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Fountain Hills Preserve, AZ
mini location map2009-10-04
20 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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page 1   2
 
Fountain Hills Preserve, AZ 
Fountain Hills Preserve, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2009
DarthStiller
Hiking11.10 Miles
Hiking11.10 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   2.05 mph
 
1st trip
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This area is just recently accesible thanks to the connecting Sonoran Trail that was recently completed. The following trails are in the Fountain Hills Preserve:
Sonoran Trail
Western Loop Trail
Promenade Trail
Town Overlook Trail
Easy Access Trail

A map of this area is available at http://www.scfh.org/trails.html.

Start at the Dixie Mine Trail. The parking is at the end of the public section of Golden Eagle Boulevard. You have to walk about a half mile through the Eagles Nest development. Very few houses are here now due to the recent economic downturn. There are about as many half built houses as completed ones. The actual trailhead is at the end of a cul-de-sac. Take the Dixie Mine Trail to the Sonoran Trail and follow it into the preserve.

The Sonoran Trail is very wide up to the border of the preserve. Then it narrows. At about the 2 mile mark, the trail tops a ridge, at which point there seem to be 3 options: straight, left, or right. Go straight. This is the Promenade Trail and it actually is what appears to be an old mining road. No signs are present here but there are some rock designs (smiley face, peace sign). After a few hundred feet, there is a very small temporary marker showing the junction with the Western Loop Trail, which rapidly climbs the mountain. The Western Loop Trail loops back to the Promenade Trail farther south, and just north of the preserve's border. I remained on the Promenade Trail and took it to the southern border of the preserve. There is a sign at the border telling you to stop, but no gates exist and you can take the chance to follow the old road if you want. I turned back and walked the Town Overlook and Easy Access Trails before taking the Western Loop Trail on my way back north.

The clouds made for some very interesting scenery. The McDowells were very shaded, except for some small areas of sunlight that would move across as the wind blew. At the top of the Western Loop Trail, you can see over the McDowell Mts and into Phoenix and the west side. Saw some deer tracks along the Promenade Trail, but no deer. Saw a tarantula early on in the day and at the last 50 feet of the Dixie Mine Trail I encountered a diamondback lying on the trail. I walked around him off the trail before he decided to slither the rest of the way across the trail.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
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511 Photosets

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