Two Months In – Hiking Roundup

Since we’ve moved out here, almost a month and a half ago, we’ve hiked every weekend. Most of these hikes have been about 2 hours or less than 5 miles. It gets hot quick! Usually we wake up at 5 to head to a trailhead and by 6 it’s 95+ degrees. Once the sun hits us consistently it’s a short time until things aren’t as enjoyable. We’ve had a couple of notable hikes that could have their own posts but for the most part I don’t think each weekend could make interesting reading by itself. So here’s a glimpse at the things we’ve been up to.

Lookout Mountain was our first hike in Arizona. My mother bought us “Best Hikes in Phoenix” from Falcon Guides and it was one of the metro area ones listed. It was a good first hike with a decent amount of elevation gain and some good views of the city.

We wanted to check out the Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park was between us and the lake. There was an accessible trail that ran through the center with mountain biking trails snaking through the entire park. While we were hiking around one of the giant rock formations we saw beehives in some of the crevices in the rock!

We had planned on hiking up Piestawa Peak in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve but the parking lot was completely full when we got there so we went to the north side of the park to explore. The view from the top of one of the trails was wonderful. The people that we passed on this trail were all very friendly and about 1/4 to 1/3 of them had (and wore) masks for passing others. We’ve been using our Buffs to cover our noses and mouths when we have to pass others on the trail and it’s always nice to see other people taking precautions as well.

The weekend we hiked at the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve we saw 11 hot air balloons and a rusted out car in one of the ditches in the Preserve! There were several trails that we wanted to hike but we went with the Dixie Mountain Loop trail and climbed up to a lookout west of Dixie Mountain. The lighting was fantastic so we paused a lot to take pictures. We got to put our first aid kit to use when Kirk got a segment from a Teddy Bear Cholla (aka Jumping Cholla) stuck on his hand.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a short drive from us and was perfect for a “weekend off” hike. There are a bunch of trails through the Preserve that connect the Sonoran Preserve to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We opted for a 4 mile loop trail called Gateway loop. It was a very friendly trail and we look forward to exploring more of the Preserve when the weather cools off!

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