Take a Trip, Never Leave the Farm Chapter One

We thought it was kind of handy, Take a trip and never leave the farm! Jim Stafford.

Describes how I feel about all the hiking adventures available in the Phoenix Parks. My goal has been to discover more opportunities and hikes available right here in the city, so I started last week with Deem Hills and this past week I decided to explore the Sonoran Preserve and the three trail heads available.

Usually I am out hiking with my lovely wife Carolyn but our days off have not matched up very well, so I’m hanging out around home just doing some city hikes. I’ve discovered that Phoenix has great urban trails and a fantastic park system.

Day One Hike got off to a late start due to agreeing to take my mother to an appointment. She lets me know around noon that she canceled her 1 appointment and rescheduled the following morning so having little time to hike, I rushed out to the Desert Hills Trailhead and started on my journey around 2:00. w6puqhxzrkctksbefvfjdwI took off on the Sidewinder Trail believing that I was going to do a seven mile loop trail back to the trailhead. It was beautiful outside and the trail didn’t have much traffic and I sure enjoyed the solitude in the desert even though the city is just around the corners. Some up and down areas that challenged me over the course of the hike. Plenty of desert views and you could see Four Peaks, Black Mountain and other points of interest while on the trail. qt96w3lzreevoec6thq1eqSome 2 hours later, I see the parking lot ahead and I notice that this isn’t the parking lot I started from but it is the Apache Wash Trailhead. I’m thinking, “seriously, I now have to take the Ocotillo Trail six miles back to my car?” So off I went finishing just as the sun went down and hiking over 13 miles. Glad I had plenty of water and some snacks and a headlamp even though I did not need the lamp but glad I was prepared. I was tired and headed on home but proud of the fact that I had managed to do 13+ miles in an afternoon. fullsizeoutput_6f2Good news, on this long hike I saw no cigarette butts, just a couple discarded or dropped tissues, few dog turds, one playing music on a speaker, and a few broken bike parts. The hike was by my standards moderate with some good elevation gains and losses but all gradual and none extreme. When your ups and down get an elevation gain of 1700 plus feet, I think I got a decent workout. It was a nice challenge and most of the mountain bikers were considerate but there were a few who believed the trail was only for them. You know them when you see them. There are ways to take a loop that gets you back to your original trailhead but I missed that memo. The trail would also be suitable for running. Next up, more hikes in the Preserve.


About timfruth

Longtime public educator who retired. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
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