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Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 4 of 27)

Friday Fitness Hike

Nora, Mike, and I hiked 8.3 miles starting from the Horse Staging Area.

Sunrise at the Horse Staging Area:


Buckwheat in front of buckhorn cholla:


San Filipe Dogweed:

Buckhorn cholla:

A view from the Pemberton Trail:

Arizona Blister Beetle:

Mike and Nora:

A view of Four Peaks from the Tonto Tank Trail:

A view of Red Mountain from the Shallmo Wash Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Mike and I hiked 8.5 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. The desert is drying out, but there is still an abundance of flowers.

We started early – just before sunrise. I got this shot from the Wagner Trail prior to the start of the hike.



Sunrise on the Tortoise Trail:

I think this is Goldeneye:

At around the time that I photographed this bunny, I learned that the soles of my new shoes (Xero Prio) were not impervious to thorns.

This might be Sweetbush:

Saguaros in Stoneman Wash:


Palo Verde:

We saw this very green plant in Stoneman Wash – Mike told me what he thought it was, but I’ve now forgotten:

Wolfberry (or maybe Hackberry) mixed in with some other plants:


Lupine and Poppies:

We saw this plant on the Granite Trail, right next to the lupine and poppies. We didn’t know what it was at the time, but Mike has since identified it as a Fiddleneck.

Desert Pincushion:

This is the wash below the Bluff Trail:


Miniature Woollystar:

Hedgehog cactus:

Hedgehog blossom surrounded by other plants:

Banana Yucca:

Friday Fitness Hike

Nora, Bob, and I hiked a loop of about 5 miles in the Tom’s Thumb area. Following mostly climber’s access trails, we visited Hog Heaven, the Thumbnail Pinnacle, the East End (which is the highest point in the McDowells), and Tom’s Thumb.

We’ve climbed out of Mesquite Canyon at this point and can see one of our intermediate destinations, Hog Heaven and the Thumbnail Pinnacle ahead.

Weaver’s Needle, the Flatiron, and Red Mountain are far off in the distance.

Nora pauses on a large boulder on our way to Hog Heaven.

We’re very close to Hog Heaven now. It’s up and to the left (out of the frame).

Nora and Bob make their way up past Hog Heaven, now on the way to the Thumbnail Pinnacle.

We tried to hike on solid rock, avoiding the loose gravel, for better footing. There are more cairns on this trail now, making it easier to stay off of the really loose stuff.

This is the Thumbnail Pinnacle from the bottom.

Nora and Bob pose in front of the Thumbnail Pinnacle.

This is the view looking towards Scottsdale.

Looking southwest, we can see Thompson Peak. The East End Trail is also visible in this photo.

Nora and Bob taking in the views. Notice that the Fountain is up and that the Thumbnail Pinnacle looks very different from this vantage point.

Another view towards the southwest as we hike the ridge line over to the East End (summit).

Nora, at the summit. Note that Tom’s Thumb can be seen in the background.

A view of Tom’s Thumb, Gardener’s Wall below it, and Pinnacle Peak at the far right.

Tom’s Thumb.

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Bill, Mike, Bob, and I hiked a little over seven miles starting from the Horse Staging Area. It was a cool morning, but winter rain has brought us some early flowers!

A view from the parking lot (Horse Staging Area):


A view from the Technical Loop:

Mexican Poppy:

Thompson Peak and the McDowells:

A view of Four Peaks:

A young saguaro with its nurse plant:

Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron can be seen in the distance:

A view from the service road connecting the Long Loop (which is one of the competitive tracks) with the Pemberton.


A view from the Pemberton Trail:



Friday Fitness Hike

Kathy, Jerry, Mike, Nancy, Bill, Heather, Bob, and I did a 10.2 mile hike on Friday.  We hiked Dixie Mine to Sonoran and then did a loop on the Western Loop Trail.  On the way back, Bill showed us the trail that he and his crew have been building.  Tentatively called the Lower Sonoran Trail, it uses some of the lower portions of the slope below the current Sonoran Trail, running from the Promenade Trail to Sonoran Trail at the boundary between the park and the preserve.  Bill told me that the current Sonoran Trail between those two points is 1.8 miles in length; the new section of trail is 2.1 miles long. In most instances, I prefer hiking a loop instead of a pure out-and-back, so having a new and scenic option in the area is much appreciated.

Mike (far left), Bob, Jerry, Nancy, and Heather on the Sonoran Trail:

Ocotillos on the Sonoran Trail:

Nancy and Kathy hiking up the Western Loop Trail:

A view from just below the overlook:

Heather at the top of the overlook just off the Western Loop Trail:

Mike (above left), Nancy, Bill, and Heather descending the Western Loop Trail:

Nancy, Bill, and Heather:

The new section of trail has lots of ocotillos too!

Bill on the new section of trail:

Heather and Nancy taking a break…


Friday Fitness Hike

Nancy, Linda, Mike, Bob, Jody, Heather, and I hiked a loop of 11 miles starting from the Trailhead Staging Area.  It was “Wash Day”; we hiked Shallmo Wash – the wash, not the trail – and a good portion of Stoneman Wash (along with a few other non-wash trails to get us to and from these washes).

This was the sunrise, taken from the Horse Staging Area.  I got to the park early and stopped there first, before driving to the Trailhead Staging Area.

Shallmo Wash…

A view from the beginning of the Long Loop.

A phainopepla on a large (and very dead) tree branch:

Nancy, Linda, Mike, Bob, Jody, Heather, and Kevin:

Another dead tree:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Bill, Nancy, and I hiked 13.5 miles in the Tom’s Thumb Area.  We hiked these trails (in order): Tom’s Thumb, East End, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, Thompson Peak service road, Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, Feldspar, and Tom’s Thumb.

The day was cool and windy.  We saw a thin layer of ice on some of the puddles on our drive to the trailhead.

A view of Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Dead Tree near the East End Trail:

A rock outcropping near the East End Trail:

Bill, Bob, and Nancy hiking down the East End Trail:

A view from the Bell Pass Trail:

Many saguaros on a hillside above the Prospector Trail:

Another view from the Propsector Trail:

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail:

When hiking down the Coachwhip Trail from the Dixie Mine Trail, a substantial wash is encountered just before the trail heads up again. (At the top of the hill is the intersection with the Windmill Trail.)  This giant saguaro used to tower above all of the other vegetation in the wash.  It appears that the recent rain softened the soil holding the saguaro in place.  I would guess that strong winds caused it to topple.

A view from the Coachwhip Trail as we approached the intersection with the Windmill Trail:

Another view from the Coachwhip Trail as we made our way towards the Pemberton Trail:

A view from the Pemberton Trail of snow capped mountains in the Mazatzal Wilderness:

A view of the Granite Ballroom (which is a climbing area) from the Boulder Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Mike, Nick, Nancy, and I hiked a little over 13 miles starting from the Horse Staging Area.  We hiked the Long Loop to the South Wash, then went northwest up the South Wash until we got to the Dixie Mine Trail. We hiked back via Dixie Mine, Pemberton, Stoneman Wash, and the Technical Loop.

A small hawk – we think – on an ocotillo as we walked over to the Competitive Track parking lot.

A hole in the rock near the “Thread the Needle” portion of the Long Loop. Despite having passed this point numerous times, I’d never noticed this hole before.

A tree overhanging our route up the South Wash…

Nick pointed out the remains of a tree on a bank of the wash:

Another view of the South Wash; some of the banks are very high!

A very textured portion of the wash…

Another section with steep banks…

An interesting rock…

Nick, Mike, Bob, and Nancy on the Pemberton Trail:

Desert Mistletoe berries:

A storm over the McDowells – we hiked through light rain during perhaps the last third of our hike.

An ocotillo blosssom:

Friday Fitness Hike

Eight of us, Bill, Bill, Heather, Janet, Bob, Linda, Nancy, and I hiked a loop of somewhat over twelve miles.  We hiked: Tortoise, Pemberton, Tonto Tank, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, Rock Knob, Pemberton, Bluff Wash, Granite, Wagner.

Dead tree on the Tortoise Trail:20170113-_DSC2276-Edit-medium

View of Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron from the Pemberton Trail:


A small wash which feeds into Stoneman Wash, near where Pemberton descends into the wash:

Hiking up the Tonto Tank Trail…


Heather, Bill, Linda, Nancy, Bob, Janet, Bill, and Kevin in front of the McDowells:


I think this is Turpentine Bush:


A view from the Boulder Trail:


A large boulder on the Marcus Landslide Trail:


Sven Slab:


Chain fruit cholla in the foreground; Rock Knob behind them and to the left; Four Peaks in the distance:


Another view from the Rock Knob Trail:


Approaching the park boundary on the Rock Knob Trail:


Back in McDowell Mountain Park now; another view from the Rock Knob Trail:


Hiking down Bluff Wash:




Friday Fitness Hike

Mike, Bob, Bill, Janet, Nancy, Linda, Heather, Heather, and I hiked nearly eleven miles starting from the parking lot for the Dixie Mine Trail.  We hiked: Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, service road, Dixie Mine. Near the end of Prospector, Bill, Linda, the two Heathers, and I split off and hiked the canyon which led back to the petroglyphs and the mine.

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail:


Some of the ocotillos are blooming!

Four Peaks, wreathed in clouds:


A view from the Coachwhip Trail:


A view from the Windmill Trail. The cottonwood tree near the windmill can be seen in the center of the photo.


We visited the area of the windmill on this hike…



Kevin, Bob, Heather, Heather, Linda, Mike, Janet, Nancy, and Bill:


Another view from the Windmill Trail:

A view of Thompson Peak from the Bell Pass Trail:


Another view from the Bell Pass Trail:


Mike, hiking up the Bell Pass Trail:


This is the view from the scenic viewpoint on the Prospector Trail:


Many saguaros:

A deep water-filled pothole.  For once, there were no bees here!  (It was a cool day though.)20170106-_dsc2207-edit-medium

Heather S:


Heather J:


This is the view as we neared the mine:


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