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Saturday, February 5, 2011


JAVELINA-RIDGELINE-BEVERLY CANYON LOOP South Mountain Park, Phoenix Seriously, this desert route had been rotting on my “C” to-do list for years---mainly because of the ugly trailhead. So I put off hiking it until this past week. Now, I wish I hadn’t been so quick to judge. The trailhead is indeed, an eyesore--plopped in the middle of a noisy industrial park. From this vantage point, the trail appears to have few redeeming qualities. None-the-less, I prepped my camera and hit the dirt. The first half-mile had me thinking this trek was closer to a “D”-lister. After that though, things began to improve. Once out of earshot of the annoying “air products” (what ever the heck that is) factory, the hike takes on a calmer tone. Nicely maintained, the Javelina Trail makes a gentle climb through classic South Mountain desert terrain. Ironwood and Palo verde trees clutter bajadas and ravines flanking the path. Abundant brittlebush shrubs and strawberry hedgehog cactuses will undoubtedly put on a colorful flower show in spring. I was surprised to see a coyote, red tail hawk, ground squirrel, woodpeckers galore and a gaggle of quail. The Ridgeline Trail junction marks the beginning of the best part of the hike. This short rollercoaster-type trail rides a knife-edge ridge bisecting Javelina and Beverly Canyons for some breezy exposure and views that stretch from Camelback Mountain to the Four Peaks. The final segment on the lower part of Beverly Canyon Trail follows a path beneath power lines and isn’t anything to write home about--unless you like viewing vandalized petroglyphs (grrrrr). Suffice to say, this loop has been moved to my “been there, done that” list with a respectable B- rating. I will go back for wildflower season. HIKE DIRECTIONS: Begin on the Javelina Trail at the west side of the parking area. Follow Javelina 1.7 miles to the Ridgeline Trail junction. Veer left (east) and continue on Ridgeline 0.9 mile to the Beverly Canyon Trail junction. Go left (northeast) and hike 1.3 miles back to the trailhead. LENGTH: 3.9-mile loop RATING: easy (with a few steep sections) ELEVATION: 1,230 – 1,750 feet BEST SEASONS: October-April THE RULES: trailhead closes at 7 p.m.. Dogs must be on leash and there are free poop bags at the trailhead. GETTING THERE: From central Phoenix, go east on I10 to the 40th Street exit. Go south on 40th Street to Baseline Road and go east (left) to 46th Street. Turn right at the 46th Street light and continue roughly 0.5 mile through an industrial park to the end of the road and the signed Beverly Canyon trailhead. There’s plenty of parking, but no facilities.
  INFO: City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Javelin-Ridgeline-Beverly Canyon Loop, wow what a name! Considering you didn't even really want to hike this mountain it looks like it turned out to be a little better than you thought. I would probably put this on my "C" list as well. Looking at your pictures, though very well done photography, I probably wouldn't put this hike on my "most beautiful sceneries" list. It looks like you had an alright time on the canyon, but would you recommend anyone else to hike the trail? If so, I might check it out!

Paige Gruner