in big patches. The poppies were mostly far away but the lupine was closer to the trail.

As I rounded this back section, I was surprised to encounter an elderly couple. They didn’t seem the type that could handle a 6-mile loop. We made some comment about the birds don’t have the virus but recollected they had caused it in the past. They got off the trail quite a bit, I guess trying to keep their distance; if I had known I would have extended that courtesy but it’s not seemed to be an issue in all the hiking I’ve been doing the last ten days.

I continued on my merry way still bringing out the camera from time to time. Sadly, Route Scout pulled its “I’m not going to work for awhile so maybe you should consider investing in a separate GPS device” routine; but hopefully when I replace my phone, that won't be an issue. It worked fine the last two hikes. I’m wondering if I could find a cheap apple phone to use for Route Scout? Oh well. I have finally made it to the north side now and kept my eye out for that beautiful crested saguaro. Maybe someday I’ll extend my hike and go visit it.

Not much in the way of wildflowers over here really and that’s normally the case although the usual areas where I remember seeing them last year, I saw them this year. I made somewhat decent time here as I made my way east. I got some nice clear views of the Mazzies (zoomed view in movie mode) and I zoomed in for a couple photos of the dam and water behind it :D .

Up the little hill with a neat view to the Four Peaks I encountered a few bicyclers here before continuing on my way for the last mile or so. The Brittlebush are pretty on this section and it’s also in the shade a bit. There were some nice stances of lupine. Heading south you get nice views of the Supes too so I did a little zoom action between saguaros and such. Would love to go out in the western Supes again but the traffic is just too scary right now. So I’ll just have to enjoy from afar or watch some of my videos.

Once again, the color dries up a bit here but you still have stately saguaros and of course Granite Mountain. I would encounter about ½ dozen hikers as I made my way back to Bootlegger Trail and the TH. The light has changed a bit so the scenery is a little different. I thot it was interesting that the last few wildflower hikes I had done there was so much Globe Chamomile taking up valuable landscape and here it was the Foxtail Grass; either way, it’s too bad but what can you do? It does look like they are going to do some kind of trim work around the trailhead area to remove some dead trees.

A nice hike everyone can enjoy. There were at least a dozen bikers on the trail and maybe two dozen hikers which I thot was light compared to what I thot there would be. And every time I hike in this area, I think what fun it would be to ride a bike here. I didn’t think I would take that much video, as I have awesome video from last year (see the trip report but I did.

Video 1 - [ youtube video ]
Video 2 - [ youtube video ]
Video 3 - [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Fiddleneck, 1 Xmas Cholla, Lupine, Poppies, Cane Cholla, Lavendar, Heliotrope, Chia, Globe Mallow, Banana Yucca
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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