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South Mountain-West Side Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-04-11
10 by photographer avatarddgrunning
photographer avatar
 
South Mountain-West Side Loop, AZ 
South Mountain-West Side Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking13.67 Miles 2,703 AEG
Hiking13.67 Miles   5 Hrs   56 Mns   2.52 mph
2,703 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Rain in the forecast discouraged us from straying too far from home, so we were looking for the road less traveled nearby. A challenging task in these pandemic times when nature seems to be about the only recreational activity that remains “open” (at least, mostly).

Headed to the west side of SoMo. The new loop 202 extension made it a relatively quick trip to the TH. About 6 cars at the TH when we arrived at 6:45 am.

I’d never started a hike from that side. Nice little climb to the San Juan Road terminus right out of the gate. From there, we hit up the Alta Trail and added the section from the terminus to Maricopa Peak to my SoMo collection.

Saw about 10 others on Alta—which normally would constitute a crowd on that trail.

After descending to the east end of Alta, we followed the summit road up to where the Ranger Trail crosses, and then headed up to the National Trail, where we began our loop back west.

Hit up Goat Hill and had it to ourselves.

Then continued down the National ridge line to the western junction, where we finished off the flat, intra-range trail back to the San Juan terminus—the only section of the National Trail I had not yet traveled. It’s a pretty desolate and nondescript stretch, comparatively—not to mention that, for no apparent reason, it travels East (away from the San Juan terminus) before finally turning back west and north. That blasé section notwithstanding, this was a fun hike with limited encounters with the rest of humanity, and a good stretch of the legs after a week of working from home and staying mostly indoors.

About 20 cars at the TH when we returned around 1 pm.
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