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Tag: McDowell Mountain Park (page 1 of 46)

Saturday Afternoon Hike

Marilyn and I hiked 7.5 miles on Saturday afternoon.  We hiked a similar route to that from two weeks earlier, when I had last visited the park. I’ve been trying to pick routes where we won’t see that many people.

MMRP’s hours have changed so that the park closes at 6:00 PM.  Signs at the entrance indicate that the gates are closing at that time.  In theory, it’s still possible to get out after 6:00 PM, but I’ve not yet put that theory to the test.  I’ve been careful to limit the length of my hikes so that I finish before closing.

Poppies in Pemberton / Stoneman Wash:

One of many dead trees in the wash:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla:

This tree is the landmark that I look for as I near the point where the Long Loop crosses the wash. We saw three cyclists on the Long Loop as we approached.

I think this might be miniature woolystar/woolstar.  Probably the most I’ve ever seen in one place.

Globemallow:

Lupine – we saw big patches of it as we hike along the Pemberton Trail.

Owl clover; we saw a lot of this flower too, but it seems to be drying out now.

A view from near the former ranch homestead (along the Pemberton):

I think this is either Slender Goldenweed or Spiny Goldenweed, but I don’t know which.

Fairy Duster; we were both very surprised to see this so late in the season.

I think this might be a kingsnake. I took several photos from the side and them moved around to take photos from the front. As I did so, it backed away into the nearby brush.

Marilyn spotted this Lizard on the Technical Loop:

Friday Hike – MMRP Washes

Marilyn and I hiked through many washes in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We also hike a short section of the Pemberton Trail.

Poppies:

Lupine:

Chia:

Brittlebush:

More brittlebush:

Saguaros:

Chuparosa:

Globemallow:

New growth on a buckhorn cholla:

Owl clover:

Owl clover and brittlebush:

Pemberton Pond (which is more of a tank or watering hole):

Looking across the Pemberton Trail after visiting the pond:

Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron, which are both in the Superstition Wilderness, in the distance:

Interesting erosion along one of the washes:

Hedgehog blossom – the first one I’ve seen this year:

Sunday Hike – Wagner-Granite-Bluff Loop

Marilyn and I hiked 5.5 miles in MMRP on Sunday. Flowers are blooming here, especially the owl clover.

Fiddleneck:

I don’t know what these are.

Globemallow:

Owl clover:

We saw many large patches of owl clover along the Granite Trail.

Brittlebush; it’s blooming now, but not as much as I expected.

Lupine:

There’s a small patch of brittlebush in this photo of Red Mountain.

More brittlebush in the foreground. Our destination was the boulders near the bottom of the photo.

Brittlebush and chuparosa here…

Poppies along the Bluff Trail. Up until that point, we hadn’t seen many poppies on our hike.

Friday Fitness Hike

Mike, Marilyn, Diane, and Gayle joined me for a 7.5 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead.

Views from Bluff Wash…

Looking toward the McDowells from the Pemberton Trail:

A very healthy saguaro along the Bluff Trail:

Looking toward the Superstitions from the Bluff Trail:

Some of the first poppies of the season…

Friday Fitness Hike

Tom, Cathy, Marilyn, Nora, Ben, and Marilyn joined me for a hike starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. After visiting Tom’s Thumb, we hiked over to the intersection with the East End Trail, where Dan and Cathy returned via Tom’s Thumb Trail. The rest of us made a loop, going down East End, then returning via Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, and Marcus Landslide. We hiked 10.6 miles with over 2100 feet of elevation gain.

Marilyn and Ben hike up the trail to the ridge on which Tom’s Thumb is situated. Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain can be seen in the distance.

Nora, Marilyn, Cathy, Ben, and Tom in front of Tom’s Thumb:

A view from the East End Trail:

Approaching the Windmill Trail:

A view of Four Peaks from the Windmill Trail:

Fairy Duster along the Coachwhip Trail:

Marilyn, Nora, Marilyn, and Ben along the Pemberton Trail:

Looking toward the Granite Ballroom and the Sven Towers from the Boulder Trail:

A very large boulder alongside the Marcus Landslide Trail:

Looking toward the Thumbnail Pinnacle from the Marcus Landslide Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Ben, Marilyn, Gayle, Laura, Mike, and Marilyn joined me for a hike of nearly 12 miles.  We hiked the South Ridge and the South Wash, returning via Dixie Mine and Pemberton.

Two views of Red Mountain…

The (Fountain Hills) fountain can be seen in this photo!

Looking over the South Wash towards Four Peaks:

This is the other direction, now looking toward the McDowells:

We’re in the wash now, albeit a narrow and shallower part:

Looking towards Four Peaks from the Dixie Mine Trail (near Pemberton). That’s a chain fruit cholla in the foreground.

Another view of Four Peaks, this time from the Pemberton Trail. A bunch of trail runners and mountain bikers had just passed us. You can still see a few of them in this photo.

Friday Fitness Hike

Laura, Mike, Nora, Heather, Gayle, Bob, Ben, and Marilyn joined me for a nearly eleven mile hike in the McDowells. We visited the Dixie Mine and then continued onto Prospector, making a loop additionally comprised of the Bell Pass, Windmill, and Coachwhip trails.

Looking toward the McDowells from early in the hike:

Affectionate saguaros:

Dixie Mine adit:

Petroglyphs:

More petroglyphs:

Hiking up the waterfall:

A cool slab along the way up-canyon:

Laura, Mike, Nora, Heather, Gayle, Bob, Ben, and Marilyn:

Looking towards Fountain Hills and the Superstitions from the Prospector Trail overlook:

Continuing on the Prospector Trail…

Looking towards Four Peaks from the Bell Pass Trail:

Brittlebush blossoms along the Windmill Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Roseanne, Dennis, Barb, Nick, Mike, Bob, Linda, Marilyn, Ben, Gayle, and Marilyn joined me for a hike of the Scenic Trail. After hiking the Scenic Trail, Roseanne, Dennis, Bob, Nick, and Marilyn took the short way back to the trailhead while the rest of us hiked Lousley Wash and then Lousley Hill, eventually returning via Escondido and Shallmo Wash. Total hike distance for some of us was 13 miles!

Looking toward the McDowells from the ridge along the Scenic Trail:

This is the group at the top of the hill along the Scenic Trail.

Looking toward Four Peaks from the Scenic Trail:

A view from Lousley Wash:

Looking toward Red Mountain from the top of Lousley Hill:

A Chuparosa bloom in Lousley Wash:

A view from the Escondido Trail:

I don’t know the name of this flower, but we saw several of them along the Shallmo Wash Trail as we neared Pemberton.

Friday Fitness Hike

Marilyn, Mike, Sara, Jerry, and Julie joined me for a ten mile hike in the Tom’s Thumb area.  Marilyn hiked out Marcus Landslide, then took Pemberton and Coachwhip to Windmill.  There, she waited for the rest of us to meet up with her after hiking past Tom’s Thumb and down East End.

A view of Troon Mountain from early in the hike:

This small pinnacle is encountered while hiking the access trail leading to the ridge on which Tom’s Thumb is situated.

Looking down at Pinnacle Peak and Troon:

A view of Tom’s Thumb from the ridge:

Looking toward Phoenix:

Mike, Sara, Julie, and Jerry in front of Tom’s Thumb:

Heading down the East End Trail…

Jerry, Julie, and Mike descending one of many switchbacks on the East End Trail:

Mike spotted this chain fruit cholla with fasciation, or cresting:

Marilyn and Sara on the Boulder Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Ben, Marilyn, Mike, Jerry, Julie, and Marilyn joined me for a hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead.  It was another “wash day” in which we spent much of the hike in washes.

This is a view of Red Mountain from Stoneman Wash. It doesn’t look especially red in this photo.

Another view of Red Mountain, this time from the Long Loop in the Competitive Track area.

Looking towards the McDowells as we hiked to the Pemberton Trail.

This is the entrance to one of the arroyos that we visited.

This wash has high vertical walls.

Julie, Mike, Jerry, and Marilyn.  (Ben and my wife took a shorter way back.)

The wash narrows at this point, but the walls are not as steep or as high.

We saw this raven atop a saguaro as we headed down the Tonto Tank Trail.

While hiking (again) through Stoneman Wash, we saw this Phainopepla.

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