Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Alta Bajada Loop

Grayhawk Hiking Club
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Endorsed by Curators:
Feb 10 8:30AM - 1:00PM

7:30 am: Start time from the carpool location
8:30 am: Start time from the Trailhead

Description: This is a strenuous 9-mile hike. The trail is narrow and rocky, and there are long stretches of steep drop-offs on the right side. The hike down is not easy, with rocks and big steps in places. The views of the 17,000-acre South Mountain Park and the nearby Estrella Mountains are fabulous. There also are excellent views of Phoenix, north and west.

From the parking area, it is 0.6 miles to the Alta trailhead. The first 1.4 miles of the Alta trail are a fairly strenuous climb of 800 to the ridgeline. This part of the trail is in fairly good shape. At the ridgeline, we have wonderful views of the parks mountains and its primary valley, as well as the Estrella Mountains just to the west. For the next 1.4 miles, we hike along the ridgeline or a bit below it with views mostly to the north and west. The trail here is narrow and rocky with steep drop-offs on the right side, but not uncomfortable unless you have serious height issues. We gain and lose 400 of elevation on this part of the trail.

Now we start steeply down. We will lose 1100 of elevation over the next 1.5 miles. The trail down is slow going, narrow with drop-offs and peppered with rocky sections and steps that require care. Finally, we reach the San Juan Lookout and the last of the Alta trail. We have a pretty easy 1.5 mile stretch on the National trail before we join the Bajada trail. From here we have a long and tiring 2.8 miles uphill to the parking area. We gain 500 over the final 3 miles, some as we climb up and down through washes.

Rating: Strenuous
Trail type: Narrow, often rocky, steep drop-offs
Estimated hiking time: 4+ hours
Total distance: 9.2 miles
Elevation: 1750 elevation gain (1300 lowest, highest 2400)

What to bring: Plenty of water and/or sports drink, snacks or lunch, clothing suitable for the weather. A pole is recommended for the steep downhill. There is no fee for entering the park.

Carpool location: Frys patio at the southeast corner of Hayden and Thompson Peak in Scottsdale. We meet in the parking lot north of Frys. We leave at 7:30 am sharp. It is a 45-60 minute drive to the trailhead. Plan on a $4 contribution to the driver.

Directions to the trailhead: The park is at the very south end of Central Ave. My map program suggests the fastest route is AZ-101 to AZ-51 to I-17 N, exiting at 7th St, south to Baseline and west to Central and south. Another option is 101 to 60 to I-10 East and a quick exit to Baseline to Central and south.

At the south end of Central, enter the park and follow the main road until it starts to sweep left. At that point, you will see a gate ahead (west). You can park in the large area between the streets. In the unlikely event that the gate is open, you can proceed 0.6 miles to the Alta trailhead and make it an 8-mile hike.

How to find us:Follow the directions to the carpool location or to the trailhead

Upcoming Events

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Endorsed by Curators:
Hike to the Dixie Mine and back.

Hike to the Dixie Mine and back.

Feb 03 8:10AM - 11:00AM
What we'll doDetails 7:30 AM Leave from Car Pool location; Frys at Thompson Peak and Hayden 8:10 AM Hike start time from the Dixie Mine Trailhead, 14597 E Golden Eagle Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268…
 
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Endorsed by Curators:
Bell Pass/Windgate Loop

Bell Pass/Windgate Loop

Feb 12 9:00AM - 1:00PM
9 am Hike start time. This 9.8 mile hike starts from the Gateway Access Trailhead and will take you over the McDowell Mts and back, resulting in an accumulated elevation gain of approximately 2200'…
 
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Endorsed by Curators:
Wasson Peak, Saguaro Natl Park (West), Tucson Mountain District

Wasson Peak, Saguaro Natl Park (West), Tucson Mountain District

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