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Saturday, August 1, 2009

PIMA CANYON WASH

PIMA CANYON WASH TRAIL South Mountain Park Finding the road-less-traveled in South Mountain Park is easy; just follow the chuckwallas. Quieter than the multi-use trail above it, the soft sand of Pima Wash feels good under boots and local wildlife finds solitude in its scrub and rocky embankments. Middens spilling from petroglyph-encrusted crevasses in the canyon walls betray favorite hangouts of desert critters. In places, the pungent, camphor-pine aroma of rare, elephant trees perfumes the breeze. At the National Trail junction, return the way you came or, continue to the head of the canyon where, a dry waterfall, caves and native bird songs enhance a lizard’s-eye view of downtown Phoenix. LENGTH: 3.5-miles round-trip RATING: Easy ELEVATION GAIN: 300 feet FEE: beginning in "early fall" 2010 there's a $2 daily parking fee. For more info, visit: http://phoenix.gov/PRL/passupdate.html GETTING THERE: Exit I-10 at Elliott Road. Turn towards Phoenix onto Elliott and go to 48th Street. Go right on 48th Street and take the 3rd left turn after the Piedmont light, which is the continuation of 48th Street. The Pima Canyon entrance is the first drive on the left. Beyond the parking lot, hike the dirt road for .2 mile, then, veer left down the ravine into the wash. Follow the sand and trail signs. TRAILHEAD ADDRESS: 9904 S. 48th St. (48th St. & Guadalupe Rd.): From Phoenix, take I-10 to the Elliot Road exit. Turn west and go less than a mile to 48th Street, turn right (north) on 48th and continue to Guadalupe Rd., veer left through a very confusing intersection and then turn left again onto Pima Canyon Rd. and follow the signs to the park. Expect to get lost your first time here. The roads are weird. Here’s the best map I’ve found: http://www.mapquest.com/#bc17cce21d340f3e07af837d

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