I wasn't feeling super great - but Brad had taken day off work - and I will be damned if we waste a day off and not get a hike in. So parked at Granite Mountain TH and took Uber $17 up to Stagecoach Road. Hiked from Tonto step over alllllllll the way down Dove Valley to 136th Street Express - and then to car.
Nice day for a hike - didn't take many pics. Dragged a saguaro cactus arm out of the way and sent pics of remaining pieces to the Conservnacy's C&M team to go move the rest. Paul S. was out there the next day moving it!
I did it! Completed all the trails added to the Northern Section Map in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve dated August 2015. These are the trails that are North of Brown's, Cholla and Granite Mountains. They total about 30 miles, but that's not the point as you need to hike many miles just to get to them. Pretty sure Crzy4AZ has completed them also but is behind on her trip logs. That means HAZ'ers are 2 of the 4 hikers to complete ALL the trails in the preserve. I also think we are the only ones that hiked them all versus others who used their mountain bike on many of the trails.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
Very nice day for a hike, but we wanted something interesting but not too demanding. The area around Granite Mountain sounded just right. Used a bunch of trails to construct and easy 8ish mile route. A few folks on the trails, mostly close to the trailhead. Enjoyed all the granite outcroppings and Coyote Canyon was a nice surprise.
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
This is a perfect set of trails to take out-of-state visitors. Lots of beautiful granite boulders, desert views in every direction, easy, smooth trails. We did this back in December in the rain and it was really "mistical" with the clouds billowing below the hills. Love doing it today on a beautiful sunny day. Weather was perfect.
I can't link all the trails now b/c they don't exist yet but will by Fall 2016. They were finished but not open yet when I hiked them.
Hawknest High Desert Renegade Dove Valley Barb's 136th St Express.
Renegade is absolutely gorgeous. Little hill sharp turns - panoramic views.
I took Will and Peter on a giant loop of the Northern portion of the Sonoran Preserve. We hammered the trails and finished right on target (17 miles in 2 hours). Honestly, it didn't feel that fast as the scenery and smooth trails take your mind off the effort. Everyone from the Northwest loves the trails out here.
Friday kids in school. Takes me about 40 minutes to get from school up to Tonto parking lot. At the first turn on Hawknest - got a call from school that Caroline had sore throat and felt warm. Tried to bargain with them but they made me come get her. So back to car and back to school. Only time that has ever happened in three years at school.
Wildflowers ObservationNone neon green grass but no flowers
Met Larry for a hike this morning, he suggested Granite Mtn, which was fine with me since my kids had a long day at school today. We met at the trailhead at about 9:30, and got started. We made a wide loop around Granite Mtn on the trails listed above. The scenery was beautiful, and it was a very nice day to be outside.
This is my favorite new loop in the MSP-supernorth. Park at very top of 136th Street in Tonto National Forest parking lot. It is very bumpy road and deep ruts last 0.1 mile. Take street or social trail from Tonto to where 136th St Express trail officially starts at Montello Rd. Stay on 136th St Express and then take Barb's west past the big loop-de-loop circular area (where jeeps used to make circles) - then Dove Valley trail briefly to the southeast until you hit Soapberry Wash trail. Then go right/west on Soapberry wash through beautiful granite formations (was frozen water this day) - where trail takes sharp turn (will be renamed Desperado trail in Fall 2016) - follow trail up the little hill and look for the Michelin Man cactus. At junction with Coyote Canyon trail (CC1 - and the Double Crested Saguaro) - take CC down into the little canyon and loop back at junction with Dove Valley. You can hit up the ceremonial cupules off Dove Valley if you know where they are. Perfect distance for little day hike. Hits major scenery. Have done the loop many times - never disappoints. Rare to see people but occasionally a biker will zoom by.
Parked Tonto. 136th Barbs DV Soapberry CC and back.
Saw 5 deer. Hunters still have permits for a little longer. I see them parking at intersection of 136th St and Hawknest on the east side of the road.
I took a zillion pics of the Michelin Man cactus today to help people see where he is off Soapberry Wash.
Thursday hike - kids in school. Perfect distance for me to squeeze in beautiful hike during school hours.
Another loop in MSPN far north area. Started from Tonto NF. First time on Old Camp Trail. Saw an owl but too quick for picture.
Pretty quiet today 2 hikers, 4 bikers and 1 equestrian.
(I'll add some links later )
Mrs OH was feeling the Holiday bulge so wanted to get some exercise. It's a rare occasion when she goes on a hike with me. She doesn't care for my usual off trail explorations so took her on a hike on the well groomed trails in the MSPN. We did a loop hike starting from the Granite Mtn TH on the Bootlegger Trail then looping back via the Cow Poke Trail and the 136th St Express Trail.
Beautiful day for a long hike. Not as cold as last week and was sunny. Parked at the top of 136th Street in the Tonto National Forest parking area. Climbed over fence and took social trail to 136th Street Express Hawknest Broken Spoke High Desert Dove Valley Barb's 136th Street.
First time ever on High Desert - beautiful! Some of the perpendicular trails in the middle of 2C are still under construction and are going to be nice once completed in a couple months. Some go right up and over granite formations for good views. Looks like will be a better connection to Soapberry Wash trail too. Can't wait for wildflower season out there after it's all done.
Saw a dozen or so mtn bikers. Had lunch at Broken Spoke - left over filet mignon and homemade biscuits. Was thinking about post-hike hot tub dip all day - but something's messed up with the heater - total buzz kill. #momProblems
We parked near the NE corner of the McDowell Preserve just over the boundary into the Tonto NF. We took a couple of old trails west for a mile+ and then turned south and intersected Hawknest trail from there we made a loop in the preserve.
TNF trail Hawknest The Divide Branding Iron Granite Mtn loop Coyote Canyon Soapberry Wash Dove Valley Barb’s 136th St Express TNF.
The views of the mountains to the east were very nice
Saw quite a few mtn bikers especially as we got further south, 3 equestrians, 1 hiker and 1 steward (Bob).
Didn’t see anyone in the first 2 miles or the last 3 miles..
After waiting out the rain, I created an impromptu loop through the Northern section of the preserve. I started from Fraesfield and headed out on Whiskey Bottle towards Cholla Mountain. I ran around the upper portion of both Cholla and Granite to the 136th ST Express Trail all the way back to Fraesfield. Awesome loop!
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.