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Christmas Tree Trail and KOA walk around, AZ
mini location map2021-07-28
17 by photographer avatartibber
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Christmas Tree Trail and KOA walk around, AZ 
Christmas Tree Trail and KOA walk around, AZ
Hiking5.10 Miles 659 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   2.64 mph
659 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
1st trip
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I guess I forgot I retired and I didn't need to get some hiking in before my Glacier trip.... as I've been able to hike during the week vs when I worked and couldn't do that. On top of that, the weather is going to make these pre-trip hikes tricky so hopefully I'll be able to get in one more before heading back to Phx. So a few months back I made a reservation at the KOA as I can hike right from there which I thot was pretty cool.

And the nice thing about this KOA is you can check in at noon so I planned accordingly, picking up my meals from Safeway and then checking in at 12:05. The weather was already tenuous with thunder and lightning but I figured I could stay low and just do the Christmas Tree.

I threw on my regular backpack, can't remember the last time I wore it. The trail getting there from the KOA is pretty nice and soon I was on the Christmas Tree trail. The weather conditions were constantly changing with hot and cold, breeze, no breeze, sun and no sun with occasional rolls of thunder. Nonetheless, it smelled great for most of this and I was glad to have boots to the ground. I was trying out some new socks too. There was quite a bit of flora so I would stop to get some pics. I didn't do any movies as I think the content wasn't enuf to generate interest.

It was further than I thot to the junction with the Sandy Seep and Little Elden, my turn around point. It was a lot hillier than I expected but that's okay... I needed that; I always need that. You can loop this via Sandy Seep but it gets too close to the highway for me so I just went back the way I came. There was this one area full of tall Apache Plume bushes that I took a photo of again as the sun had come out so you could see the blooms better.

I went past the junction to the KOA and headed down to the main TH for a bit before turning around. Surprisingly I came upon a huge patch of Indian Paintbrush that I totally missed so that was nice. I passed by another junction for the east side of the Fatman's Loop which I'm going to try and do tomorrow AM. I only saw two other hikers during this hike. It was also pretty humid and the elevation seemed to slow my desired pace.

When I got back to the KOA I needed to get water so I decided to go the long way and check out the joint. They also have a little nature trail so I took that. I stopped and talked with a person in the back of a truck as there were several big tents set up. Apparently he and others take youth groups around and he sets everything up. They'll be heading to the Grand Canyon next. I should have asked the name of the service he was running but I don't like to be too snoopy. Saw a cool squirrel while talking to him and said hello to several others as I made my way back to Wikiup (my cabin).

If you ever stay here, make sure you can get close to the north side; otherwise, there's quite a bit of road noise. They have lots of entertainment for adults and kids. I had no idea what a Jumping Pillow was until I saw kids of various sizes jumping on it. It looks like it could be a little dangerous if someone falls wrong but all seemed to be having fun.

WATCH: 4.84 miles with avg bpm 138 and max 168. 44% at top zone, 43% at anaerobic and 13% at aerobic burning 847 calories. Starting temp 73.3 (felt warmer) and 50% humidity finishing at 2:51 PM
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Abert's Squirrel
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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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