"B" Hike Descriptions

Fall 2021 Hiking Schedule 

 

Day:  Wednesday, October 27                                   Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Bajada/Goat Camp/Mule Deer           Location:  White Tank Regional Park

Assemble at:  Mountain View Rec. Ctr.                    Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  25                                            Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  500                                               Hiking Distance(RT):  6.5

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  0

Leaders:  Dianne Haberman 970-275-9067     Rod Frank 269-270-4398

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive south on 107th Avenue to Olive Avenue.  Turn right onto Olive Avenue and drive west.  Olive Avenue leads into White Tank Park.  There is an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle.  Drive to parking area 2 at Bajada Trail crossing.

 

Hike Description:  The Bajada Trail is an out and back and has easy walking on the desert floor for about .9 miles.  Goat Camp climbs gently through the rocky terrain of a prominent drainage.  There is very little elevation gain except when hiking up the Mule Deer Trail before dropping down to the Visitor Center.  The trails are well-groomed.  Along the way there is the classic desert scenery of rocky outcroppings and desert plants.  The club also has a bench that was put on the Goat Camp trail to honor Gus Bernweit, beloved member of SCH.  Bring lunch and water.

 

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Day:  Tuesday, November 2                                       Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Brown's Mountain                                Location:  McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  62                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  400'                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  5

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  600'

Leaders:  Donney Speck 360-632-7345     Fred Loose 480-720-3905

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Turn right on North Loop 303.  Take Loop 303 to I-17, turn left and stay on the frontage road for .6 miles and take Dove Valley Road exit (first opportunity to exit)  Turn right on Dove Valley Road for 5.2 miles (becomes Sonoran Desert Drive), and continue on this road for an additional 4.1 miles (total distance is 9.3 miles). Turn left on Cave Creek Road for .5 miles, turn right on Dynamite Road for 9.3 miles, turn left on Alma School Parkway for 1.4 miles and arrive at McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  On this loop hike we climb to the top of Brown’s Mountain.  The major cumulative elevation gain occurs on the climb up Brown's Mountain Trail and Brown's Summit Spur.  The spur to the summit is quite steep and is optional.  The hike is scenic and “rock free” which facilitates enjoying the view.  Hiking sticks are recommended. 

 

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Day:  Thursday, November 4                                      Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Black Canyon - Gloriana Segment       Location:  Bumble Bee

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                         Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  90                                            Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  500'                                              Hiking Distance(RT):  6.4

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  750'

Leaders:  Donney Speck 360-632-7345     Lynda Frerichs 623-444-4483

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Turn right on North Loop 303.  Take Loop 303 to I-17, turn left to go north on I-17.  Follow I-17 North for 25 miles to Exit #248 (Exit for Bumble Bee/Crown King).  Turn left on Bumble Bee Road for 1.1 miles.  The trailhead and parking is on the left.  There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  This is an out-and-back hike.  The trail is somewhat rocky and has gentle ups and downs.  The trail runs along the canyon providing good views down into the canyon.  About 3.25 miles in we stop and take a snack/lunch/rest break using the rocks along the creek bed as chairs.  Pools of water may be found here.  After the break, we retrace our steps to return to the trailhead.

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Day:  Thursday, November 11                                    Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Cottonwood/Pipeline                            Location:  Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                         Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  72                                            Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  300'                                              Hiking Distance(RT):  6.4

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  0

Leaders:  Ken Smith 623-518-6555     Beth Smith 765-748-6271

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74).  Turn left (west) onto SR74 and continue to Castle Hot Springs Road.  Drive 5.6 miles to a T intersection, turn right at the intersection and park at the Cottonwood Trailhead immediately on the right side of the road.  There is an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle.

 

Hike Description:  The hike is an out-and-back.  We begin by hiking on a gently rolling trail until we meet up with the Pipeline Trail which takes us across the floating bridge and on up to a viewpoint of Lake Pleasant.  We return by the same trail. 

 

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Day:  Monday, November 15                                    Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Rainbow Valley/Toothaker                  Location:  Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Assemble at:  Mountain View Rec. Ctr.                   Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  50                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  450'                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  6.2

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  668'

Leaders:  Marty Davies 480-286-0736     Bill Pack 503-701-8221

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive south on 107th Avenue to Olive Avenue and turn left.  Continue to the 101 South entrance ramp.  Proceed south on the 101 to Exit #1A, merging onto I-10 W towards Los Angeles.  After 5.7 miles, take Exit #126 for Estrella Parkway.  Turn left (south) onto N. Estrella Parkway for 5.1 miles.  Turn left onto W. Vineyard Avenue.  The park entrance is past the golf course, about 200 feet on your right.  There is an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle. Follow park road to trailhead parking at the rodeo arena.

 

Hike Description:  This is a loop hike that winds through the foothills of the Sierra Estrella Mountains past classic desert landscape of saguaro, palo verde, ironwood, and cholla.  It's nice.  It's pretty.  It's not too hard but not too easy.  It's like the baby bear's porridge to Goldilocks. 

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Day:  Tuesday, November 16                                    Hike:  B

Trail Name:  North Mingus #105/105A/

View Point #106                                                          Location:  Mingus Mountain Recreation Area

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  102                                        Road Conditions:  Paved except last 2.6 miles

Elevation Change:  1000’                                          Hiking Distance(RT):  4 without the summit

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  0

Leaders:  Joette Conger 630-390-8571     Robert Smith 480-318-9352

 

Driving Instructions:  From the Bell Rec Center take 99th St north to Bell Road.  Make a right at the light and head east to AZ 101 (2 mi). Use the left two lanes to take ramp onto AZ 101 North.   Take exit 23 for I 17 Noth toward Flagstaff (7 mi). Take I 17 to exit 262, AZ 69 North toward Prescott (46 mi). Continue on AZ 69 N for 20 miles then turn right on Fain Road. Stay on Fain Road for 7 miles then make a sharp right turn on AZ 89A North. Drive 12 miles then turn right on Forest Road 104. Travel 2.6 miles to the Mingus Mountain Campground.  Bear left at the stop sign to follow FR 104 to the Hang Glider Launch Site and the trailhead.  We drop hikers here and the drivers take cars back to the campground so we can shuttle as the loop ends at the campground.

 

Hike Description:  We begin at the summit hiking through a meadow before reaching a number of switchbacks contouring around Mingus Mountain with a 1000’ descent connecting to Trail #105A.  The switchbacks are easy and gradual with very few rocks.  The views from this trail are magnificent, looking over Jerome and Cottonwood with the San Francisco Peaks in the distance.  From the trail junction you begin a gradual climb with splendid views of the Verde Valley and surrounding area.  This hike is challenging due to the elevation change on the last part of Trail #106, but the views are magnificent.  The trail is not hazardous.  The altitude is probably more of a factor than the elevation change.  We plan on hiking at a reasonable pace with frequent rest stops.

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Day:  Wednesday, November 17                                 Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Baldwin/Templeton Trail                    Location:  Coconino National Forest

Assemble at:  Hotel                                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance (RT):  26 miles                               Road Conditions:  Paved except last  1.1 miles                               

Elevation Change:  N/A                                              Hiking Distance (RT):  7 miles out and back 

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  600'

Leaders:  Jan Grabbe 515-890-7060                     Mary Ann Robbert 781-492-2394

 

Driving Instructions:  From hotel head toward AZ89A. Turn right on AZ89A (Cottonwood St) drive 1.2 miles then turn right to stay on AZ89A (Main St). Continue on AZ89A for 2.4 miles then turn right on to E Cornville Road (Route 30). Drive 8.1 miles and turn left on Beaverhead Flats Road (Route 78). Drive 6.1 miles then turn left on to Route 179 (T intersection). In 2.9 miles, at the second traffic circle, take the third exit on to Verde Valley School Road. Drive 4.9 miles to the Baldwin trailhead parking lot which will be on your left.  NOTE: The last 1.1 miles is dirt road.

 

Hike Description:  The hike starts on the Baldwin trail where we will hike ½ mile through a wooded area until we meet the Templeton Trail. The Templeton Trail follows Oak Creek. We then climb up to an exposed red rock ridge where we will enjoy majestic views of the Sedona area.  There will be an optional scramble up to Cathedral Rock from the Templeton Trail. Distance .3 miles each way and 755 feet of elevation gain.

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Day:  Thursday, November 18                                    Hike:  B+

Trail Name:  Woodchute                                             Location:  Jerome

Assemble at:  Hotel                                                      Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  TBD                                         Road Conditions:  All paved, except for last .7 mile

Elevation Change:  500'                                              Hiking Distance(RT):  8

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1200'

Leaders:  Donney Speck 360-632-7345     Dick Hobbs 573-586-9948

 

Driving Instructions:  To be distributed at hotel.

 

Hike Description:  This hike travels through pines and junipers and traverses grassy ridges.  Excellent views to the north and south.  We will travel to the edge of the mesa for an excellent viewpoint.

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Day:  Tuesday, November 23                                    Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Lost Dog Wash                                      Location:  McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  7:30 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  52                                          Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  380’                                            Hiking Distance(RT):  5.2

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  500'

Leaders:  John Baird 217-257-3768     Dave Pudim 575-725-4904

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive east on Bell Road to Loop 101 North, turning left onto Loop 101 North.  Follow 101 to Exit #38, Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. Turn left and continue to Via Linda. Turn left at Via Linda for 1.3 miles to 124th Street.  Turn left (north) on 124th Street for .7 miles and continue to the parking area.

 

Hike Description:  The Lost Dog Wash Trail is a gentle uphill hike that meanders and dips through beautiful washes for 2 miles to the Taliesin Overlook which provides a 360 degree view.  On the way back to the cars there are views from Lost Dog Overlook.  Although this hike does not provide solitude you are rewarded with a trail that is easy on the foot and has beautiful views. On one side you have terracotta tile roofs and on the other the peaks of the McDowell Mountains.

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Day:  Tuesday, November 30                                    Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Indian Mesa                                          Location:  Table Mesa / Lake Pleasant

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  70                                          Road Conditions:  Paved except for the last 4.5 miles

Elevation Change:  600'                                            Hiking Distance(RT):  7.2

Leaders:  Joette Conger 630-390-8571     Denise Favorite 608-770-4474

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Turn right on North Loop 303.  Take Loop 303 to I-17, turn left to go north on I-17.  Follow I-17 North to Table Mesa Road (Exit #236).  Turn left (west) then right (north) onto the frontage road (Table Mesa Road).  Drive 1.6 miles (the road becomes a well graded dirt road) to the “Y” and  bear left.  After driving 4.2 miles you reach signage marking the boundary of the Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  Just beyond that, at 4.5 miles is an unpaved parking area on the left side of the road.  The hike begins here.  There is an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle.  There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  This partially off-trail hike goes down the Agua Fria River before climbing to the top of Indian Mesa, (the white mesa visible from the parking lot) where it is possible to walk among the remains of a Hohokam fortified pueblo with at least sixteen rooms.  Enjoy commanding views in all directions, including a lofty look south to Lake Pleasant.  The hike follows a 4WD road across the dry bed of the Agua Fria then downstream for a mile along the west bank to a boat ramp and parking area.  Cross the dry tributary at the boat ramp and continue downstream along the dry riverbed past the white cliffs on the right bank and a rock cistern on left bank about a mile to where the riverbed turns left.  Leave the river at this point following a 4WD trail for about a mile west up a coulee to just below Indian Mesa.  Turn left at the rock cairns and follow the steep trail up to the saddle below the mesa then go east to the south entrance of the mesa.

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Day:  Friday, December 3                                          Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Butcher Jones                                       Location:  Saguaro Lake Tonto National Forest

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  120                                        Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  400'                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  5.5

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  512'

Leaders:  Donney Speck 360-632-7345     John Baird 217-257-3768

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive east on Bell Road to Loop 101, turning left onto Loop 101 North.  Follow Loop 101 North to Exit #38 (Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard).  Turn left (east) onto Frank Lloyd Wright and follow it east, then south to Shea Boulevard.  Turn left (east) onto Shea and continue to Highway 87.  We pit stop at McDonald's and buy our Tonto Passes at Circle K (on the corner of Shea and Saguaro; use the left turn lane just before the light) for those who have not already purchased them.  Turn left (north) onto Highway 87 and continue to Bush Highway, Exit #199, on your right.  Turn right onto Bush Highway and continue 2.9 miles to Butcher Jones Rd.  There is a brown sign on the right that reads Butcher Jones Recreation Area just before the intersection.  Turn left onto Butcher Jones Road.  The Trailhead is 1.5 miles further at the turnaround loop at the end of the road.  Park at the first parking lot on the right after the stop sign.  Tonto passes can be purchased in advance at many valley locations.  Regular day pass is $8 per car.  If you have the National Park Pass you can purchase a Tonto pass for half price ($4) at Cabela’s in Glendale.

 

Hike Description:  For this in-and-out hike we follow a well-defined trail along the shore of Saguaro Lake with fine views of mountains and water.  The trail's high points reveal fantastic views of the gaping Salt River Canyon, 1930's-era Stewart Dam and surrounding mountain ranges.  Continue up to a high point overlooking the lake for lunch and return the way we came.

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Day:  Monday, December 6                                        Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Quartz Mine/Skyline Crest                   Location:  Skyline Regional Park

Assemble at:  Mountain View Rec. Ctr.                    Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  70                                            Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  1200’                                            Hiking Distance(RT):  6

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1200'

Leaders:  Brian Bain 604-842-6433     Lynn Bain 604-842-6433

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive south on 107th Avenue to Olive Avenue. Turn left on Olive Avenue and continue to Loop 101 South.  Head south on Loop 101 (13 miles) to I-10, use Exit #1A.  Head west on the I-10 (17 miles) to Watson Road, use Exit #117.  Exit on Watson Road, turn right and drive 2 miles to the entrance station.  A few feet beyond the entrance station, turn left on Skyline Park Road and follow it .7 miles until it ends at the parking area.

 

Hike Description:  This hike utilizes four trails in the Skyline Regional Park system to make a 6 mile loop hike with a summit climb.  This is a scenic hike with significant cumulative elevation gain and provides a good workout.  The trail is good and the pace uphill should be reasonable.  The views from the Skyline Crest and Crest Summit Trails are impressive, but this hike features sustained, steep uphill segments.  If you are not comfortable with significant elevation gain, this is not the hike for you.

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Day:  Thursday, December 9                                     Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Hells Canyon and Overlook                 Location:  Castle Hot Springs

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  84                                           Road Conditions:  Paved except last 13 miles

Elevation Change:  400’-500'                                    Hiking Distance(RT):  7-8

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  800'

Leaders:  Ron Fish 602-677-1712     Bill Pack 503-701-8221

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive west on Bell Road and turn right (northwest) on Grand Avenue (Highway 60).  17.2 miles after the 303 underpass, at Morristown, turn right onto Castle Hot Springs Road. The second stop sign is Hwy 74.  Cross Hwy 74 and park on the right hand side of the road in the dirt parking lot.  We’ll regroup here.  Castle Hot Springs Road turns into dirt after a couple of miles.  The first 6-7 miles are nicely graded gravel.  The last 6-7 miles are rougher but any normal vehicle should be fine.  Parking for the trailhead is on the right, about .4 miles after Milepost 15.  There is no marked trailhead, just a wide spot on the right with a jeep road (Cedar Basin Road) angling off to the right.  There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  This hike is one of the tougher B hikes and is rated a B+ due to the distance and terrain.  There is a little off-trail bushwacking, wash-walking, and spring-skirting, all of us led by the intrepid Ron Fish of Wickenburg fame.  With great vistas of the Hells Canyon Wilderness, this is a hike not to be missed.  Bring your sticks and a lunch; it's a long hike at almost 7 miles, and you'll need to keep your energy up. This is an out-and-back hike.

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Day:  Tuesday, December 14                                      Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Chalk Canyon Petroglyphs                   Location:  Spur Cross Ranch

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  70                                           Road Conditions:  Paved except last .7 miles

Elevation Change:  300'                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  8.8

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  550'

Leaders:  Linda Frericks 623-444-4483     Donney Speck 360-632-7345

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74). Turn right on Carefree Highway (SR74) past I-17 to Cave Creek Road (16.5 miles).  Turn left on Cave Creek Road to Spur Cross Ranch Road (2.7 miles).  Turn left on Spur Cross Ranch Road (pet store on the right.)  At the T make a right, then a quick left, and continue on Spur Cross Ranch Road, approximately 4.3 miles (last 1.5 miles gravel), to the parking area.  The cost is $3 per person, and you need exact change. Maricopa County park passes can also be used for up to 4 people.

 

Hike Description:  This is a longer B hike at 8.8 miles.  The hike starts at Spur Cross Ranch and follows Cave Creek for 2 miles and then Trail #48 for 2.4 miles.  We hike mainly in and along washes.  The petroglyphs are located on the cliff below the Chalk Canyon Ruins some 300' above.

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Day:  Monday, December 20                                     Hike:  B+

Trail Name:  South Mountain Loop                          Location:  South Mountain Park

Assemble at:  Mountain View Rec. Ctr.                   Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  60                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  1100'                                           Hiking Distance(RT):  7.8

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1650'

Leaders:  Jean Snyder 520-891-8307     Jack Snyder 520-360-1363

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive south on 107th Avenue to Olive Avenue and turn left.  Continue to the 101 South entrance ramp.   Take Loop 101 South for 7.1 miles.  Take Exit #2 for McDowell Road for .3 miles.  Turn left (east) onto W. McDowell Road for .8 miles.  Turn right onto 91st Avenue and continue for 6.1 miles.  Turn left onto W. Baseline Road and continue for 1 mile.  Turn right onto S. 83rd Avenue for 1 mile.  South 83rd Avenue turns left and becomes W. Dobbins Road.  Continue 9.5 miles to S. Central Avenue and turn right.  Continue 1 mile and turn left onto Phoenix South Mountain Park. From this road, proceed to Holbert Trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  This hike is considered a B+ because of the elevation change, the accumulated elevation gain and the faster pace.  Following a series of South Mountain trails (Holbert, National, Kiwanis, Los Lomitas) climb steadily to the upper areas of South Mountain.  Along the way it is possible to hike the extension trail that leads to Dobbins Lookout and be rewarded with a magnificent view of the valley below. Follow the National Trail along the top of the mountains and descend on the Kiwanis trail.

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Day:  Thursday, December 30                                  Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Buckshot                                               Location:  McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  62                                          Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  628                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  8.8

Leaders:  Denise Favorite 608-770-4474     Suzanne Boisclair 603-494-8242

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway for 6.7 miles to Loop 303.  Turn right on North Loop 303.  Take Loop 303 to I-17, turn left to go north on I-17.  Follow I-17 north for .6 miles and take the Dove Valley Exit (first opportunity to exit) travel .3 miles on exit ramp.  Turn right on Dove Valley for 5.2 miles (becomes Sonoran Desert Drive). Continue on this road for an additional 4.1 miles (total distance is 9.3 miles). Turn left on Cave Creek for .5 miles.  Turn right on Dynamite Road for 9.3 miles.  Turn left on Alma School Parkway for 1.4 miles and arrive at Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s Brown’s Ranch Trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  An article in the Phoenix newspaper claims that the .8 mile Buckshot Trail is the prettiest trail at Brown’s Ranch.  On this hike, you can decide if this is true.  This hike is a misshaped double lollipop with 2 short sticks and 2 loops that add up to almost 9 miles. For those interested, there is a short (.2 mile) spur to the summit of Brown's Mountain that can be added. The trail is very rocky climbing Brown's Mountain.  The hiking trails used are basically level throughout the hike, however the majority of the elevation gain occurs during the second loop that ascends Brown's Mountain.

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Day:  Wednesday, January 5                                     Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Dragonfly/Spur Cross Loop

(Counterclockwise)                                                     Location:  Spur Cross Ranch

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  75                                          Road Conditions:  Paved except last .7 miles

Elevation Change:  375’                                            Hiking Distance(RT):  6.4

Leaders:  Sandy Westbrook 303-257-7179     John Baird 217-257-3768

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74).  Turn right (east) on Carefree Highway (SR74) past I-17 to Cave Creek Road (16.5 miles).  Turn left (north) on Cave Creek Road to Spur Cross Road (2.7 miles).  Turn left (north) on Spur Cross Road.  At the T (Grapevine Road) make a right, then a quick left (north) to continue on Spur Cross Road.  Go approximately 4.3 miles (last .7 miles gravel) to the parking area.  The cost is $3 per person, and you need exact change.  Maricopa County Park passes are also accepted.

 

Hike Description:  This loop hike utilizes a number of trails covering both desert and riparian ecosystems to loop through this scenic conservation area.  This hike starts at the parking area.  Turn left out of the parking area and follow the Spur Cross Road (the way you came) for .25 miles.  To the right of the road, you find the trailhead for the Dragonfly Trail.  The first portion of the Dragonfly Trail is in a riparian area along Cave Creek within the Jewel of the Creek Preserve.  It is very lush along the creek with willows, a mesquite bosque and interesting rock formations.  The trail then climbs to connect with Tortuga Trail before dropping to connect with the Metate Trail.  A mix of saguaros, mountain views, a canopy of mesquite trees, and a running creek (in season) greet you on this hike.

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Day:  Friday, January 7                                                Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Mesquite                                                 Location:  White Tank Regional Park

Assemble at:  Mountain View Rec. Ctr.                    Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  25                                            Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  1040'                                            Hiking Distance(RT):  6.8

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1150'

Leaders:  Dick Hobbs 573-586-9948     Denise Favorite 608-770-4474

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive south on 107th Avenue to Olive Avenue. Turn right onto Olive Avenue and drive west.  Olive Avenue brings you into the White Tank Park.  There is an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle.  Continue north on White Tank Mountain Road to Waterfall Canyon Road.  Turn left.  Continue to Ramada Road.  Turn left and assemble in group picnic area (Ramada #7.)

 

Hike Description:  Mesquite Trail leads through a lovely Sonoran landscape of ironwood, cholla, palo verde and saguaro.  It's a pretty steady climb up Mesquite Canyon and the first 1/2 mile of Willow Springs, but the views are well worth it.  We will lunch at a hanging garden alcove on Willow Spring Trail, and retrace our steps from there.  This is an out-and-back hike.

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Day:  Tuesday, January 11                                         Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Marcus Landslide/Boulder/

Pemberton                                                                   Location:  McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                       Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  62                                          Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  1000’                                          Hiking Distance(RT):  8.5

Leaders:  Joette Conger 630-390-8571     Suzanne Boisclair 603-494-8242

 

Driving Instructions:  Start at the Tom's Thumb Trail Head: Drive east on Bell Road to Loop 101 North, turning left onto Loop 101 North.  Take the 101 North/East about 22 miles to the Scottsdale Road Exit (Exit #34).  Turn left (north) onto Scottsdale Road for 3.8 miles and then turn right onto east Happy Valley Road.  After 6.2 miles continue for .1 miles on N. 118th Street, then turn right onto Ranch Gate Road for 1.3 miles.  Turn right onto N. 128th Street for 1 mile.  At the traffic circle take the 2nd Exit to the trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  It starts at the Tom Thumb trailhead.  We take the Marcus Landslide trail  and do the loop.  Then we turn right on Boulder and take that to Pemberton.  We enter the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and travel down Pemberton till it intersects with Coachwhip to a mountain bikers shelter.  That's a great place for a snack, then we come back out but omit the loop on Marcus Landslide. It's an out-and-back with a loop in the middle.

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Day:  Friday, January 14                                              Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Sears Kay Indian Ruin and Blue

Wash-Camp Creek Falls                                              Location:  Tonto National Forest

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  83                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  300'                                              Hiking Distance(RT):  5 combined

Leaders:  Sandy Westbrook 303-257-7179     Dave Pudim 575-725-4904

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74).  Turn right on Carefree Highway(SR74) and drive 18.1 miles to the “T” at Tom Darlington Road.  Turn left (north) on Tom Darlington for 1.9 miles to Cave Creek Road.  Turn right and proceed east on Cave Creek Road for 9 miles.  Cave Creek Road turns into F.R. 24/Seven Springs Road.  Continue another .2 miles and turn right onto Sears Kay Ruins Road which leaves about a quarter mile to the entrance of the Sears Kay Ruin parking lot.  Following the hike to the Sears Kay Ruin, we return to our cars and retrace our route .3 miles back down the highway to a parking area on the right side of the road.  The trailhead for the Blue Wash/Camp Falls Trail is across the road by the cottonwood trees.

 

Hike Description:  This is a two-part hike with two very interesting destinations just .3 of a mile apart.  First, we visit the Sears Kay Indian Ruins which are the ancient remains of a 40-room Hohokam Indian Compound that stands on a hilltop with commanding views of the North Scottsdale Valley.  Ample signage describes the ruins and life within the compound.  We reach the ruins via a loop trail that is just over a mile long.The second destination is Camp Creek Falls, a box canyon granite grotto with a spring-fed water cascade.  We  reach the falls via the Blue Wash, a narrow mile-long passage through a scenic boulder-strewn wash that requires minor scrambling, and then broadens out for another mile, reaching Camp Creek and finally the falls.  We return the way we came, hiking a total of about 4 miles roundtrip.

 

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Day:  Monday, January 17                                          Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Circumference Full Loop                      Location:  Deem Hills Recreation Area

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  24                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  890’                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  5.8

Leaders:  Dick Hobbs 573-586-9948     Susan Lehman 319-330-1392

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue to Lake Pleasant Parkway, turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway and follow it to Happy Valley Road. Turn right (east) onto Happy Valley Road and drive to 55th Avenue. Turn left (north) onto 55th Avenue. Stay on 55th Avenue (which changes to Deem Hills Parkway) for about 1.3 miles.  The Deem Hills Park entrance is on your right but is unmarked.  Park near the restrooms.

 

Hike Description:  This loop hike has great views of the Sonoran Desert and the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal and almost 900' of cumulative elevation gain.  From the parking lot, take the cement sidewalk just to the right of the restrooms and walk about 100 yards.  On your right is the trailhead for this hike.

 

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Day:  Thursday, January 20                                        Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Twin Peaks                                             Location:  Wickenburg

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  55                                           Road Conditions:  Paved except last 2.5 miles

Elevation Change:  700’                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  6.5

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1000’

Leaders:  Ron Fish 602-677-1712     Kip Johnson 509-670-6891

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74).  Turn left (west) onto SR74 and continue to Castle Hot Springs Road.  Turn right (north) on Castle Hot Springs Road and go 5 miles to the end of paving.  Turn left and assemble at this point.  Following the lead car, cross the bridge over Castle Creek, start up the hill.  Take the first sharp right onto a rudimentary road.  Park here or make a U-turn and park on the road.

 

Hike Description:  Follow a steep road to a wash and turn left into a pretty canyon with a dry fall to climb. Continue up the wash to the main trail. Turn left and arrive at a junction of three trails.  Continue past the entrances to the East trail and the trail to Dana's Arch and take the West trail. This trail climbs to an overlook of a large valley. Proceed into the valley and at the bottom make your way left into a fine sand wash. This wash will head south until the turning back point, which follows a different wash heading mostly north. Eventually a road past a number of mines is followed until dropping into a parallel wash that leads to  Dana's Arch. Passing the arch you will again arrive at the junction and proceed to the East trail. This trail is about .7 miles and leads to a larger arch next to Vulture Mine Rd. Again return to the junction and then back to the TH. These trails are very rocky (mostly loose) and occasionally steep. Hiking sticks are highly recommended.

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Day:  Tuesday, January 25                                          Hike:  B+

Trail Name:  Walking Jim to Cathedral                     Location:  Lake Pleasant

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  50                                           Road Conditions:  All paved

Elevation Change:  1000’                                           Hiking Distance(RT):  8

Leaders:  Lee Johnson 206-932-6132     Mark Scott 541-678-2666

 

Driving Instructions:  Drive north on 99th Avenue.  Turn left on Lake Pleasant Parkway.  Follow Lake Pleasant Parkway to the end at Carefree Highway (SR74).  Turn left (west) onto SR74 and continue to Castle Hot Springs Road. Turn right (north) on Castle Hot Springs Road, the trailhead and parking area are about 5 miles up the road.  There are no restrooms at the trailhead.

 

Hike Description:  There are no restrooms at trailhead.  This is an in and out hike for B hikers.  From the Cottonwood Wash Trailhead, we cross the wash and continue on the Walkin Jim Trail. Wild burros are often spotted in this area across from Lake Pleasant, so keep a close lookout.  After about 2 miles, we will divert off the trail to a rough ATV track for about one mile.  When the trail intersects with a wash , we will then turn left a walk up the wash  for about 1 mile.  Notice the array of colorful rocks that cover the wash floor as we head up the wash to our destination.  As we traverse up the wash, there will be some rock scrambling.  Don't worry - the scrambling is very doable.  Finallly, we will divert from the wash to a side canyon with towering steep walls and a pool of water.  We will eat  lunch at this majestic spot.  From the Cathedral, we will head back following the same route.

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Day:  Friday, January 28                                             Hike:  B

Trail Name:  Pass Mountain Loop                             Location:  Usery Mountain Regional Park

Assemble at:  Bell Rec. Ctr.                                        Leave at:  8:00 AM

Driving Distance(RT):  120                                         Road Conditions:  Paved except park roads

Elevation Change:  730'                                             Hiking Distance(RT):  7.4

Accumulated Elevation Gain:  1020'

Leaders:  Ken Smith 623-518-6555     Beth Smith 765-748-6271

 

Driving Instructions:  Go right (east) on Bell to Loop 101 North, turning left onto 101 North. Take 101 North to Exit #51 for Loop 202 East.  Continue onto Loop 202 East to Exit #24 for McKellips Road E.  At the traffic circle take the 2nd exit onto E. McKellips Road.  Continue on E. McKellips Road for 2 miles then turn left onto N Ellsworth Road/ N Usery  Pass Road.   Continue on N Ellsworth Road/ N. Usery Pass Rd for 2.3 miles, turning right onto E. Usery Park Road and into Usery Mountain Regional Park just past the sign. Once in the park, continue past the Nature Center building to the information/entrance building where you purchase a $7 vehicle pass.  Continue on the road as it curves around to the east.  Go straight through the four-way intersection until reaching Wind Cave Drive on your left.  Turn up the drive and follow it to parking.

 

Hike Description:  This hike is longer and with more elevation gain than the average B hike but we will hike at a B pace.  Most of this hike is in Tonto National Forest.  About 100' past the Wind Cave Trailhead there is signage for Pass Mountain Trail.  Turn left (north) across the desert, meandering in and out of numerous washes.  After a mile or so the trail turns east and begins a gentle climb and views of the Goldfield Mountains improve.  After 1.7 miles the trail turns south and continues to climb gently.  About halfway down the east side of the loop the trail reaches its highest point and crosses through a beautiful pass.  This is a good place to pause for lunch with views of the Salt River and its cliffs, Four Peaks and the Rim.  From the pass, enjoy great views of the Superstitions as the trail descends quickly losing 500' in a mile.  After bottoming out, the trail reaches the edge of the park and turns west skirting the backyards of the park's neighbors.  5.5 miles from the trailhead the trail turns north.  Continue north for another mile past the Pass Mountain Trailhead through the washes until reaching the starting point.

 

End of “B” Hikes

 

 

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