Got to the Dreamy Draw TH around 7:30 to find most of the parking spots already taken. Chilly morning, encountered fog in the outlying areas on the drive in, but the park and its trails were clear. Wanted to do a hike involving the Dreamy. Started off by taking the Dreamy going SE from the sidewalk. Nice entry point into the park. A little more intimate than most of the other trails. Quickly lost the Dreamy and shifted briefly to the Christiansen before hopping on one of numerous user trails to compose a loop that went east then north before swinging back to the west. Pretty sure as I did the loop I hit different renditions of the Dreamy from over the years. Some of the posts on the loop had the new decals for the Dreamy and the Christiansen other posts had faded spray painted signage of former Dreamy 220 trails along with other posts with indecipherable names. For the most part, the trails I took were the less taken so I didn’t encounter that many people. No wildlife.
Early morning jog in the Dreamy Draw. Last few times out I kind have used the Nature Trail as an excuse to hit it and some nearby user trails that are cool to revisit. Started off a little before 6am. Still dark out when I started, so I was taking it slow at the get go. I know the area, but it is kind of funny how things look different in the dark. I did the route that I invisioned...went CCW up to the saddle and then headed over to the isolated "hills" north of Piestewa Peak. Went through one of the lower saddles of those hills and then looped pack toward the Dreamy Draw parking area. This loop brought me along the northern edge of the park....an unnamed trail that has quite a bit of "character" as it works its way over low lying foothills. One of the more interesting sections (even with the homes to the north) in my opinion. This brought me to the to the Nature Trail and then back to the TH. I was only on the Nature Trail for about .3 miles, but I'm still logging here. Had the park to myself, except for 1 trail runner at the end. No wildlife
Arrived about 1:00 p.m. to do lunch time hike, forgetting that it is Presidents' Day. There were cars illegally parked all along the spillway. Oh boy. Probably no spaces, but I didn't want to get a ticket. So I followed two other cars into the lot. First car turned right into a space. I was looking at him, so missed the space to my left. Couldn't back up as there were pedestrians behind me. Not sure where second vehicle went. Looped back around and ... THE SPACE WAS STILL OPEN!!!
Then I went walking.
Wildflowers ObservationLight Some good patches of Mexican Gold Poppy along the Trail #220 route.
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Long run in the preserve. Started with my normal 6 mile loop but then ran through Dreamy Draw, past the 51, past Cave Creek Road and over to the 7th St trailhead. Filled up on water and then ran back the same way to Dreamy Draw finishing up the mostly out and back run. Great temps for the run!
Did one of the normal loops but instead of heading back to the trailhead continued on Trail 100 westbound. Passed under the 51 then Cave Creek to 7th St and finished up at 7th Ave where Kathy picked me up.
After work jog. I wanted to get a loop incorporating the Dreamy Draw Nature Trail and getting at least 5 miles. Nail it. Because the Nature Trail is so vague, I felt like an artist with a blank canvas - I could do pretty much anything in that area and I was bound to come across the Nature Trail at some time. This was kind of nice because it gave me a chance to revisit some trails that I haven't done in years. Started off from the Dreamy Draw TH around 5pm. I tried to use trails that kept me as far north while still remaining in the park as an made my way toward the 32nd st. TH. This kept me jogging along the fence of people's backyard. I didn't make it to the 32nd st. TH. Instead, I looped the small range of mountains that sits in the northern part of the park. I used a trail that hugged the base of the mountains as I circles its eastern and southern parts. This got me a little elevation on the southern side - maybe a third of the way to the top. Continued making my way west using various user trails. Used a trail that brought me to a saddle that is higher and further to the west than the one that most hikers use when hiking this area. After descending from the saddle, I zigged to the north connecting to a trail that was signed as the Dreamy Draw Nature Trail. This is the only part that I did, that I know for sure was part of the Nature Trail. Cig used this part of the Nature Trail to get me back to the TH. Pretty much everything else I jogged was user or Christiansen Trail. Saw 2 bikers and 1 hiker while I was out. Saw a couple of rabbits and that was it.
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.