My usual trip to Tucson was filled with nice periodic rain, so I kept heading north until I could get a break in the storm for a hike. I ended up doing Sunrise from 128th street, and the weather was great. Got to the trailhead a bit before 5 and started off. I saw 4 hikers early on, and then nobody after the first 15 minutes or so. I got on and off sprinkles for most of the hike, but never enough to need my rain jacket. Took a nice break on top to enjoy the views and then headed back down. I decided to check out the 136th street spur instead of heading back the way I came, this trail was probably my favorite on this mountain. Very faint trail with some nice bouldering spots, I will have to make this my next ascent. Light was failing and I scrambled up onto the neighborhood street and took Larkspur back to where the van was parked. Some mighty expensive houses up here...
I feel like such the "merry housewife" right now as I type this triplog. Woke up this morning and cleaned up the Christmas mess of the house and organized the kids' Santa haul. Then took kids to winter break school so I could get a hike in before we leave for family trip tomorrow.
I'm in the "check it off the list" mode for All trails challenge. There's a REASON I haven't done some of these last few trails on the list. I was determined to get 136th Street to Sunrise knocked off after going up to Sunrise Peak dozens of times by way of 124th, 128th, and 145th.
Unfortunately the 136th Street spur Trailhead just recently CLOSED for the next 10-12 months for construction update. So I parked at Ringtail TH on 128th Street and took Ringtail Sunrise Trail then went down 136th Street spur.
I was all into the trail at first and then I entered a wash area with all kinds of warning signs about rocks/boulders. No more trail - just sandy wash alternating with climbing down easy rocky boulder areas - but with huge mansions on either side up above me - felt creepy for some reason.
Went through two tunnels (bridges above part of fancy pants neighborhood) and then got to the blocked off construction site trailhead. I was dreading going back up those stupid rocks. They're not difficult - but it's just not what I had in mind today. I like steep trails but I like switchbacks and trails. I like the clicking and crunching under my feet in a rhythm. Plus I'm 41 years old - my knees don't love sliding and climbing rocks. And getting on an airplane tomorrow - I didn't want to twist my ankle the day before.
So I did something kind of crazy for me - and popped out on 136th Street and just jogged back to my car on 128th St. I looked ridiculous jogging with a backpack on. But I was so glad when I got back to my car!!
Then came home - took a long nap with my cat - got 3 loads of laundry done - dishes - packing suitcases for kids and me - and watching two chick flicks on TV (Little Women and Julie/Julia cooking movie).
Now got to go pick up the kids - no way I could get all this done with them in the house. Have you ever heard the sentiment that trying to clean your house with kids in it is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos???
Wanted a good exercise hike and didn't want to drive to Tom's Thumb north.
Only takes 15 minutes to 128th St TH even in school traffic. Had a little bit of a sore throat but pressed on - - maybe wasn't so smart - - felt like crap later that night and the rest of the weekend. But at least I got a good workout in.
I took Ringtail to Sunrise trail up to the intersection with new Andrews-Kinsey trail. Then back down.
#1 Up Sunrise Peak in the McDowells. I’d been here before, off trail 20+ years ago as I was piecing together Annerino’s McDowell Ridgeline as a series off day hikes
Nice trails now, saw about 20 people - time to get further out of town
#2 Adams Mesa - had not done this one - nice views. A few dirt bikes and gunshots in the distance - not bad though. I saw a tortoise and a coyote
#3 Stewart Mountain - another first. Signed the register, no sign ins since all the HAZers on 1/1/14
#4 Coon Bluff - an easy little summit overlooking the Salt river.
This has been on my radar for a bit, finally got out here to do this particular trail. I was bummed to discover that my Garmin had dead batteries so everything, except for time is based off the trail description. Took the Ring Tail up to where it connected to the Sunrise and took that trail all the way to the summit. The Ring Tail and the lower portion of the Sunrise is quite rocky, so I needed to keep my eyes on the trail. The trail gets a lot nicer after you climb that first hill. Met a few hikers on the trail today, but not as many as you might expect for having PERFECT weather. Visibility was decent so there was a nice view from the top. Noticed a definite trail in the side of the mountain to the north. There looked to be a connector trail that went to it near the horse hitching post. Didn't check out that "connector trail" so I could be wrong on that. I'll have to come back and find out
yesterday mt98dew mentioned the mapped area feature
looked at the 15 phoenix/valley peaks and saw that i was missing this one
not much different than starting from 124th street
felt like a slacker not doing the over and back
saw maybe a dozen people out
very nice morning
still quite a bit of dust in the air
split the difference between tibber's official track and the description stats
After spending the morning at the mall getting pics with Santa - this date hike was a welcome quiet solace. This particular route is really an excellent work out hike in the McDowells. Just the first 0.6 are flat - rest of the hike is a steady up, up, up. Only two other cars at the Ringtail TH. Saw just a handful of people overall.
Hiked down watching the sun set in front of us the whole way. Had dinner outside at the Mesquite grill - casual restaurant of the McDowell Golf Club owned by Phil Mickelson. Cornbread skillet is really good.
One question that I have for people who hike the McDowell county trails from Fountain Hills - there is a new zig-zag trail going up that you can see from Sunrise peak - I marked it on a photo. Hoping that someone will tell me the name of the trail. Maybe it's old and I never noticed it before.
Decided to get my legs under me again after a grueling saturday ML. Nice 5 mile hike up and over the peak. We shuttled our cars to make it a one way over rather than just up and down the same way. 145th side is so much more entertaining. The lower part of 128th side is pretty boring. My first time up here in daylight! Passed another friend who was mad at me because she saw my truck in the parking lot and I hadn't invited her. Apparently I forgot she told me she was gonna hike it today too.
Nice day, warm for this time of year, but very strong winds made it pleasant. Gusting over 30mph was nice
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.