South Mountain Park

Phoenix 2014 078

October 27, 2014 – At the conclusion of my quick work trip to Phoenix, I got a great hike in.  Each time I go to Phoenix, I try to visit one of the classic hiking spots.  On previous visits, I hiked up both Camelback Mountain and Piestewa (Squaw) Peak.  This time, I went to the south and visited the largest city p[ark in the world – the 16,000 acre South Mountain Park/Preserve.

It gets dark early in October out in Phoenix so I only had a couple hours to hike before dark (and the sign that said the parking lot gate closed near dark as well).  I intended to hike the Mormon loop and part of the National Trail, but missed my turnoff for the Mormon Loop and hiked a good ways on the National Trail, before turning back and eventually hiking back part of the way on the Pima Wash.

It was a nice hike, with nice views of the valley and its cities.  I probably hiked about 6 miles in all.  It was pretty gentle hiking compared to other options in town, but that was probably about what I needed this day.  I had expected to see a lot more people and was surprised at how few I saw.  I can say I was impressed with the terrain the bikers were tackling.  A bit more true to the term mountain biking.  The parking lot was empty when I got there and I took the main trail out, but a minor trail back.  Thus I was really surprised to find the parking lot totally packed when I got back.  I guess I managed a hike with solitude in a crowded park!

A great way to end the trip and get me ready to sleep on the red eye home!

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