Day 302 ~ Pipeline Canyon Trail and Cottonwood Trail Peoria, AZ

January 21st, 2017 ~ Day 302

Heading out to Lake Pleasant to do a Meetup with HHH, which didn’t start until ten am, I decided to hike before the Meetup on a trail I did a few years ago while camping out here at Lake Pleasant. After all the recent rain, it was a surprise to see bright beautiful skies! It was a beautiful day for a hike…or two. ☺

Starting out on the Pipeline Canyon Trail, from the south cove, I was excited to go and explore a trail I could somewhat remeber. Since it has been a few years, I didn’t really remember how beautiful this place was. The dirt so rich and red with the green plants and cacti surrounding me on the trail, so beautiful!

Hiking up high along a ridge, you could see the water from a stream below. So much water was pouring into the lake, from the mountains above and the recent rains.

After only half a mile, I made it to the beautiful blue water. My plan was to go as far as I could in the time I had before my next hike, but to my surprise, the bridge we hiked across last time I was here, was gone. Just disappeared. (I found out later it had been washed away last summer.)

The trail ended at the water and there was no where to go except back from where I came, unless I was going to swim across the lake to get to the trail on the other side. I decided, today that wasn’t going to be an option.

I enjoyed the lake a short while. Looking out across the water and it’s beauty. Since I was unable to go any further, I turned around to head back uphill. It was then I really noticed the green grass against the red dirt. The contrast so stark with the bright and vibrant colors.

Heading uphill, I was able to catch a better view of the stream making its way to the lake. The water a little more murky from this vantage point, reminded me of brackish water leading into the ocean.

I made it back to the trailhead with only a mile under my feet. Crossing over the parking lot to capture a picture of the lake with the sun shining brightly on the water. I was trying to kill time before I headed to the north cove.

Driving from one trail to the next, heading north on the road, I saw snow. Barely visible in this photo, but I could see it. I love the view from my dashboard. Another passion of mine, road trips, to see all that I can see. Looking out through the window of your car, can be like a picture frame, depending on where you are. Exploring new areas and seeing new things can be an amazing experience if you allow it to be.

I made it to the north cove early. Luckily the ranger, Terry, was there and I was given the opportunity to ask all kinds of questions. I learned more about how to become a volunteer for the Maricopa County Parks. Did you know, if you are a volunteer for 20 hours a week, you get to live there for free? I’d love the opportunity to try it and one day I will.

Today’s hike is a guided tour of the park with Naturalist Frank. We began our hike on the Cottonwood Trail. (Notice the sign says Pipeline Canyon Trail? This is where I could have ended my hike, had there been a bridge.)

The clouds began to form and it began to get a little dark. Only pockets of blue skies on the north cove. I pulled out my rain jacket to keep warm also just in case it started to rain. It was a little chilly and I didn’t want to get wet and make it worse.

Frank talked about the plants and stopping often he would described them. He also spoke of what he called “Hell’s Canyon”. Across the road there is an area, about five miles in, with amazing views, rich in history and rarely explored. A great backpacking trip. One that I will be doing, some day.

When Eric and I were in Lake Havasu a couple weeks ago, I saw this thing on the Creosote Bush. I had never seen it before, and when I saw it today I had to ask Frank what it was. He said it was a gall and described how insects and bees implant their larva in the stems. A protective barrier from predators, they feed off the plant until it’s time for them to break their way out of the gall. I found it interesting to learn more about my favorite plant.

I was able to capture the  snow covered peak, the snow I had seen on my drive to the north cove. I learned these were the Bradshaw Mountains up in the Crown King area. While Phoenix receive rain, they received snow.

We came the Cottonwood Creek flowing with amazing force. Rarely does it flow. Usually we find dried creek beds here in Phoenix. A wonderful sight to behold! We hung out here for a little while, enjoying the water.

This is where we decided to end our hike, rather than walking through the river to get to the trail on the other side. We headed back from where we came, making it a two mile hike overall.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to come out here on a nature hike and learn a little bit more about the desert surrounding me. I’ve never given myself the chance to do something like this. A nice relaxing slow paced hike, made fore a beautiful day on the trail.

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Day 279 ~ Sunrise Mountain Loop Peoria, AZ

December 29th, 2016 ~ Day 279

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Sunrise Mountain, located in the west Valley, in the city of Peoria, has over four miles of hiking trails. I arrived at the trail around 7am, parking at the city park. Just as I stepped out of the car I felt the wind. It was so strong and whipping around around me like crazy. 

From the parking lot, I headed through a neighborhood trail to get to the actual trailhead of the mountain. It’s an easy quarter mile level path made of sand.

Once at the trailhead, I began a gradual uphill climb, with little elevation. This trail is like a Rollercoaster with all its ups and downs. 

I haven’t been on this trail in over a month, not since we did the Four Peak Challenge. I love this mountain in that there are so many trails you can take and see the beautiful scenery surrounding you in different directions. There are four summits and at each peak they give you an option of easy or difficult. I skipped the first peak and went around the base of the mountain. I’ve been up there once and decided that day, that was all I needed. 

At the base of the second peak I decided I would take the difficult trail uphill. Knowing I was short on time, I wanted a harder hike with less milage. The easier path was longer and I wanted to make it to the top to see the views. 

The wind was blowing stronger than ever as I climbed higher. Have you ever seen a cactus sway in the wind? I hadn’t until today. This monstrous cactus was swaying so much so, I thought it may topple over. I didn’t stay next to it for very long. 

The views surrounding me at the summit were so amazing. Another reason why I love this mountain, you can see for miles. The best part is that most of the view, farther away, is still untouched by humans with so many mountains in the distance. 

I decided once at the second peak, I wouldn’t have time for the third or fourth, so I turned around and headed back the way I came. I was in a hurry to get to work, so I pushed harder back to the trailhead. Getting in a 2.4 mile hike today was a great start to my day. Love this life!

 
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Day 245~ Cottonwood Trail to Pipeline Canyon Trail to Yavapai Point Trail Peoria, AZ

November 25th, 2016 ~ Day 245

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 Opting for the outdoors on Black Friday, skipping the lines at the stores, it’s a beautiful life we live! Sabrina lead our group on a Trail Mix hike through some beautiful mountains out at Lake Pleasant. 

I have never been on these trails before and I’m always up for new places to hike. I would take hiking over shopping any day, unless maybe it’s shopping at a hiking store, and with that I am usually doing both. ☺

We parked along Castle Hot Springs Road and began our hike along the Cottonwood Trail. Hiking through valleys with sandy rocky washes. I got to hike with Becky, who I haven’t seen, in what feels like forever!

After about a mile we came to the Pipeline Canyon Trail where we caught our first peak at the water, what a beautiful sight! The water was glowing from the sunshine bouncing off of it. Living in the desert, seeing water is rare, and I always get a sense of joy in the beauty that water beholds. The views all around us were spectacular!

There was a sign showing no horses, Sabrina asked us if we could figure out why. I never figured it out, but she explained that the cacti on the trail are so close a horse could never fit through there. Looking at all the beautiful desert scenery, I can only imagine coming out here to explore more. There is so much I want to see in this life, if only I had the time. 

From the Pipeline Canyon Trail we came to the Yavapai Point Trail. This began our uphill climb. Every step up was worth it to see the beauty of the lake surrounding us. We stopped at the top of the peak to enjoy the views, have a snack and snap our group photo. I didn’t want to leave. I enjoy being outdoors so much!

Capturing more stunning views of Lake Pleasant. I’m not only am I opting outside today. This hike is part of the 100 miles in 100 days challenge and Lake Pleasant is one of the ten Maricopa County Parks I can hike. So coming out here more often in the next couple months to explore is a must. 

From the Yavapai Point, we headed back the way we came. We hiked a total of 5.2 miles. It was a beautiful day out on the trails, exploring new territory, and beating the lines at the stores. Love this life!

Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!

Day 107~Sunrise Mountain Loop Peoria, AZ

July 10th, 2016 ~ Day 107

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Eric picked me up this morning and we headed to the mountain. I’ve been to Sunrise Mountain with Lori before. This was one of our weekend hikes. Today was Eric’s first time.

We started a little earlier than yesterday, but it was still hot out. We took the less difficult side up and around the mountain, thinking there would be shade on our way back. When we came around to the crossroads, we decided to go the direction of what looked like it would take us back. Instead it looked like the trail went on for awhile and there wold be no shade. So we turned around and headed back on the difficult trail.

It wasn’t too bad, we just had to do a little more climbing. The trails here were nice. A little gravely, but not too rocky. We ended up with just under three miles. A great way to start the day!

Day 10 ~ Thunderbird Mountain x 2 Glendale, AZ and Lake Pleasant Peoria, AZ

April 4th, 2016 ~ Day 10

Thunderbird Mountain

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I hiked the same mountain twice today. The first hike of the day was in the early morning hike, where I got to see a beautiful sunrise and I ran into my friend Charles, who was my inspiration to challenge myself to 365 days of hiking. Today Charles happens to be on day 220 of his own personal hiking goal.

I originally met Charles on the trail on his day 200. I don’t know where his fitness motivation came from, but Charles has lost over 100 pounds by hiking every day and with that, he has inspired me. While I was hiking the Move Across Two Ranges just ten days ago, I thought of him on my hike and I thought, if he can do it so can I. So here I am on day 10 the beginning of my 365-day journey.

I parked at the lot on 59th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, to hike the Arrowhead Loop. A 2.3-mile hike with 520 foot elevation gain. It was a beautiful morning for a hike.

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Lake Pleasant

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Today was also the day I went with my son to Lake Pleasant for his class field trip. We did a short quarter mile nature hike in the desert. Stunning views of Lake Pleasant greeted us along our path.

Thunderbird Mountain

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My second hike of the day was an early evening hike with my friend James. Doing the exact same trail I had done this morning, except we went the opposite way. I was trying to mix it up a little.

We enjoyed a nice relaxing hike, as we were talking and catching up on life. It’s nice when I get the opportunity to hike with friends and not have my hikes be all about fitness. I’m constantly trying to beat my time and go as fast as possible. I need to remember to enjoy my time in the outdoors, and when I’m hiking with friends I find even more enjoyable.

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