Marilyn and I did a short loop at McDowell Mountain Park on Wednesday evening. It was somewhat humid, but only in the mid-nineties.
This is a view from the Shallmo Wash Trail:
I hiked 10.3 miles on Friday starting from the parking lot for the Dixie Mine Trail at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd. I hiked Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, service road, and then back on Dixie Mine.
It rained off and on, though never hard – often times, it was just some light sprinkles. The rain plus the cloud cover kept the temperature down in the low to mid eighties.
Ocotillos on the Dixie Mine Trail:
Past the spur which leads to the mine – which I did not do – the Dixie Mine Trail goes up a hill. This is a view from the top of that hill.
A view from the Coachwhip Trail:
At this point, I’m still within the boundaries of McDowell Mountain Park, at the intersection of Windmill & Coachwhip.
A view from the Windmill Trail. The windmill is out of frame to the left. (You can see a little bit of the nearby cottonwood tree at the edge at the far left.)
I’m in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve now. Notice the difference in signage between the Park and the Preserve. There’s no getting lost with these signs!
A view from the Bell Pass Trail. The mountain with the antenna towers is Thompson Peak.
This is a barrel cactus blossom:
Marilyn and I hiked the Scenic Trail on Sunday. Temperatures were in the mid-eighties with roughly fifty percent humidity. Marilyn saw a shiny snake as she hiked. I saw a small flowering cactus, which is, I think, kind of unusual for this time of year.
Early in the hike on the Scenic Trail. I didn’t realize that the sun was in frame – if I had, I would have taken measures to eliminate the lens flare.
A view of the crested-arm saguaro with the McDowells in the background:
Another view from the Scenic Trail: Red Mountain is visible from most places where the trail follows the ridge.
A view from the Shallmo Wash Trail:
Heather, Dave, and I hike a little over four miles in the Tom’s Thumb Area on Friday. We hiked up Mesquite Canyon, past Hog Heaven, past the Thumbnail Pinnacle, and then made our way over to the East End (summit), which is the highest point in the McDowells. After that, we hiked down to the Tom’s Thumb Trail and returned to the parking area.
Making our way up to the pass at the top of Mesquite Canyon:
This is an easy section on the way to Hog Heaven:
We saw this turkey vulture along the way:
The prominent rock formation somewhat belong the ridgeline and about a third of the way over from the right hand edge of the photo is Hog Heaven. Above that and to the right is the Thumbnail Pinnacle. This strange looking pinnacle can be seen from Fountain Hills.
Thumbnail Pinnacle, up close:
From this vantage point, above the Thumbnail Pinnacle, it no longer has a hooked shape, but instead looks more like a spire. Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron can be seen in the distance. The large bright area in front of (and slightly to the right) of Weaver’s Needle looks like it might be a lake, but is actually a quarry. The Fountain Lake can be seen in this photo – it’s right of the quarry.
The East End (summit) can be seen at the far right in this photo. Below and to the left is a radio repeater.
This is a view from the East End summit. We hiked along that rocky ridge to get to this point.
Bob and I hiked seven miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked: Tortoise, Pemberton, Stoneman Wash, (left on) Bluff, Granite, and Wagner.
It was a warm morning: temperatures at the start of the hike were in the high eighties; when we finished it was in the high nineties. The humidity was a bit higher too.
A view from the Tortoise Trail shortly after starting out:
Starting from the Trailhead Staging Area, I hiked a six mile loop: Pemberton, Scenic, Cinch, Escondido, Shallmo Wash, and Pemberton. The temperature was in the mid to upper eighties when I started and the low nineties when I finished. I’m definitely not quite acclimated to these conditions yet – I was happy that I kept the hike short today.
Early morning on the Pemberton Trail:
A view of Four Peaks from the Scenic Trail:
I saw this lichen covered rock on the Scenic Trail:
A view from the Shallmo Wash Trail: