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490 triplogs

May 30 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Waddell TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.84 Miles 872 AEG
Hiking11.84 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   2.75 mph
872 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Went back to White Tanks to do the hike I planned last week that got put on hold from the fire. I hiked the lower trails, with the main goal to finish all the Mule Deer Trail since it's part of the MT.

I started down at Parking Area 1 and hike the southernmost portion of the Mule Deer Trail, eventually heading north. I hiked the little spur over towards the Nature Center, since that's also a designated part of the MT. As I hiked over the high point of the Mule Deer Trail, that's where the wildfire was. Mostly just scorched earth, not as much brush as there was before. On the way up the hill, 4 or 5 mountain bikers flew down the hill past me without the slightest thought of yielding the trail. All other hikers and bikers I encountered the rest of the morning were decent human beings.

At the staging area, I headed north on the Ford Canyon Trail, then took a right turn and hiked all of the Ironwood Trail, then headed south on the Waddell Trail. After the Waddell, I took a right turn onto the Mesquite Canyon Trail back to staging area.

Hiked over the hill on the Mule Deer again, and took the Bajada over to Goat Camp. Along the Bajada is where I saw the saguaro with a hole in it that obviously has a bees nest. The air rushing out of the whole made it sound like there was an AC unit inside the cactus. Managed to zoom inside the hole for a decent pic without putting myself at too much risk.

From the Goat Camp Trail, I turned left on the South Trail and back to the car. The temperature wasn't too hot. Got a little warm the last hour or so, but not unbearable. The early morning light cloud cover helped with that. Nice to get some higher mileage on actual trails again, even if the AEG was still a little lacking.
Fauna
Fauna
Honey Bee
_____________________
May 24 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Sunrise Mountain - PeoriaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking8.30 Miles 1,575 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   1.95 mph
1,575 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
White Tanks is open, but some of the trails that I want to hike there are still closed. while I was hiking portions of the MT, I noticed the trails along Westwing and Eastwing Mountain on my way home. I decided to go out and give them a try. I ended up starting on Sunrise Mountain and found some new trails there that added up to enough mileage and time spent that I didn't even get to Westwing. First hike on all single track in a while. Nice to have that instead of sidewalk and also get some decent elevation gain, as well. My time really slows down on single track anymore, as opposed to the flat smooth walks I've been doing. I didn't feel all that motivated to really hustle, anyway. The first hour the trails had a lot of traffic, but after 8:30am, it seemed like most people cleared out. the weather was very nice, never got that hot. Nice and breezy up on the ridgelines. Interesting to get different views of the area from up higher, and looking down on the sections of the MT that I recently completed.
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May 22 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - White Tank/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking9.62 Miles 291 AEG
Hiking9.62 Miles   3 Hrs   32 Mns   2.72 mph
291 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My original plan was to finally hike some normal trails and include the one section of the Mule Deer Trail that is part of the MT. When I got there, I found that the park was closed for the day due to a fire. the gate was closed and a guy was out front. I asked him about it and he said there was a fire was last night. Channel 3 was on the scene waiting for something to happen. I turned around, pulled over, and figured out my plan B, which was finishing off the section of the MT thru the Verrado area that I hadn't done. Fortunately, I already planned to do that hike on Sunday and had already made a route, so all I had to do was switch it over on Route Scout and drive another 6 miles to where I planned to hike from.

So then for this actual hike, I parked at the NW corner of Indian School and Jackrabbit. I followed the MT westbound on Indian School, then took the MT southbound to I-10. Just past Verrado HS a meandering sidewalk has been installed that leads directly to the bicycle path that parallels a Verrado subdivision. The bicycle path is actually kind of nice. It also parallels a wash and you get some decent views to the south of the Estrellas. Lots of local foot traffic in this area.

the subdivision ends about a half mile north of I-10, then you follow dirt roads. I hiked to where I was last Friday and turned around.

From my parking area, I headed northbound on Jackrabbit to where I left off last December from White Tanks. Most of this is paved bicycle path, with one short section of single track, which quickly fades into berm. the area I left off last time looks different now since it was under construction last time. still not totally done, but the road into the subdivision is paved now, with some palm trees at the entrance. Also a new sidewalk that wasn't there before.

Headed back to the car and that was it. Saw an interesting house that I couldn't tell if it was empty or not. Kind of interesting to see that sort of thing on urban hikes.
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May 15 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Tres Rios/Estrella/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.45 Miles 271 AEG
Hiking10.45 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.94 mph
271 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started from the plaza on Verrado Way just north of I-10, about a half mile from the actual MT, since there was no trailhead near where I was going to hike. I walked a half mile east and took the MT southbound to Yuma Road where I left off last Sunday.

the trail is mostly dirt and gravel roads until it gets to Jackrabbit Road and then it's just berms and sidewalks. On the way back I walked a half mile along the Roosevelt Canal since it intersects the MT just north of Yuma Road. the flood control area south of I-10 and just north of a subdivision was the nicest area, farthest away from most structures and traffic.
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May 10 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Tres Rios/Estrella/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 10 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.46 Miles 207 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   2.72 mph
207 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was basically walking Yuma Road all morning. Started at the center in a shopping plaza, hiked to where I left off last week, then headed west to Jackrabbit Road and turned back again. The east half was a lot of sidewalks again, plazas and subdivisions. Got another glimpse of the boneyard I walked by last week. Seemed to be less planes parked there, which looks like a sign of the economy picking up.

the west half was a little nicer, lots of open farm fields to walk by. Definitely more pleasant than walking through a regular neighborhood, but not much to write about. On the edges of the fields there were several half built homes, so it seems like the agricultural component here is on borrowed time.

The weather was nice. Light rain driving out and at the start. The clouds kept the heat and sun away for most of the morning. Rain was visible all day from afar, looked like mostly virga, never reaching the ground. You could smell the rain almost the entire time, as well. Breezes picked up at times, making it very nice.

Just a few more hikes and I'll have the MT hiked in its entirety. Until they finish the last spur out to Buckeye, anyway.
Fauna
Fauna
Burrowing Owl
_____________________
May 08 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Westwing/Lake PleasantPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.01 Miles 388 AEG
Hiking12.01 Miles   3 Hrs   52 Mns   3.11 mph
388 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The purpose of this hike was specifically to complete this section of the MT. It was all pretty much sidewalks and bicycle paths, except for the mile I had to hike through a construction zone.

I parked at the Calderwood Butte trailhead since it was the only designated parking for any kind of hiking. I walked a quarter mile south on 99th Ave to get to Jomax, where the MT is, then headed west. Jomax ends and the bicycle path picks up and heads south. This was nice to walk along a path, but on the left side was a new subdivision. To the west where some views of the Agua Fria riverbed and mountains in the distance, but not much. :roll:

at Happy Valley Road, I immediately was on the bridge over the Agua Fria River, heading west again. After the bridge was the construction, which was mainly grading and traffic control improvements. Hiked to where I left off from the Trilby TH 2 weeks earlier.

Turned around and headed back, getting over to the Lake Pleasant Parkway and headed north to where I left off from last week. I had it marked on the GPS, but I also put a big "X" in the dirt next to the bicycle path. It was still there a week later. The views to the north get nicer here the farther north you go, but the traffic noise tends to detract from that. :|

I had a shortcut planned out to get back to the Calderwood Butte TH from Lake Pleasant Parkway, and save about a mile of extra hiking. Then when I got there, I noticed that the subdivision there is a gated community. I had to resort to some subterfuge to sneak in, and then again to get out, of the gated community. Added a little adventure to my morning. : rambo :
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1 archive
May 03 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Tres Rios/Estrella/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.42 Miles 267 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles   4 Hrs   7 Mns   2.53 mph
267 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The majority of this segment was along sidewalks, and there appears to be quite a bit more. I started from Estrella Park to make sure my track connects to the segments of the MT I've already hiked there. I headed north past the nature center and onto Vineyard Ave. There's a road inside the park that parallels Vineyard. I decided to take this road hoping there would be an easy exit from the park to where the MT crosses the road and heads into the riverbed. There wasn't an easy exit, but someone had spread open the barbed wire a bit to make getting through the fence doable. I still preferred this to walking the south berm of Vineyard with traffic buzzing by.

The segment of the trail in the riverbed is briefly singletrack, then follows a service road. Crossing the bridge of the Estrella Parkway gave some nicer views. Pretty high up with only a short cyclone fence for fall prevention.

After that it was berm and sidewalks along the Estrella Parkway and Bullard Ave. Got some up close views of the spring training facilities and the boneyard at Goodyear Airport. Looks like a lot of the planes were just parked for the time being. The trail keeps heading north while Bullard heads northeast, cutting across a field and adjacent to some crops. I stopped at Yuma Road and headed back, from there it looks to be sidewalks all the way to I-10.
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May 01 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Westwing/Lake PleasantPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.99 Miles 675 AEG
Hiking11.99 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.66 mph
675 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I arrived at the Aqua Fria Trailhead to find that it's closed. It was a pretty long drive up, and at 6:30a, the traffic was beginning to build on the freeways. Fortunately, across the road is a dirt service road with room to pull off on the side. The road into the Agua Fria Trailhead is also closed, with no trespassing signs posted. I quickly hiked down that road to the beginning of the MT and headed south. When I got to the trailhead, there were two pickup trucks pulled off on the road there, so I'm not sure how strictly the closing is being enforced.

The MT heads under the Carefree Highway, then there is a single track that heads up the hill towards the Waddell Canal. Then, it follows a very faint service road that parallels the canal for the next few miles. The service road is faint enough that it's pretty much like hiking a single track. Saw absolutely no one along here at all. For this stretch, on your left is a cylone fence. The service road goes up and down through some drainages, and also passes under a few sets of powerlines. After the powerlines, the views are actually pretty nice here, other than the cyclone fencing. Saw a few of the lawnmower engine gliders flying about and a few planes landing and taking off from Pleasant Valley Airport.

The service road makes a left turn around where the Waddell Canal meets the CAP canal. The CAP appears to come up from underground somewhere , so while the 2 canals meet, it just kind of looks like the one canal makes a left turn. After following another dirt road for about a quarter mile, the trail turns into a single track again, paralleling the Lake Pleasant parkway. After crossing the 303, it turns into a wider landscaped path that looks to be meant for hikers and bikers.

On the way back, saw a group of wild burros.

Getting back to where I parked, I decided to take a shortcut and climb the slope up the Carefree Highway instead of going the long way through the closed area. Kind of tricky getting up the loose, steep slope, but not too bad. Found my car in good shape when I got back, and headed home.
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Apr 27 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Scottsdale/GatewayPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.42 Miles 474 AEG
Hiking11.42 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.79 mph
474 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I parked at the Quartz Trail parking lot off of 104th St and McDowell Mountain Parkway. Followed the sign over to the Quartz Trail and it took me down into the wash where it immediately meets with a designated portion of the MT. The last time I hiked the Quartz Trail was over 10 years ago, just after I had a major ankle sprain. I remember hiking it with @rdavisiii and my buddy Ted. We were all nursing various recent injuries, so it was kind of a rehab hike.

I headed south on the MT to where I left off last Monday heading northbound. After you get past the golf course, the trail follows a service road under the power lines, crosses the CAP canal, and heads east on Cactus Road. There's one little single track segment from the canal crossing to Cactus Road that parallels FLW Blvd, just above the road. Then it crosses right past the entrance of Taliesin West. I should go see that place one day I guess, since I went to Fallingwater 5 years ago in PA.

The trail follows the south side of Cactus Road until it follows the cement bike path, then you cross over to the north side and walk under the culvert and onto the bike path again. That's what the markers seem to indicate. Someone was doing work on some electrical conduits under there, so it was taped off from either direction.

Cactus Road is kind of interesting. There's an actual dirt path along there which is nicer than walking along a sidewalk that's designated as the MT for a few miles. The trees there give some shade, and for a major artery road, there really isn't much traffic. Interesting mix of the homes there, between newer modern looking places, and older, slump block single levels. One newer looking house was for sale and hadn't been occupied for some time by the looks of it.

Finished up just after 10am before any heat really started to kick in. The clouds early on kept it pretty cool.
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Apr 25 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Grand Avenue/WestwingPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking13.20 Miles 330 AEG
Hiking13.20 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.93 mph
330 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started at the Trilby TH and headed eastbound. The trail parallels the 303 and some powerlines for a while. The first mile the powerlines are pretty close, but then there's some distance from them and the views get a little bit better, just keep looking to your left. After the first mile, there was a couple of small wastewater plants, then some construction grading for what looks to be a new subdivision. The trail gets close to Happy Valley Road for a bit, with visible and audible traffic.

This is one of the few dedicated sections of the MT that is mostly single track. It's single track for just over 5 miles, then the trail crosses back under the powerlines and by a substation. It's on a dirt road for a little bit through that area. Then it follows the Happy Valley Parkway for a while. I took the parkway to just past the 303 and headed back.

Saw only 5 hikers the entire time, all on the way out. Very peaceful, nice to have some solitude.
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Apr 24 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Tres Rios/Estrella/I-10Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.90 Miles 283 AEG
Hiking10.90 Miles   3 Hrs   49 Mns   2.86 mph
283 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started from the 91st Ave TH again where I was last Saturday and headed west, towards Estrella park. Since it was a weekday (as opposed to Saturday last week), the lot was empty when I got there and half empty when I returned. I hiked out to the edge of Estrella park and the beginning of the Desert Rose Trail, filling in another bit of the MT.

The first 3 miles of this hike are actually very nice. The trail through Tres Rios Wetlands is just a road, but it has a sandy gravel on it like what's on the Pemberton Trail, making it very easy to walk on. The scenery is pretty nice here, also. Lots of green from the vegetation growing in the wetlands, and a lot of sound from the birds. The water flows through westbound, looks like it's eventually discharged to the Salt River.

After the trail leaves the wetlands, it parallels a canal for a bit and goes through some more industrial looking area. There is one short single track section before it turns southbound and follows a wide gravel road. The stream flows under the road and then under a bridge. Most of the people I saw were in this area fishing.

After the gravel road, the trail goes through a parking lot and then along Indian Springs as it goes around Phoenix Raceway and then to Estrella park. This section is a little over a mile and a half and is one of the least interesting parts of the overall MT. Although the up close views of an empty racing stadium was a little interesting in its own right. Had kind of an ancient ruins feel to it.

Finished up by 10am, before the heat started to kick in for the day.
_____________________
Apr 20 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Scottsdale/GatewayPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.20 Miles 412 AEG
Hiking10.20 Miles   3 Hrs   29 Mns   2.93 mph
412 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did another quick segment of the Maricopa Trail going through Scottsdale. I started from the plaza I was at last week when I hiked across the Salt River Rez, but this time headed northbound. The parks and green belt area are very landscaped. Not bad scenery at all considering it's urban hiking. Morning light helped with shade and cooler temps. I decided to do this on a Monday so there wouldn't be as many people around. It wasn't too bad. Busier on my way back, but not crazy crowded. I would think on a weekend it's worse. I turned around where the bike path is all concrete and seems to be away from a lot of buildings. Made this a hike a bit shorter than the rest of the segments I've been doing and finished just after 9:30am.
Fauna
Fauna
Canada Goose
_____________________
Apr 18 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Guadalupe/South Mtn/Tres RiosPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.90 Miles 224 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles   4 Hrs   37 Mns   2.79 mph
224 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Continued the saga of hiking the Maricopa Trail. Started from the Tres Rios area and hiked eastbound to where Ted and I left off on the MT from South Mountain last May. I planned to park at where GoogleMaps says the 91st Ave Trailhead is, but the dirt road to there is closed for now. That entire section of the MT from 91st Ave to the powerlines has been temporarily rerouted to the south bank of the Salt River until May, according the MT website. Not sure why that is. It took a little to time figure out what to do, but there is a main trailhead right on 91st Ave, so I parked there.

the reroute is along a dirt road on the south bank of the Salt River. It has a lot of gravel and river rock, so it's not too comfortable to walk on. and then there's quite a lot of trash left all around, making for riveting scenery. The reroute connects back to the main trail at the north end of the powerline. From there, it's a 6+ mile hike down to South Mountain. Fortunately, I only went to where we left off from last year, which was about 2 miles short of that.

There's a steady stream of water that parallels the trail and powerline, running northwest into the wetlands. When you start on the powerline, you have to cross at the only spot where a road goes over, but then you're on the wrong side because the MT is on the west side. At the next road I crossed the bridge there and got back on track. On the way back I got stuck and had to use a sluice gate as a makeshift shaky bridge. on the east side of the stream is a paved trail that looks like it circumnavigates a new subdivision. Near the subdivision is where the burrowing owls were. Saw quite a few of them and their burrows around.

The MT follows a series of dirt roads under the powerline all the way down to where is heads into South Mountain Park. The stream of water disappears after a couple miles, but the small canal carrying the water remains. Lots of farm fields growing a crop that was very green. The powerlines took away from the scenery, but there were good views of South Mountain, the Estrellas, and even faraway views of 4Peaks, Supes, central Phx preserve, White Tanks, etc.

Saw the least amount of people on this hike than any other I've done in the last 3 weeks. Two bikers coming the other way the entire time. Saw some walkers on concrete path by the subdivision, but they were on the other side of the stream valley. Very peaceful hike.
Flora
Flora
Alfalfa
_____________________
Apr 17 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - East ValleyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking15.00 Miles
Hiking15.00 Miles   3 Hrs   54 Mns   3.98 mph
      8 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
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Went back to where I left off last week on the Western Canal on East Valley Segment of the Maricopa Trail. Started at the parking lot for the Ken McDonald public golf course in Tempe and walked back to the spot where I turned around last Friday from McQueen Park. Then I hiked the MT all the way into South Mountain Park to Pima TH and back out. On my way back, I hiked up the Western Canal a mile and a half to add some mileage.

the path along the Western Canal is pretty wide for the most part. right next to the golf course are protective fencing and netting I assume to keep golf balls from hitting people. the MT only follows the canal to Guadalupe Road, and then heads west on Guadalupe to South Mt. It actually follows the south side of the road, but the first marker you see from the canal is on the north side of the road. Later on there is a dirt path instead of a sidewalk on the south side of the road. The need to mark this section better. Crossing I-10 you need to cross to the north side, and that's pretty apparent since there's only a sidewalk on the north side (and a marker). One section crossing the road after I-10 is a little treacherous because there is no designated trail, so you have to walk the street next to some high shrubs going around a blind curve.

North of Guadalupe Road, I found it better to hike on the west side of the northbound Western Canal because there was much less traffic there. Getting quite a bit of the MT done now. I might be delving into some of the other urban canal trails later on.
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1 archive
Apr 12 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Scottsdale/Granite Reef/MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking15.30 Miles 429 AEG
Hiking15.30 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   3.09 mph
429 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I started off in Scottsdale from the plaza at Indian Bend and Hayden Roads. From my parking spot there it was a short walk over to the canal. There are actually 3 different trails adjacent to one another here. The canal path, the paved path that is marked as the MT, and the golf cart path for the golf course. After a half mile or so, the MT path merges into the canal path on the north side of the canal. At Pima Road, the MT officially crosses over to the south side of the canal, where it stays for the remainder along this canal all the way to Granite Reef. There is a bridge just before the river crossing, so if you decided to walk along the north side, you could cross over in time without any significant backtracking involved.

This section provided the best views so far in the east valley :) . There's a lot of infrastructure in your immediate vicinity (power lines, landfill, road crossings), but the majority of the time there are good views of the McDowells, Red Mountain, Superstitions, Four Peaks, Camelback, Piestewa, Estrellas, etc. It's interesting to see all these mountains from different angles than you normally do driving around the valley or from the usual parks. There were clouds off to the east all morning, obscuring views of Four Peaks and Mt. Ord.

After crossing under the 101, the canal goes by the farm fields on the reservation for a few miles. During this section, there are asphalt millings that have turned back into a semi-pavement. There is a transition by a kind of dam in the canal where all the millings are gone and it's all dirt. Sometimes this gets a little rocky and gravelly, but nothing too bad.

Soon the traffic from the Beeline Highway was audible and visible. It was still a good 2 miles or more before the canal crosses the highway since it kind of parallels it as it makes its way around the landfill. The landfill didn't smell bad today. Not great scenery, but as a civil engineer, it did hold some interest for me to see a kind of behind the scenes view of the infrastructure there. 8)

After crossing the Beeline, it's as close to wilderness as any portion of the MT outside a county or city park I've seen yet. Red Mountain is much closer and comes into view very nicely. I think this was the closest I've been to it, and the views are really nice as you get pretty close. It was also interesting to think how far away it was at the start of my hike in Scottsdale. It was surprising that I was able to get there as quickly as I did (4.5 hours) :) . The light and shadows on the mountain made for great views, but the battery in my camera died, of course ](*,) .

I was a little nervous about being able to cross the riverbed with Gilbert Road recently being reduced to one lane to let water run down the Salt River. As I got nearer to the dam, I could the river below and it looked pretty wide and deep :scared: . once you get to the crossing, however, the flow was actually only a trickle that was able to fit under a series of small culverts under a concrete road bridging the gap.

Finished up by 10:30am, just under 5 hours total. My wife met me on the Bush Highway since Granite Reef (and most all Tonto NF sites) is (are) closed. Got back to my car and grabbed some takeout lunch for the family on my way home.
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Apr 10 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - East ValleyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.99 Miles 243 AEG
Hiking12.99 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   2.94 mph
243 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Picked up where I left off 2 weeks earlier on the Western Canal by McQueen Park. The MT official is on the south side of the canal until it reaches Alma School, then it switches over to the north side. I missed it on the way out, but got it on the way back. I walked both sides of the canal depending on how much traffic was on either side. Views aren't a whole lot with the power lines overhead. There are much wider setbacks along this canal for most of this area, whether it be residential, infrastructure, commercial, or parks. Some areas are easier to walk on depending on how big the gravel is. Saw some more urban wildlife. Finished by 10:30am.
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Apr 06 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Gilbert/Queen Creek/SantanPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.71 Miles 543 AEG
Hiking12.71 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   3.16 mph
543 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally finished this segment of the Maricopa Trail. Looks like I should write up a full description of it.

Started from the Horseshoe equestrian park and took that spur to the trail. Right at the junction of the MT, I roused a coyote who looked like he was taking a nap. He got moving but had a very bad limp. He paralleled the wash a little as I hiked it, and then dropped out of sight.

Once I got on the Maricopa Trail, there was the official trail, which was paved and/or concrete, and there was a dirt path lower in the wash mainly for equestrians. I decided to stay on the dirt path. It was nicer to walk along that, and I was away from the foot and bike traffic on the paved path. The dirt path was still maintained very well. It wasn't the typical loose soil and sand in a wash, and the higher grass had recently trimmed down where it crossed through those areas.

Took Sossaman Road north to where I left off, just at the endo of a big subdivision that's currently under construction. There are 2 big farms on the west side of Sossaman with pretty big fields. this section wasn't really interesting other than seeing the farm fields, but it was better than the sidewalks through heavily developed areas. The sun low in the morning provided shade. Saw a hawk sitting in the one field like he was looking for some breakfast to sneak up on.

After getting back to the wash, I headed southbound to the Goldmine TH to finish this section. I missed the turn for Hawes Road at first since I was on the lower dirt path, but I doubled back and got on the road and headed south. This section is primarily walking along the road, on the berm whenever there is one. The last mile the trail/road ascends up to the TH, which gives some nice views to the north of the Supes, 4Peaks, McDowells, etc. Found the Goldmine TH to be closed and headed back to the car.

took a shortcut along Riggs Road on the way back since I had already hiked the MT section in the wash on my way to Sossaman. Finished by 10:30am.
Fauna
Fauna
Red-tailed Hawk
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Apr 04 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Gilbert/Queen Creek/SantanPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.73 Miles 328 AEG
Hiking12.73 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   3.10 mph
328 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This segment of the trail still had a lot of sidewalks, but there was also plenty of walking/riding paths and landscaping available nearby that paralleled it to give me an opportunity to get away from the traffic and people.

I headed east from Discovery Park this time along Pecos Road. This was all sidewalk. the trail is officially on the north side of the road all along Pecos Road. At Higley, I headed south. At 6:30am, there was line formed at the Fry's for people waiting to get in. Sign of the times. Just past the plaza, there is a nice walking/riding path that parallels Higley down to Germann. After that, you're back on the sidewalk. The crossing of the canal there is nice. Made me think they should have found a way to incorporate this canal into the trail somehow instead of these sidewalks.

Turned left (east) on Queen Creek Road. Just past the plaza on the SE corner, there is a berm above the sidewalk that gives more respite from sidewalk, traffic, and people. After Recker, the berm is gone, but there is more landscaping to walk along. Just before Power, the trail goes under Power Road into the wash. After crossing under Power, make a hard right and get on the south side of the wash. There are trails/riding paths on both sides, but I saw one sign on the east end at Sossaman that indicated the MT is on the south side of the wash. This area isn't marked very well with MT signs, it gets a bit confusing.

The mile following the wash was probably the nicest part, but also the busiest, which isn't what I was looking for. Still plenty of room to steer clear of everyone. On the way back along the wash, I noticed a roadrunner getting a late lizard breakfast.

Finished up just after 10am, getting nearly 13 miles in. I think I can finish this spur to Santan park with one more trip. Fun seeing the tracks connect, but these sidewalks are not of great interest to me.
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Apr 02 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Gilbert/Queen Creek/SantanPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.40 Miles 288 AEG
Hiking11.40 Miles   3 Hrs   39 Mns   3.12 mph
288 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I bit the bullet and hiked the next section of the Maricopa Trail spur that reaches down to Santan Regional Park. 4.5 miles of sidewalk. Not much else to tell. Easily the least interesting section of this urban trail that I've done to date. The only part that was like a single track at all was just inside Discovery Park.

I got a very early 5:50am start, even before the sky was completely lit up. Once I got to the canal where I left off before, I decided to head south on it, which is the Paseo Trail, maintained by Chandler. I did just under a mile on that, down to Germann Road, and headed back. The canal was much nicer compared to the sidewalk, even had some shade from the trees and the low morning sun.

Got done just after 9:30am, which has to be my earliest finish time ever.
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Mar 30 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 295
 Photos 6,610
 Triplogs 490

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Maricopa Trail - Gilbert/Queen Creek/SantanPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.20 Miles 336 AEG
Hiking11.20 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   3.05 mph
336 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Continued on with hiking sections of the Maricopa Trail, picking up where I left off. I started at Freestone Park this time and headed southeast, taking the rather long spur from the loop that reaches all the way down to Santan Regional Park. I got to Pecos Road and headed back. The canal along here is much nicer than I expected. Lots of residential areas that it goes thru, but also some open fields here and there.

The canal is paved through most of this section, but it's also wide enough for most of it that you can hike off of the pavement or sidewalk and in the dirt. There is also some landscaping on the canal for a couple miles, which makes for some nice shade and nicer feel. For quite a bit of this section, it appears that the Maricopa Trail is designated as being on either side of the canal. In the northern sections here, that isn't the case. Some of the non-designated sides of the canal will eventually have a locked gate, barbed wire, etc. I stayed on the west side of the canal since for whatever reason, there seemed to be less traffic on that side.

This section goes right by my new beer bottle shop. I forgot to pack my bigger backpack, or I might have stopped in on my way back for a couple 4-packs. Once I got to Pecos Road, the designated trail heads directly east, and for as far as I could see, is basically on the sidewalk along Pecos Road. Looks like I'll have to bite the bullet on that one to complete the trail fully.

Finished by 10am, keeping up a decent pace. Freestone Park wasn't very full of people, likely because it's a weekday
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average hiking speed 2.73 mph
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