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Phoenix Mountain Preserve Western Loop, AZ
mini location map2021-05-21
15 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
 
Phoenix Mountain Preserve Western Loop, AZ 
Phoenix Mountain Preserve Western Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 21 2021
tibber
Hiking7.75 Miles 1,494 AEG
Hiking7.75 Miles   3 Hrs   16 Mns   2.50 mph
1,494 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Whew that west side of 302 is a killer, sheesh. Very few smooth areas, that's for sure.

I was kind of thinking of a slightly bigger loop but that back side climb of Piestewa took a lot out of me. The morning started out chilly and the sky was spitting at me from time to time. It was nice to see those white puffy things with those greyer colored things, even if it wasn't for a very long time. When I woke up this AM I said, what's that smell? It was the lingering smell from what little virga hit the ground.

I got up the hill at the west end of Happy Hour Ridge and then went down the south side and made my way over to the Irregular Link horse shoe trail. I think that trail is laid out so nicely. And when I made it to the western saddle, it was a veritable wind tunnel as I observed the clear air around me including to downtown. I made it to the top and saw a person way above me; guessing he/she bagged the peak and it's quite the peak.

I hooked up with the Freedom Trail 302 forgetting that I would indeed earn my freedom on this one :sweat: ! Well that was five years ago and that hike didn't end very well. Anyway, this 302 is a rough son of a gun in parts. And FYI if you're curious like I am where some of these sayings come from; this one has several attributes if I can quote wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_a_gun Anyway, I made my way up to somewhere on Piestewa and if I didn't have to get back to 38th St, I would have finished it off but alas, I had a few more miles and probably not enuf energy for a summit.

I continued on down weaving through the usual throng of people. I ended up going off balance and slipping, using my recovering broken wrist to brace me. I landed a bit on the side of the hill and fortunately my wrist held up well so I was very pleased. I stayed on 302 taking a little break in some shade before going up the rest of the hill. About 1/2 dozen girls that I had seen going SW were now coming my way saying they had started backwards, ha! They were carrying their water in Starbucks cups but cruised up the hill and were apparently doing the circumference. Since I was doing a loop I went to the east to eventually catch the eastern Perl Charles 1A horse shoe trail and back to the TH. Coming off that north side of 1A is quite rocky.

When the intermittent breeze was blowing it was so pleasant, the temp was nice. The hike took me a little longer than I liked. One of these times I'd like to do a whole big loop around the Preserve so that may be a worthy goal.

WATCH: 7.49 miles. 131 Avg bpm, max 177. Zones: Max 27%, Anaerobic 35%, Aerobic 36% Weight Control 2% burning 1260 calories. Started at 69.8 degrees and 33% finishing at 10:37AM
Fauna
Fauna
Desert Cottontail
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
saguaros still blooming but waning.
_____________________
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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