The Bajada Trail is an engaging trail in that it has many twists and turns and ups and downs, though you don't gain much elevation. I like to think of this trail as the Toe Tripper Trail. No matter how fast or slow I go I constantly bang my toes into rocks and there are a lot of rocks to bang into! To truly start at the beginning of the Bajada Trail you need to hike in on the Ranger Trail about a quarter mile. For the most part the trail shadows San Juan Road as it winds into the interior of South Mountain Park. I had the trail all to myself, I didn't even see any wildlife, except for some quail. This is a nice hike, but not one of my favorites.
Went to the Spur Cross Ranch with the thought of making a big loop. Starting off on the Spur Cross Trail, catching Tr252 and then taking the Elephant Mountain Trail back in. That was the plan... Started off on the Spur Cross Trail ok, which turns into FS 48 as it heads north and runs into the beginning of Tr 252. This is where the game plan went astray. The Park provides a map of the area and on this map at the very corner, they show a trail Tr 247 starting and disappearing off to the east. The Tr252 TH was so close, I figured I would hike up and see what it was all about. About a mile further in I came across a Tonto Forest Trail board that displayed several trails that started at this juncture. I felt like a kid getting an unexpected Christmas present. More Trails!! From the trail board map the trails all looked to be 10 miles or longer. Since I didn't come prepared for a hike of that length, I just walked the trails in this back area. FS48 is a trail that heads north following the Cave Creek stream bed (which was flowing nicely!) According to a ranger I met the trail goes back about 3 miles where it enters a private ranch. I didn't make it that far back, but I feel I got close. Heading back I took a road 1533, (now more trail) that had intersected with FS48 at the creek bed. It wound up the side of the hill and eventually ran into the beginning part of Cave Creek Trail (one of the trails shown on the Tonto board). From the heigth of road 1533 I could see across Cave Creek and see an "old" (70's/80's maybe) mining operation. Since it was close, I forded the raging river. Not much to see really. You could see where the digging was done and where the detritus was sloughed off. One of the more interesting things was the old road that snaked up the side of the hill to ??? I ended up not doing TR252 and coming back on the Metate trail. Overall a very enjoyable outing even though I didn't accomplish what I set out to do, and actually found more trails to add to my list.
Did the short and long loop with my wife. As you can see even with the long loop, it doesn't add up to much. However, this was my first time on the trail and it was nice to have a relaxing walk with my wife on a new trail.
Wanted to do this trail for quite awhile. Headed up with my wife on a beautiful sunday morning. The trail was easy to follow and it offered a nice view along the way. The "caves" were ok (the cave on the Cave Trail of the Superstition was a little more defined in my opinion). The bees were mild, but the chipmunks were wild. The chipmunks were everywhere. Went to the summit from there, though my wife didn't quite make it.
Trail is a documented trail of the Estrella Mountain Regional Park. (Tried to add it to HAZ w/o success so I am taking the generic route). The Toothaker Trail itself is about 3.7 miles. When I did this hike, I actually started in on the Coldwater Trail, hit a portion of the Pedersen and came back to the parking lot on the Toothaker. Trail is ideal for jogging as there is little elevetion change, and when it occurs it is gradual. For the most part it is not too rocky so you are not dodging stones every step. For being close to the city you get a nice feeling of isolation when you are out on the trail.
Didn't make it to the trail until after 5pm. Used the Circumference trail as a point of entry. Mainly trying to do the side trails that spiderweb through the hills in that area. Wasn't able to do too much as far as new trails due to the lack of sunlight. (In some ways, I really miss those summer days). I did as much as I could while there was light then I used my headlamp to get me back to the car. Great weather, few hikers and my first "wildernes" scorpion.
Listed the Quartz Trail because that was my initial entry point (Quartz/104th St.) Last time, I turned off on the Paradise Trail and got distracted by the old mining roads that head into the Mcdowells. This time, where the Paradise Trail ends I took the Levee Trail down to the Gateway entry point. This was my first time in this area and I was able to get a map of all the surrounding trails. From here I decided to make a loop. There was a trail that branches off the Equestrian Bypass Trail that headed to WestWorld. And from there I took the WestWorld Trail that interconnects to the Quartz Trail. The weather was perfect. The views were nice. Very little wildlife (rabbits).
Hiked the Mojave Trail after work. First time going to the peak of this trail. From the peak watched 10 emergency vehicle pull up to the front of Squaw Peak. Don't know what happened but about 8 personnel started up the peak. Seemed to take them a long time to get started, so I don't think it was life or death. From the Mojave(?) Peak went down the backside and hit a few of the trails that come in from the homes on the backside. Didn't have pedometer with me, so I'm guessing at the mileage.
Was planning on hiking the Bajada Trail at South Mountain, but I forgot that it was a Silent Sunday. (Silent Sunday's are were the roads are closed to vehicles and only walking or biking are permitted). So I went a mile further East and hit the Geronimo TH at Dobbins and 20th St. There really is not much parking there, which is one reason I'd never saught it out before. It turned out to be a very cold, but nice hike. I had my dog with and we didn't come across anything, except for some rain and 1 pair of hikers. Nice trail, in that it allowed me to see part of South Mountain that I've never seen before. The trail ends at a point that ties in with the National Trail.
First of all I want to thank my wife and her dad for putting up with me. Neither is as avid a hiker as I am, so they hiked in knowing that I planned on leaving them when we got to the Fremont saddle. Thx Love
The hike up to Freemont Saddle was pleasant. The views were fantastic and the company great. I enjoyed this portion of the hike just because I was able to show off the beauty of the Superstitions to people who had never been back there before. (I was the experienced hiker ... this was my second time there.) The hike up was a little more than they bargained for, but views drew them on. When we got to the saddle, we took a break, enjoyed the view and said our goodbyes.
This is the part that I had been looking forward and been a little worried about. Cave Trail! With Joe's direction in mind (from his description on HikeArizona) I headed out to Weaver's Outlook Ridge. The view there was awesome. The lock box there for journal entries is a nice touch. The reason I was worried about this trail is even though I hike a lot, I don't have a lot of experience at route finding. Because of this annoying shortcoming of mine, let's just say that I did the Cave Trail in my own way. I did my best to follow Joe's description of the trail and in the process did a lot of pondering (do I go down that trail, or towards that cairn ) and a little bit of backtracking. Getting to the cave wasn't too bad and actually going down Devil's Slide was pretty neat. It was at this point where I kind of made my own route. To be honest it wasn't that bad. I always had good idea of where I was in regards to Peralta Trail and I was always able to find routes down that were decent. Every once in awhile I would come across a cairn or a trail and follow it ... until I lost it. I think near the end I actually finished up on Cave Trail as it joined into the Dutchman. Overall it was a fantastic experience, I'm just sorry that my wife and dad had to wait an hour for me to get back to the car.
Started off from the 104th st./Quartz parking lot. To get to the Paradise Trail, I had to hike in about a mile on the Quartz Trail. Having been on the Quartz Trail a couple of times I new what to expect. Basically it goes along a desert divide between two subdivisions. The Paradise Trail does the same thing, though the East side of the trail quickly opens up to the Mcdowell Mountains. My initial thought was to do the Paradise and any other official trails I could fit in before sunset. But towards the North end of the Paradise Trail, I came across what I assume is an old mining road that branched off into the hills. I spent sometime following these trails that diverged off this "road", coming across a couple of mine shafts that were fenced/gated off. One of the shafts went straight into the ground. I threw a stone into the hole and you could here it tumbling for a good distance. There was a cement slab just to the side of the hole that appeared to be dated 1917. Does anyone have an idea what they may have been mining in this area? Anyway, it was a nice hike,though I didn't cover as much range as I set out to.
Hiked some side trails with my wife and pup that branch off from the circumference trail. We enjoy hiking this area, because (right now) we don't have to hike in that far to come across trails that we haven't done before. Didn't see any wildlife this time out, (except for a lot of dogs. Every other hiker out there had a dog with them ). Got sprinkled on, just as we got back to the car.
Took to the trail with Joe on my mind. I don't know Joe, but having read some of his posts, it sounds as if he enjoyed what he did. This is true for me, as I imagine it is for everyone else on this site. From this tragedy, hopefully, something can be taken from this. For me, I will commuincate better with my family. Where I am hiking, how long I expect to be gone, maybe a little more thoughtful when I look at that off shooting trail that goes????
My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe, his family and friends.
Hiked the Goat Camp trail in the White Tanks. Made a loop out of this by going in on the Goat Camp coming back down on the Mesquite trail and then connecting back to the Goat Camp via the Mule Deer/Bajada trails. No wildlife, expect for a small snake.
I'm using the Quartz trail as the log entry because a)it was where I started from b)it is in the computer and I don't have to take time trying to figure our how to properly log a new trail. (If I get time, I may come back and try to do this.)
To do this trail (or any trails in this area) one of the better places to park is the 104th St./Quartz lot. I believe this is just off Mountain Ranch Rd. My goal today was to do the Taliesin trail. This is a trail that goes between the West World Trail and the Quartz Trail just after it enters the preserves. From the Quartz lot, I was able to do a nice loop by taking the Quartz trail "west" until it ran into the West World Trail. The WestWorld trail runs parallel to the Sanctuary golf course. About 1.5 miles from the Quartz lot you reach the Taliesin Trail. This trail is very similar to the Quartz trail in that it runs between homes and gradually rises up toward the McDowell Preserve. The Taliesin trail runs for a little over 2 miles until it runs into the Quartz Trail. I finished the loop by heading back down on the Quartz Trail.
Hiked in the Phoenix Preserves, starting off on the nature trail, but I quickly left after I topped the saddle and entered the interior portions of the park. There is such a network of trails that it is hard to describe where one went. My goal was to hit the mountain that is just to the southwest of the the Shea/40th st. lot. The weather was great and I surprisingly did not run into that many people. This is a great place to hike because there are so many potential variations and you have control over how long or short your hike will be.
This was my first venture into the Superstitions and it definitely will not be my last. The Peralta trail as a whole makes all other trails pale in comparison. The scenery from beginning to end was a Kodak moment. I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the trail because of the surrounding sights. This was not a big deal going up to the saddle, but coming down into the interior it became more important to keep your eyes focused in front. The trail on both sides was fairly easy to follow, however the trail on the interior was overgrown by sage brush and prickly pear. I found that I was constantly sidestepping cacti, or angling my body as best I could to avoid encroaching trees and bushes. More times than not, I was unsuccessful.
This being my first time, my goal was to go 3 hours and see what I could see. I reached the Lost Dutchman juncture in a little under three hours. Up until that point I hadn't seen a soul since pre Freemont saddle. However, it was right around here were I met Randy Travis. Actually, I met Travis first, and Randy a little bit later. They told me about other connecting trails that were just a little further down on the Dutchman trail. So I spent an hour checking out some possible future trails.
Not much on the wildlife side, except for a hairy critter (picture included) and the back end of a snake. The snake slithered out of sight so quickly that I didn't get a good look at it. The pine trees in the interior were a huge surprise. I saw 5 or 6 from the trail and they looked as if they were doing quite well.
Ford Canyon Trail is located in the White Tanks mountain park. I had the day off and I thought I would take a few hours of my morning by taking a quick hike in the White Tanks. Trail started off quite nice. Little elevation change, trail relatively uncluttered with rock... overall a nice trail to jog on. The surrounding scenery was nice but not awe inspiring. About 3 miles in, the trail became a lot more noteworthy. It was one of the more enjoyable trail sections I've done. The trail climbed along the side of a mountain, with the other side overlooking a significant wash. It was like this for about a mile, giving some spectacular views. At the top it leveled off into wash that gradually climbed further back into the mountains. There were a couple of places where water was still pooled from the last rainfall - both were stagnant. I looped back to the trailhead on the Mesquite trail. What I thought would be a 2 hour hike turned into a much longer excursion. But the trail was well worth it especially that back section that climbed up the mountain next to the wash. That really made the hike. Also saw some wildlife while I was out there: 4 deer (I think they were the same ones that I saw a few weeks ago), a red-tail hawk and a Rosy Boa. (I had to look that last one up when I got home, but I think that is what it was).
Did not do the the actual Summit Trail 150. Went to the summit but approached it from the backside from a park area (not sure of the name). There is quite a network of trails in this area, so i spent some time walking them. Weather was beautiful this evening. "Climate-wise" it was one of the most delightful hikes I've had in the valley. Tried to get a picture of an owl at dusk, but it didn't turn out. Pretty cool though, it was the first owl I've seen close up.
Also did Meridian, Noso, Blevins, and Crismon Wash Trails. Started hiking trails between McKellips/Lost Dutchman Road and Ironwood/Meridian Ave. There is quite a network of trails between these streets. Did a 1.5 mile loop from the C27 gate just to get an idea of what was in there.
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.