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Tag: McDowell Mountain Park (page 30 of 35)

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike started at the Trailhead Staging Area.  Fifteen of us, counting Bob’s dog, Sarge, hiked the Scenic Trail.  When we got back, Bob, Sarge, Linda, Janet, and I continued our hike out in the direction of the old ranch homestead.

A view from the Scenic Trail – we saw a lot of brittlebush flowers while hiking the Scenic Trail today.

Robin hikes ahead of me up the short hill to the top of the ridge.  (It’s only about 200 feet of elevation gain.)

Continuing on up the hill…

Looking to the northeast as we ascend the hill:

Looking back down the hill after I reached the “top”.  (It’s not really the top, but it feels like it.)

Group photo by the bench:

This is my favorite photo of the bunch.  We were midway along the ridgeline when I took this photo.

Descending one of the hills on the Scenic Trail:

Hedgehog blossoms:

A small hill capped with a layer of rock near the Pemberton Ranch homestead:

Brittlebush flowers:

Desert Chicory:

Desert Marigold:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla; the bluish purple flowers are lupines:

Weaver’s Needle

I took this photo in early March during a bike ride with Marilyn.  It was taken from near the Pemberton where there’s a gate restricting access to the service road leading to the Long Loop which is one of the competitive tracks.  I stood near the fence so that neither the fence nor the gate would appear in the photo.  Weaver’s Needle is in the center of the photo far off in the distance.

More Flowers on the Pemberton

Marilyn, Nick, and I saw these flowers while we were riding down the new section of the Pemberton prior to the intersection with Lariat.

Poppies in the Desert

I took this photo while riding the Pemberton Trail earlier today:

Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike took us out to the Dixie Mine (on the Dixie Mine Trail).  We went on to look at the petroglyphs and then hiked further up the canyon past the waterfall to the Prospector Trail.  We hiked the short section of Prospector that took us back to the road and then hiked down the road back to the Dixie Mine Trail.  Total distance was six miles exactly.

Recent rain has made the desert very green:

Group photo – there were too many new faces for me to remember everyone’s name.

Jill and George:

A rocky section along the Dixie Mine Trail:

Petroglyphs; these are a short way past the mine.

George, taking photos of the petroglyphs:

Another view of the petroglyphs:

A view from further up the canyon.

This is one of a number of holes dug into the canyon walls.  I think prospectors started digging at these sites to see if they could find anything of value.

Richard, standing at a plateau in the waterfall area.  Several of our party decided to turn around at this point.  The six of us who went on found the waterfall to be slippery.

A view from the very top of the waterfall:

Janet, beside a moss and lichen covered rock:

Another view from the wash / canyon.  Richard found a trail that lead us up out of the wash for a short ways, presenting some views that I hadn’t seen before.

Three views from the Dixie Mine Trail as we headed back.  Snow can be seen in the mountains in the distance.


Sport / Tech Loops

Marilyn and I rode a couple of laps at the competitive tracks of McDowell Mountain park in the late afternoon.

Marilyn on the Tech Loop:

A view from the Tech Loop:

Marilyn on the Sport Loop:

A view near the “Clay Pit” area on the Sport Loop:

Friday Fitness Hike

Friday’s hike this week started at the Trailhead Staging Area.  A few of us met early to show Jim Burns, a bird photographer, the approximate location where we had seen the long-eared owl in early January.

We hiked out Pemberton towards Tonto Tank in the dark.   The sky became colorful somewhat before sunrise.

We hiked a bit further and saw the sunrise:

This is where we stopped to let Jim continue on his own to look for the owl:

Jim, with his camera and tripod.  He has a 600mm f/4 lens on his Canon camera.  He says it weighs around 20lbs.

On the way back to the Trailhead Staging Area, we saw this raven on a saguaro:

Nancy, Linda, and I joined several others for a hike on the Scenic Trail.  From left to right are Richard, Larry, George, Jill, Bill, Linda, and Nancy.  Amy had started the hike with us but went back for some other hikers who showed up late.

Linda, Nancy, and I split off to explore the trail between the Scenic Trail and the Horse Staging area.  The rest of the group continued on the Scenic Trail.  Below is a photo of them hiking up the first hill encountered when hiking the Scenic Trail in a counterclockwise direction:

Nancy and Linda:

A skull, which we think once belonged to a Javelina:

A view from the Pemberton.  Parts of the scenic trail snake along the high ridge line in the foreground.  In the far distance, the Flat Iron in the Superstitions can be seen.

When we got back to the parking area, we were just shy of twelve miles.  I walked over to and part way up the Hilltop Trail and then back to my truck to put me at twelve miles exactly.  Below is a view of Red Mountain from the Hilltop Trail.

Friday Fitness Hike

Today’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead.  Fourteen of us hiked out Wagner to the Granite and then to the Delsie Trail.  At Delsie, we split up; Amy’s group finished up by hiking up to Bluff and then back on Granite to Wagner.

Nancy, Janet, Linda, Bob, Sarge, and I hiked up Delsie to the Granite Tank on Pemberton. From there, we hiked the new Pemberton re-route to Lariat which we took back to Granite where we retraced our steps back to our cars.  Total distance was 9.75 miles.

Recent rain has made the trails very green.  We even noticed a bit of green in the McDowells.


Linda, Janet, and Nancy on the Delsie Trail:

Bob and Sarge:

A view of the McDowells and saguaros in the foreground midway up the Delsie Trail.  Tom’s Thumb can be seen a third of the way from the right hand side of the photo.  The Thumbnail Pinnacle can be seen at the far left of the photo.

This photo was taken near the Granite Tank.  The Tank is not visible in this photo, but is off to the left.  The road to the left used to be the Pemberton Trail.  Pemberton has been rerouted to the right.

The new Pemberton reroute has lots of twists and turns and is very scenic.  The desert vegetation is very dense in places and, much to our surprise, we saw large boulders along the way.

A closer view of one of the large boulders in the above photo.

I found a way to climb to the top of that boulder.  Linda took this photo of me on the top:

Janet standing next to a somewhat smaller boulder a little ways further down the trail:

A healthy saguaro.  I think this was still on the Pemberton Trail.

A view from the Lariat Trail as we were headed back:

Friday Fitness Hike

This week’s hike was at the North Trail.  Linda, Janet, Nancy, and I hiked the North Trail to the Chuparosa and then out on Pemberton for a ways before returning.  Amy lead Richard, Lynn, and Deb on a hike of the North Trail.

I forgot to check the aperture of my camera; when I got home I noticed that I had it set at f/1.8 for the wide angle focal length.  For the shots where I zoomed in a bit, the aperture was somewhat smaller, but still not small enough to get a decent depth of field.  As a consequence, this week’s photos are not as sharp as usual.

I thought it cool that I was able to get the moon in this photo:

I think the shallow depth of field in this photo helps to isolate the two saguaros in the foregound.  This one ended up being f/3.2 at 1/2000 sec, ISO 125.

We saw these two equestrians riding in on the 150th Street access trail as we were headed back on the Pemberton:

Friday Fitness Hike

Last Friday’s hike started at the Dixie Mine Trailhead at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd.  We hiked out Dixie Mine until we came to the Sonoran Trail.  We hiked Sonoran until it ended at the Promenade Trail.  We took the Promenade Trail a short ways further and then took the Western Loop Trail up to the overlook at the top of the hill.  After a short break, we continued on the Western Loop Trail, which lead us back to the Promenade.  On the way down, we noticed another trail, the Overlook Trail, that none of us had hiked yet.  It wasn’t very far away, so we hiked it too.  We returned via the Promenade, Sonoran, and Dixie Mine trails.

Seven of us hiked on Friday, John, Amy, Lynn, Janet, Bill, Bob, and myself.  (I’m not in the picture this week…)  Bob, Janet and I hiked over eleven miles.  Amy turned around to hike back with John and Lynn at the three mile point.  Bill hiked out to the start of the Western Loop Trail with us and then continued on a ways on the Promenade Trail before turning around.

A view of Four Peaks from the Sonoran Trail:


Bob and Janet at the overlook accessible from the Western Loop Trail.  (This is different from the Overlook Trail which we hiked later.)

A view of some of the McDowells from the Western Loop Trail Overlook:

We saw many more saguaros and other cacti as we descended the Western Loop Trail on the other side of the hill.

Part way down the Western Loop Trail, at the Adero Canyon Overlook, is a bench upon which to rest.  None of us needed rest, I guess, because none of us sat down on it.

I saw this boulder a short ways further down the trail.  Four Peaks in the the background:

We saw this rock outcropping on the Western Loop Trail, somewhat before it rejoined the Promenade Trail.

We proceeded on to the Overlook Trail and stopped briefly to climb a rock pile. I took this photo of Janet from the top.  (It wasn’t a very big rock pile.)

We saw yet another rock pile as we hiked the Overlook Trail.  It’s a very scenic trail, but you have to have to hike perhaps four and a half miles from where we started to get to it.  I would guess that it’s closer to the other access point that the town has planned.  (I’ve never started from that access point, so I don’t know for certain.)

A view of (and from) the Promenade Trail.  It’s actually an old jeep road which can be seen on the hillside from many places in Fountain HIlls.  (I used to run on part of this road many, many years ago.)

Bob and Janet hike up the section of the Sonoran trail with the longest, most sustained, amount of vertical ascent on the way back.  (There are longer uphill sections on the way out.)

Saguaros along the Sonoran Trail:

A view of Fountain Hills from the Sonoran Trail:



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