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574 triplogs
Jun 20 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Boy Scout Loop from Emery Henderson TH - BCTPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.06 Miles 1,063 AEG
Hiking12.06 Miles   5 Hrs   12 Mns   2.32 mph
1,063 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Continuing on northbound on the BCT. Went back to the Emery-Henderson TH again and hiked north. I went 0.7 miles north beyond the top of the Boy Scout Loop. It made my total for today 12 miles, and I figured it would reduce the mileage when I hike down to that point from Table Mesa Road next month. The weather was nice enough this morning that it made it very easy to do. Who knows what it will be like in another month. The view at the saddle just north of the top of the Boy Scout loop gave the best views of the day to the north. Looking forward to getting further along on this trail.

I did a shuttle hike of this section of trail a good 16+ years ago with my friend Ted and another guy. We did it as a shuttle hike, leaving a car at Table Mesa Road and hiked northbound. I have barely any memory of any sections of trail or any particular views that day. Mostly I remember following section of roads, which it's still like. I also remember hearing a lot of shooting closer to Table Mesa Road, which from reading recent triplogs seems to still be the case. Today was pretty quiet, but I was still a few miles away. Looks like some reroutes of the trail may have been done. Quite a few sections of singletrack to go along with the narrow dirt roads.

Saw another snake this week, but not a rattler. saw one dirt biker on the roads, and later a Jeep. Only hikers I saw were about a half mile from the trailhead on my way back, a couple hiking with their kids, who they were carrying. Saw some smoke from the new fire along I-17 my last 2 miles. It looked like it grew pretty quickly by how much more smoke there was by the time I drove home.
_____________________
Jun 13 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Carefree Hwy to Emery Henderson - BCTPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.38 Miles 314 AEG
Hiking10.38 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   2.58 mph
314 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I started this hike from the Emery-Henderson TH and headed south towards the Carefree Highway. The trail is a combination of singletrack and an old dirt road. The BCT markers all note that motor vehicles are prohibited, and the road looks like it hasn't been driven on in decades. Very faded. In a good way.

There was a hawk that was making a lot of noise as I walked through the same area out and back. I zoomed in on it and got a decent photo. I would think it must have a nest there to have been making that much noise.

After the trail crosses New River, the markers are a little confusing. There is a big cairn right after the last marker that leads to a dirt road that heads up a bank and intersects a road heading east-west. It was on that portion that I saw the rattlesnake. Nice that it was laying flat out and very easy to spot. However, once up on the bank, you can see the next trail marker is a little further to the west. On my way back I headed to that marker and hiked the singletrack section that has the only switchback on this entire section of the trail.

The last mile or more was a section of the MT that I hiked just last week. The official HAZ track for this section of the BCT shows it going all the way to the Carefree Highway. however, once the MT reaches the Bob Bentley TH(?) and heads west, there is absolutely no sign of the BCT heading south. It looks like this section of the trail has been not only decommissioned, but totally eliminated. the last BCT marker was actually about a half mile north of this point.

Headed back with no incident. Didn't see any other hikers. Saw one biker on a dirt road that was perpendicular to the BCT at one point. Temperature was pretty moderate, finished up just before 10:30am. Early clouds and breezes helped with that.
_____________________
Jun 07 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
East Wing MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking4.26 Miles 1,009 AEG
Hiking4.26 Miles   2 Hrs   23 Mns   1.92 mph
1,009 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Radmila wanted to get out of the house after being couped up for so long. No one else wanted to make a big trip up north and brave the crowds and weekly wildfires that pop up anywhere. With the weather being cooler for this weekend, I decided to take them over to East Wing Mountain for a quick hike.

the hike up to the summit was pretty steep in spots. I made it up first and waited for them. On our way down the other side, I hiked back to where we left off on the loop and then back to the saddle. we hiked down the south end and then followed a track I downloaded that went off trail over to a dirt road that loops back to the trailhead. That track cuts through an empty private lot in a gated community. We got informed by some residents that we were trespassing, so we headed out as soon as possible to the dirt road and back to the trailhead.

The temperature only seemed really warm on the way up to the summit. Other than that, it was pretty breezy and cool most of the time. Saw a few other hikers, but not too many.
_____________________
Jun 06 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
I17 to Lake Pleasant - Maricopa TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 06 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking13.20 Miles 410 AEG
Hiking13.20 Miles   4 Hrs   52 Mns   2.71 mph
410 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a 3 month final push, and well over 10 years hiking various sections, I finally completed the Maricopa Trail. Until they finish the last segment, a spur from the Estrellas out to Buckeye. Some sections are nice, some ok, and some kind of lame (sidewalks :doh: ).

The last time I left off at I-17, it was a full 9 years ago. This time I parked at the Fry's lot at Daisy Mtn Rd and Gavilan Peak Pkwy, and headed to MT in the wash. That trail is a pretty wide single track that looks like it's also used by equestrians. After I-17, the trail heads south, then west, and stays single track until it crosses Desert Hills drive, then it's dirt road for a bit more. It heads south, towards the shooting range, where it becomes single track again until it heads directly west again. There is a kind of a single track in sections here that parallels the dirt road, but it's so faint and has a bunch of potato sized rocks on it, that it's just better to walk on the road.

I hiked to where Brian and I left off 3.5 years ago from Lake Pleasant. I only knew where to stop by saving a section of the track I saved from that day. I remember New River was flowing pretty hard that day from all the winter rains. today I wasn't able to recognize that spot at all. Looks like they installed some new power lines in that area, the concrete anchors looked pretty fresh.

Headed back to car and called it a day. Very cool in the morning, not too hot at the end. Saw one trail runner, one biker, and 2 hikers.
_____________________
May 30 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
May 22 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
May 15 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
May 10 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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 :
_____________________
1 archive
May 03 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
May 01 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
Apr 27 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
Apr 25 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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.
_____________________
Apr 24 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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
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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.
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Apr 17 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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
 
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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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Apr 12 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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
 
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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 26
 Routes 376
 Photos 7,628
 Triplogs 574

52 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
 
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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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average hiking speed 2.65 mph
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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.

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