|South Mountain Marcos de Niza Mormon Loop, AZ|
|South Mountain Marcos de Niza Mormon Loop, AZ|| |
South Mountain Marcos de Niza Mormon Loop, AZ
|Hiking||13.38 Miles|| 3 Hrs 33 Mns ||3.88 mph|
|2,200 ft AEG|| 6 Mns Break|
|With rain in the forecast for much of the high country, I went for an early, local hike before it got too hot and before the potential rain reached Phoenix. I started just after 5AM when Pima Canyon Trailhead opened, and there was a nice sunrise on a humid morning. I repeated the same route I hiked two weeks ago...there were a few more mountain bikers out on the trails today, but it still wasn't too crowded despite being a little cooler by June standards.|
Halfway through the hike, the clouds thickened a little, and there were brief sprinkles around the time I hit Mormon Trailhead, but it was very light and didn't last long at all. On the hike out, I ended up following a coyote along Ridgeline Trail for a few minutes. Just after I passed two people with dogs hiking the other direction, I thought I saw a loose dog up ahead but quickly realized it was a coyote. It stayed on the trail, jogging in front of me for a while near Beacon Hill before it finally headed off into the brush.
Back at the shelters at the trailhead, a few people were pointing out the silhouette of a coyote up on a ridge...probably not the same one I'd just seen, so there were at least two in the area. Other than that limited wildlife excitement and more clouds, today was virtually a carbon copy of the hike two weeks ago, but it was nice to see some clouds for a change.