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Saturday, February 6, 2010

DOG HIKE AT USERY MOUNTAIN PARK

There's always something fun going on at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa. To learn about programs such as bird hikes, yoga classes, kid hikes and nighttime critter hunts, log on to: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery/ and check out the calendar of events.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SUNRISE PEAK

SUNRISE PEAK McDowell Sonoran Preserve Among the cloud bumping mountain peaks that hover above the suburbs and shopping centers of North Scottsdale sits an impressive, pyramid-shaped pinnacle with a well-defined trail leading to its summit. A hike up Sunrise Peak offers commanding views, a respectable workout and a pleasing mountain experience without having to venture beyond the din of civilization. Nice signage at the trailhead shows the route: follow the Ringtail Trail for a half-mile then, go right onto the Sunrise Trail and follow the signs to a steep, rocky spur path off the main route for a short climb up to the top. This final haul rewards with 360-degree vistas that transcend the urban landscape below to showcase the rugged ridgelines of the Sierra Estrella mountain range to the west and the high peaks of the Mazatzal Wilderness to the north. LENGTH: 5.5 miles round trip RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 1,786-3,069 feet GETTING THERE: From the Loop 101 in North Scottsdale, take exit 41 for Shea Blvd., turn right and continue to 124th St. Go left (north) on 124th St. to Via Linda, turn right (east) and continue to 128th St., turn left (north) and follow 128th St. all the way to the end and park at the Ringtail (128th St.) Trailhead. HIKE DIRECTIONS: from the trailhead, follow the Ringtail Trail for .48 miles to the Sunrise Trail. Turn right and continue uphill to the peak. INFORMATION: call 480-312-7013 or visit scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/documents/preserve/Preserve+Trail+Map.pdf