Four Months In – Hiking Roundup

**These hikes took place on O’odham, Akimel O’odham, and Yavapai Apache lands**

It’s time for another round up of new hikes!

After our attempt to hike Piestawa Peak a couple weekends prior we knew that if we wanted to find a parking spot we needed to get there early. 5 am early. So we woke up at 4 am and hit the trailhead in the dark. We didn’t even think about bringing our headlamps and they definitely would have made things a bit easier. We ended up reaching the summit just before the sun crested the horizon. It was a gorgeous view and well worth the early start.

We tried to hike Toms Thumb but due to fires in the area the city had closed the trailhead so we headed to Pinnacle Peak nearby. The trail was crazy busy. That weekend the temperature was closer to 100 than 110 for the first time since we had moved out here. It was a fairly laidback hike, the atmosphere on the trail was really friendly and about every fifth person had a mask. Our favorite part about Pinnacle Peak Park was that they had signs identifying plants for the first quarter of a mile!

Since Toms Thumb had been closed the weekend before due to fires we made sure to check the city’s website before heading out there this time. This trail had us climb 1000′ in about 1.25 miles and the trail designers did not use enough switchbacks for me! That first climb was brutal. And long. Once we crested we immediately dropped about 300′ and then went right back up all it. Fortunately the second climb was gentler and the views from the top of Toms Thumb were absolutely worth all of the climbing.

Looking back on the trail to Sunrise Peak

The weekend before we hiked Sunrise Peak we had been camping up in Prescott so we were looking for something closer to home. Having the McDowell Sonoran Preserve within minutes means it’s our go-to for hiking so we headed to the western end for some views. The trail was an easy out and back with a lot of traffic. We saw a horde of college students, maskless and stayed far away.

Choose your own adventure trail!

For this hike we decided to venture to the eastern suburbs. Sunrise Mountain in Peoria was a friendly, fun, gorgeous hike. The parking lot was full of a high school cross country team but the church’s parking lot had plenty of space! A quick glance at the map on the way to the trailhead told us everything we needed to know; do a loop around the mountain. After cresting the first hill we were met with a trident in the trail. Hmmm, that definitely wasn’t on the map. While we were trying to determine which way we should go a lovely duo asked if this was our first time and let us know that there was an easy route and hard route. The hard route went up every hill while the easy one went around. And afterwards we stopped at the church’s coffeeshop!

Old ”Jeep” Trail

We knew we were going to have a busy weekend of cleaning and assorted errands ahead of my sister visiting so we headed back to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to hike the Lost Dog Wash trail. No mountain top views on this hike but we had a wonderful time trying to name all of the cacti and other vegetation we came across. After hardly seeing anyone for most of our hike we met back up with the main trail and were stunned at how busy it had gotten! Since we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up on a shorter loop than we had planned we wandered through the educational pathway where we were able to remember one of the shrubs we had seen at our breakfast break.

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