A couple of weeks ago, my son-in-law and myself headed out to the desert early in the morning for an extensive hike up some surrounding hills. I’m not sure what the elevation gain was, but we certainly had a great panorama of the surrounding valley floor. The trails are well-marked and well-groomed. What we initially thought was that we would go out an hour and then back an hour. The day was going to get into the high 90’s so we didn’t want to be out too long. At the hour mark, we saw an abandoned mine that was fenced off on top of another hill from us. Of course being guys, we just had to hike over to that hill to see it. So, that little venture was another 30 minutes. Fascinating to us, but I couldn’t get any pictures that made sense to share as the location was surrounded by a chain link fence. We could see on the side of the hill tailings from the mine and a steel gate entry. On the top where we hiked it was a huge hole that opened clear down to the bottom of the mine…yes we threw rocks to see how long before they hit the bottom. Such a guy thing 🙂 So, an hour and a half out, an hour and a half back.
What we did see along the way was the Saguaro Cactus was blooming. It looks so weird to see the buds pop out almost overnight and then bloom.
I have attached shots from our three hours…
Desert Hike 1
Half way up the hill, you can see some the lower end of our trail in the background….
Desert Hike 2
More buds and blooms…
Desert Hike 3
Near the top…
Desert Hike 4
…and at the top. You can see the Sierra Estella Mountain Range in the background. We are facing east and behind the Estrella’s is the city of Phoenix. We are located at the extreme western edge of the metropolitan area (half way to California as the people from the eastern area of Phoenix refer to it).
Desert Hike: The Top
It was very windy on this particular day, thus the haze in the air from desert sand and dust.
So, three hours in the desert on marked trails…no snakes, an abandoned mine, blooming saguaro and we made it back mid-morning before the heat got too intense…all in all a good hike!! I’m continually surprise on how much there is in the desert to see. Not the lifeless place I had always thought!
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