Took off for a hike this morning, bright and early (4:30am), to catch the sunrise at Thunderbird Conversation Park. It's close so why not. Armed with my Nikon Camera, hoping to get some great pictures, and water I started up Arrowhead Point H-2 at 5:20. Right about the time the sun should have been breaking over the horizon. But no such luck. This is my first time hiking in over a year and the day I decide to go, it's overcast until after 7. Oh well. I didn't let that stop me.
Arrowhead trail is always a good hike. It's rocky, lots of loose rock, but it's not something that should deter your enjoyment of the hike. The first elevation is a great workout for the legs. Lots of high steps with sturdy rocks. The trail was clean, I didn't see a lot of trash like I have in the past. After about 15 minutes of continuous upward climb the trail levels out some, well a slight incline but after the leg workout it feels flat. I got some good pictures from this spot. The second elevation part comes up to the top of the mountain where the flag flies and you can rest. The view isn't spectacular, houses upon more houses, but it still nice to be on top. Many people stop here and return down the same trail. I continued down the backside where the trail becomes more rocky. Lots of loose rock. You can slip easily if you're not paying attention. This will take you to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over 59th ave and connects to Coach Whip. This will put you at right about 2 miles.
I took Coach Whip to Cholla Loop and started up the second mountain of the day. It was fairly steady on the west side and doesn't get to incline until the north side (about a mile in). Then the upward climb begins. The trail cuts back South and you begin to climb, but this is actually an easier climb than Arrowhead. I enjoyed this part and took many more pictures. From here you reach the top and another flag. It felt good to see it flying in the breeze on Memorial Weekend. Down this way was again rocky and there are many switchbacks. Next time I might start this way to come up those switchback to see if the gain is any different.
Cholla loop ends pretty much back at the parking lot and my app had told me I walked 4.8 miles. To finish up I decided to take a lap around the Flatlander Trail H-1a near the parking lot. It was very nice, soft and sandy. By the time I reach my car I was at 6.1 miles.
Overall a great hike, the overcast was nice, better then the heat, and there was a breeze the entire time. I had a great morning.