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The Best Hikes in Phoenix - Lower Sonoran BLM

23 Triplog Reviews in the Phoenix - Lower Sonoran BLM
Most recent of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
5.3 mi • 1,750 ft aeg
Unlike the previous two hikers, we chose to forego Javelina Mountain in favor of an in and out toward Maricopa Peak. Very tough road in absolutely requires high clearance 4WD. We got on the ridgeline approach ASAP and found it manageable, though several boulder piles slowed progress considerably. Once we hung right toward the final approach on the ridgeline between Maricopa and Javelina, progress slowed to a near crawl -- literally. No major impediments, just being cautious and very deliberate along these tedious boulder crawls. Very near the summit is a helipad that apparently sees regular use. Unlike the triangulation mark, the aforementioned log atop Maricopa Peak was nowhere to be found.

After about a mile along the ridgeline on our return, we bailed into Bender Wash, a much easier way to go. We found a few Hohokam glyphs and all manner of discarded Mexican clothing in the wash.

All in all, a tough but very rewarding hike. Highly recommended to any with a vehicle capable of making it to the "trailhead".
5.16 mi • 1,388 ft aeg
I had been intrigued by this hike for several years. (I love HAZ's proximity trail locator that shows all the trails in the vicinity. Whenever I look up trails on the west side there are not many trails that I haven't done, especially near the city. Margies has come up numerous times as I slowly work my way out and today seems like an ideal day to finally expand my horizons).

The driving directions to the trail were fairly accurate. No problem with finding Woods Rd. and the dirt road that took me back towards Margies Peak was not only drivable for my low riding Camry but also had numerous signs indicating trail ahead. I only drove in about 2.75 miles from the cattle guard and then hiked from there to where I followed (roughly) Joe's GPS track to the top. I hiked a little under a mile on the road and I feel fairly Certain that my car could have made it over that stretch. Anyone know how much further it would have been to get to the Cove TH. I'm kind of intrigued with doing that now.

Anyway, once I left the road the hike is all off trail. I quickly abandoned trying to follow the route set by Joe. The objective was fairly obvious and it became a hassle trying to correct my course to follow his route. Besides, I know that I can never follow in his footsteps. He is a "rock" legend and I but a band groupie shuffling in his shadow. The climb to the top was steep, but not as a hazardous as I feared. The vegetation and rock formations were accommodating enough that there were always options in the routes I chose. There was of course the obligatory false summit, several actually. The views from the top were awesome! I was amazed at all the unnamed (to me) mountains in the area. If you're a peak bagger this is your playground. Signed the new registry at the top and headed back down. It looked like the last person to visit the peak was in January and they made it up there with their dog Izzie. Impressive dog! On the way down my leg (leg muscles actually) were shaking at times. This is a grueling hike. I haven't done any serious hikes in the last couple months and my legs let me know :sweat: . The temps were suppose to reach the upper 90's. But there were some high clouds and an occasional breeze that made it feel cooler. No wildlife except for chipmunks and lizards.
2.6 mi • 1,385 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Thanks for putting this together, Pam! And thanks for the Champagne! Great to meet some new HAZzers! I hope everyone has a fantastic 2015!

I had a pretty good 2014. I hope I get to hike with some of my HAZ friends in 2015!

Some of my 2014 highlights:

The John Muir Trail
Brahma Temple
Weaver's Needle summit
4 CO River crossings
Phantom Canyon
Escalante Route
Juno Ruin
Deer Creek/Thunder River loop
an awesome cave
Havasu/CO confluence
Angel's Landing @ Zion
Bryce Canyon
2.7 mi • 1,415 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Met Barrett(Barrett) for the first time and we headed out to meet everyone at the trailhead or parking lot. Well the turn out was great and this was my first New Years group hike.
Pam did a great job of getting 14 guys to herself on New Years Day maybe it was the the Champagne and cookies?
This was really a very nice hike it was really nice to meet up with familiar faces and some new ones.
I am sorry for everyone that waited for me at the top knowing there was booze not being used until I got there. And of course for the ones that waited for me a the bottom.
HAZ Hikers are awesome!!
2.6 mi • 1,385 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
I tried to weasel out of this year's event but JJ saw right through my flimsey excuse, so I was in. We picked up Joe and Bob on the way and were at the trailhead in good (JJ) time.

Had the pleasure of hiking with old acquaintances, and quite a few I hadn't met before. Nice to meet all of you!

Festivities on the summit were entertaining and delicious.

Nice way to start off the new year. Thanks Pam! :)
2.7 mi • 1,415 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Met Larry (Widowmaker) for the first time and hit the road, arriving within 1 minute of my estimate - so far this year was going pretty well.
Rolled up and after intros and loading of recreational goods, we were on our way up Margies (AKA Skull). The ridge was mostly large granite boulders, with a few quartz veins and enough Cholla to keep you on your toes. Even with snow on the Cholla and boulders, the lack of wind made the temps near ideal.
The summit slowly populated, and when the family was complete, we cracked open 4 bottles of sparkly stuff. Pam's awesome cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries completed our well-rounded meal, registers got signed, the wind picked up, people shivered, attack snowballs were repurposed into a snowman, I politely asked people if they wanted noisemakers and then gently handed them to those interested (actually I just threw them at people - sorry about that), no one had the nerve to use the stripper pole on the summit, someone lit sparklers attached to their head, and people laughed and shivered some more.
On the way down I took the ravine east of the ridge for extra variety, the top third steep and loose, but the drainage itself 95% clear. Compared to the Cholla ridge, I liked it a bit better.
Chilled with Scott (Charger55 - AKA The Guy With The Interesting Job) at the "trailhead", the fastest had already departed, so we waited for a bit for a full head count. After a lively discussion of Arizona's inferior fishing opportunities, we thanked Pam for yet another great event and went our separate ways.
A few new faces and names for me, a cool peak with some serious quiet to the south, and snow on the Cholla - not too shabby. Once again I smiled at the fact that a bunch of friendly people would be inclined to clamber together up a jagged pile of pokey things and rocks far from the city and actually think it's fun. I'm glad there is such a thing as HAZ.
So far the year was going pretty well.
2.7 mi • 1,415 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Always a great way to celebrate the new year - Thanks, Pam, for organizing this event and bringing all the goodies. Knowing I would be one of the slower hikers I volunteered to carry a bottle of champagne to make sure there would be some left when I got to the top. I didn't notice that Pam slipped me the carbonated apple juice. Fortunately everyone waited for us slow pokes before starting the festivities. It was great to see some familiar faces and a whole bunch of new ones. The speedsters payed for their haste by getting severely chilled waiting for us on the peak. JJ looked like he was entering a hypothermic state but the sun broke through the clouds and provided relief.

I got a little off route on the way down entering a steep area with several pack rat middens. Those pesky critters managed to put cholla puff balls in almost every available hand and foot hold crevice. Not nice! Enjoyed a post hike chat with Outdoor Lover, Barrett, Charger55, desert-boonie and Widowmaker back at the parking lot.
2.6 mi • 1,385 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Highest Turnout yet for the New Year's Day Hike! The Official Count was 15... :y: Some Familiar Faces and some New ones.... : app : A Fan of Abbey, a Charger, A Boonie in Shorts, a Fearless Leader, a Taco Salesman, an Oregon Fisherman, a Tree in danger of toppling, a Rocketfooted Bartender, The Dave who's gained 5 lbs again, Grimey Dave, John the Gas Man, an apparent relative of Darren McGavin, a Friend named Dan and someone who's last initial stands for, once again, fashionably Late... :D It was Perfect...

When I left the House, I was slightly dismayed at how Cloudy it still was, but every great once in awhile, during the Hike, the Sun would break through and it felt pretty good... :sweat: Considering the Chilly, Overcast Weather, I was very happy that so many turned out for it... :DANCE:

According to Joe's Route, this was only 2.6 Miles Roundtrip, but with no Trail, and 1300+ Feet of Gain, it was no Slouch.
I thought I did pretty well going up, but of course, most of the Peanut Gallery beat me.. :sweat:
The only reason there was anyone behind me was because one was older than me and the other had a broken Ankle... :sl: Didn't have an Excuse on the Way Down, Senior beat me down...If Mr. Broken Ankle had beat me, I think I would have just laid down and quit... :sl:
As I neared the Top, I came to realize that someone had provided Party Favors at the Top and there were Whistles and Horns cheering the Fact that I was finally in Sight... :sweat:
Glad I dressed the way I did as I worked up a Sweat and it was pretty Chilly and slightly Windy on Top...Everyone was bundled up pretty well except Ken, who decided that Shorts were enough... :sweat: But his Face got Cold... :D
Up Top, I found a 16th Person that the Guys had found and fabricated...Amazing, considering the mostly lack of White...I'm surprised no one was picking Cholla Spines out of their Hands... :sweat:
I had seen some of the Views before when Ken and I did another Peak in this Area in November. I had a feeling that the Views from here would be pretty awesome, and I wasn't mistaken... :y:
The Party went into Full Swing when Larry arrived, followed by Larry...Kudos to both, but especially Larry (Widowmaker) who has a pretty bad Ankle...I know that could not have been easy at all! : app :
After a Group Photo, some Alcohol, Non-Alcohol, a Ton of Sugar, and Barrett playing with Sparks, it was almost time to head down. There was just a tad bit of Champagne left so we toasted one more time in John Scott's Name (johnr1)...I think he would approve. Missed having him with us this Year, but he will be remembered every Year... :)

Down we went, once again, each at their own Pace. One of those Hikes where, at least for me, it was almost harder going down, then up... :sweat:
Finally down, a few of us hung out for a bit before calling it a Day...

Great Hike with New and Old Friends. Barrett, Scott, Ken, Joe, John, Larry, Larry, Bob, Dave, Dave, John, Terry, Patrick and Dan, thank you so much for a Fun Day and helping me Welcome the New Year in Style! It was great to see my Good Friends from before and it was great to meet some New Ones! Until next Year, when we can all meet up together again, I wish all of you and the HAZers who couldn't make it, a wonderful New Year! :)
2.7 mi • 1,358 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Pam outdid herself once again with yet another great way to kick off the new year. This one would be my third of the four she has put together.

It was nice to put some faces to people I am familiar with from HikeArizona. Also nice to see and hike with some of the usual suspects.

Little chilly for my bones up top but I enjoyed the event immensely.

Happy New Year Everyone!
2.6 mi • 1,385 ft aeg
4th Annual New Year's Day Peak Celebration
Another New Years Day hike with Pam and company! Despite antarctica temps it was a big group. Great to meet Patrick L(ate) & Ken after what seems like forever! Terry was all smiles, fun to chat with and brought a friend. Great to meet Scott too!

It means a lot to me when anyone takes the time to participate on HAZ. Big group hikes aren't really my thing as I hate to feel that someone feels left out due to a quicker or slower hiking style. Nevertheless the opportunity to meet members I sincerely appreciate was a solid decision.

The surprise of the day was a better than anticipated hike. Sweeping views got my attention. The surrounding peaks have a hint of mystery. The terrain is identical to the Quartz Trail area in the Estrellas. Snow dusted the cholla and saguaros on the upper end of the hike. On the return an hour later the great sonoran blizzard was history.

Thanks to all and especially Pam for organizing the hike!

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