Once again I found myself at home on a day that I had off but my lovely wife, Carolyn went off to work. One of my individual goals is to discover all that the Phoenix Parks Department has to offer in the way of hiking trails in the system. Previously I had explored all of Deem Hills and the Desert Hills Trailhead at Sonoran Preserve.
I returned to the Sonoran Preserve for some more hikes and started off on a Sunday late morning at the Apache Wash Trailhead. I usually work Sunday mornings so my opportunities to go to church are few and on this Sunday, I decided to get my worship on in the great outdoors. On arrival, the parking lot was almost full. It was beautiful once again and I hopped on the Indian Wash Trail Loop. The loop was relatively easy and well traveled with bicycles and walker/hikers. Enjoyable trek through the desert as it is greening up and fun just being outdoors. On this loop, little trash minus a couple facial tissues, no butts, but some dog turds. Most of the mountain bikers were courteous minus several who evidently believed they owned the trail. Finished up in time to see a group gathering to do yoga, so of course I went home and off to my own yoga class.
On “Super Bowl Sunday” I returned to the Apache Wash Trailhead and spent an afternoon on the Apache Wash Trail and decided to tackle the remaining trails located at the Desert Hills Trailhead on a rainy Sunday.
On arrival, the first thing I noticed was the lack of vehicles in the parking lot–the rain keeping the hikers and bikers away. That was grand by me. To get to the Badger Brawl Trail, you start on Apache Wash and just walk approximately 4 miles where the trail abruptly ends at 40th St.
The trail was muddy but so nice being out there with nobody around. From the end I walk back a mile or so and cut across to the Cliff Walk Trail that follows the Cave Creek River and ends at Carefree Highway.
No water of course but I was just a bit nervous since I know rains can cause some interesting flash flooding so I stayed alert. Once I hit the end of the trail I walked back on the Esplanade Trail. Again no encounters with any humans. Rain, muddy, but for me just a great way to spend time alone. Once I hit the end of the Esplanade, I actually encountered two on horseback, two on bikes, and four hikers as I returned to the parking lot.
A total of 10 miles, just a couple pieces of trash, a few dog turds, and few humans. Just lovely. I did see many birds, a couple rabbits, plenty of saguaro and other cacti. And oh the rain. So refreshing, light and my jacket handled it well. All of the trails would be rated easy but were much harder in the rain as they were quite slippery. The trails are quite suitable for running but it appears they probably get used frequently by bikers.
Tired but satisfied and another Phoenix Parks Trailhead knocked off my list. Coming up is the Desert Vista Trailhead and all that it might offer.