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Coldwater Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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mini location map2021-01-01
12 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Coldwater Trail - Estrella Mtn RPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2021
kingsnake
Hiking10.06 Miles 1,023 AEG
Hiking10.06 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   2.72 mph
1,023 ft AEG
 
I spend late fall and winter hiking closer to Phoenix. The coldest I can remember hiking in Phoenix was 32℉ at South Mountain in 2017. The coldest I’ve seen in the low desert was 27℉ in the Butler Valley, south of Alamo Lake: There was even snow on the ground. 🥶

The coldest I’ve actually hiked in, was 30℉ on the South Mountain in Maryland, while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and again in St. Vith, Belgium (where it was -1℃ at the local bank). In the latter case, I didn’t even have a windbreaker and, to compound the fun, it sleeted. St. Vith [ photoset ] , that late May morning, was officially the coldest place in Europe — even colder than Norway!

It is ironic, then, that it was 34℉ today when I planned to hike Coldwater Trail in Estrella Mountain Regional Park. I’d been on Coldwater twice before, inbound, so today I would head out on it, go a ¼ mile west on Gadsden Trail, then 1.6 miles north on Toothaker Trail, before looping 4.2 miles back to the rodeo arena on Rainbow Valley Trail.

Because it was New Year’s Day, “rush hour” traffic was very light, so I cruised west on Indian School Rd. to Avondale. I only saved one dashcam capture, and I think he may have been a late drunk. As it was still dark, I stopped for hashbrowns, biscuits & gravy at Waffle House. 🤗

The first mile on Coldwater, to the secondary horse lot, was mostly in shade cast by Knobb Hill (aka Hill 1801 on the topo).

Estrella Mountain Regional Park, especially in cold months, does not have a lot of photo ops, other than saguaro. (No flowers.) As a result, I was rolling tape for my hiking video, because as a “slide show” it would have been less than a minute long. So, I took a break on the saddle on Toothaker Trail to record voiceover bits to make the end result more interesting. Also, the temperature was finally tolerable to where I could remove my hoodie and woolie cap.

It was nearly 11:00 a.m. when I turned onto Rainbow Valley Trail, so I started seeing other hikers — presumably without hangovers — on a regular basis. 🥳

The west end of Dysart Trail intersects Rainbow Valley Trail a mile north of the saddle. Just past Dysart, I went off trail in one of the larger washes for pee break privacy, a snack, and to record more voiceovers. Plus, the wash had shade, which is otherwise in short supply in Estrella Mountain Regional Park.

I thought Rainbow Valley Trail was shorter than it actually is, so it seemed to drag on forever. The final mile of Rainbow Valley Trail was a steady stream of people and dogs, making it hard to tape video without looking like a goober.

I took a short break at a picnic table after I finished. Instead of a hiking beer, my refreshment was a V-8: No sense in tempting any cops on the ride home who might still be monitoring the New Year’s chaos … 😉

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/496695397
Named place
Named place
Knobb Hill - Estrella
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon Sunburst
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