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Badger Cliff Esplanade, AZ
mini location map2021-01-21
17 by photographer avatartibber
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Badger Cliff Esplanade, AZ 
Badger Cliff Esplanade, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2021
Hiking7.27 Miles 359 AEG
Hiking7.27 Miles   2 Hrs   41 Mns   2.87 mph
359 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX

My niece wants to try and do a weekly hike with me so I thot this would be a good gauge as to how she feels after a longer than 5 mile flatter hike. I put this loop together and we hiked it counter-clockwise.

We had a 1 pm start waiting for the chance of showers to clear. We headed over to the Badger Brawl Trail, a new one for me. It was slightly cloudy for a good portion of the hike as the clouds entertained us for most of the trek. Initially you hear the traffic on the Parkway but as you start to veer north you hear less of that. I pointed out various distant landmarks to Mia; she might as well learn them now. I also IDed some of the flora (mostly trees and cactus at this point). We saw various Christmas Cholla in different stages so that was interesting.

The Cliff Walk Trail was a little disappointing but it did present interesting views of the opposite side of the wash we were hiking above. At the crossover point we encountered our only hiker of the day who was hiking from his complex but doing the north part of the loop. It's not clear that this is the crossover point but just know the cut through into the wash is on this (south) side of the gauging station.

Once you get over to the other side of the wash and continue hiking west you will see the marker for the Esplanade Trail. We turned left (south) here and were now on the owl nest hunt which turned out to be relatively easy. We didn't see any owls. However, some of the saguaros in this area are pretty interesting.

The sun was out now but there was also a nice breeze as we made our way back to the TH. We stopped by this one Xmas Cholla and I wondered if the bulbs were edible so we both grabbed one and of course, we both got stickered to death so our answer is "no", not edible unless you can figure a way to get all the stickers off. So we spent a couple minutes trying to get the stickers out :lol: . During our hike there were about a dozen bicyclists that we stepped aside to let pass.

We finished off our afternoon with a beer and pita chips with the view of Apache Vista in front of us. We enjoyed a couple hawks as they were flying around. Mia said she really enjoyed the area and the hike.

WATCH: 7.11 miles, 119 avg BPM, 139 high (23% in Zone 4, 66% in Zone 3 and the rest in Zone 2 burning 924 calories). 68 degrees at start and 41% humidity (could definitely feel it). Finished at 3:47PM.
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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