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Desert Tortoise - Valle - Dixie Peak and Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-12-27
15 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
 
Desert Tortoise - Valle - Dixie Peak and Loop, AZ 
Desert Tortoise - Valle - Dixie Peak and Loop, AZ
 
Hiking6.52 Miles 1,077 AEG
Hiking6.52 Miles   2 Hrs   19 Mns   2.90 mph
1,077 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to get a nice hike in before weather hits. This time I also wanted to get the peak I missed when Kelly and I were out here on the 16th. As I headed up the Hawks Nest my hamstrings were whining a tad from the dead lifts I did yesterday morning in class. It's one of my favorite exercises but she had us do a lot of them : rambo : . I never quite understand that between all the hiking and gym classes I do, why do my muscles not adapt and feel like I've done neither each time I hike or exerercise. They say muscles remember but mine have a very short term memory :( .

Anyway, it was pretty busy until I made the turn on Desert Tortoise that winds you in and around the side of the mountain until you come to the other side. I stopped to observe additional cholla babies on both sides of the trail. Some of the parents are pretty chunky too. Then it's a quick jaunt to the Valle Vista where you head west to the Dixie Mountain Loop. It's a nice warm up prior to the little bit of climbing you do just before joining the loop where there are additional little ups and downs to the turn off for Dixie Mountain. I actually like the climb up Dixie Mountain but I don't like that little false summit; altho the trail to the summit after that is actually pretty nice.

A couple folks at the top even said hello as I looked around. It was a clear day except toward the south. I also noticed some sort of road that looks like a runway over to the northeast. I zoomed a little but not enough to decipher it. It is to the north of the GO trail so if I feel ambitious I could add that on to a Union Peak hike.

On my way back down I unintentionally did a partial split skid and fortunately stayed afloat without straining anything, whew! And from here it's a cruise. Once again I noticed the very healthy teddy chollas on the northeastern saddle and there would be more of this in other cholla subdvisions. The light was such that they really were photogenic so I ended up taking more pictures than I wanted. I would encounter three hikers on this east and north side. Once I headed south, I would see a few more bike riders and hikers. As I came around part of the hill, the building at TSMC really stands out now.

I gave thought to Western Vista but decided to do that another time. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the Vista and come up that hill on the southwest side. In retrospect, that hill wasn't as long or as steep as I remembered. So I might try a horseshoe of Western and Dixie to see how I do on that. I once again got distracted by hillsides full of cholla and about 6 ravens flying high above.

Half way up the hill on the west side, the light started to change so I got stuck taking photos of the yellow and pink hues with a couple rays of white light breaking through the cloud cover... just wish all the houses weren't in the way. And then, I spotted the hot air balloons in the distance so I gave the zoom a bit of a workout.... And then, I saw a bunny ahead. Gosh, was I ever going to get up this hill :lol: ; maybe that's why it seemed so easy, although I was about at the top when I saw all this action going on.

At the corner of Hawks Nest, I saw the couple from the north side and we commented on meeting up with each other. They said I must have been going fast, ha! Any color in the sky was over as I headed down Hawks Nest Trail and the people traffic picked up. I changed my shoes and rewarded myself with a Huck It.

WATCH: 2:03-4:22PM, 6.33 miles, 1645-2399 elevation. 134 avg bpm/165 max bpm with 40% Zone 5 max, 36% Zone 4 anaerobic, 23% Zone 3 aerobic burning 954 calories. Temp 69.8 fair (seemed just about right for shorts and sleeveless shirt) and 25% humidity. I thot it was a tad breezy too.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Narrow-leafed Popcorn flowers on the west side. Creosote were blooming and fuzz balls too. Chunky teddy cholla and lots of babies on the ground.
_____________________
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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