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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A hike among picnic tables and dance floors

South Mountain Park, Phoenix

What to do?  It was Christmas morning and I found myself without a hiking partner---they were all sleeping in, wrestling wrapping paper or prepping for guests. Given that I was not about to waste a day off by not going for a hike, I decided to take a traipse on a heavily used trail located in a very busy part of South Mountain Park (SoMo).  That way, if I became incapacitated, someone would see me---or the brand new fluorescent green shirt from Wal-Mart that Santa brought me.  The southernmost edge of suburban Phoenix dead-ends at the park boundary, and T-Bone Trail flanks a subdivision for most of its 1-mile length.  It then connects with Max Delta Trail, which weaves among picnic ramadas, outdoor dance floors and paved roads.  In terms of scenic quality when compared to other SoMo routes, this trail is more gristle than T-bone, but for a quick solo hike or leg stretch while picnicking, it makes for a satisfying journey.
entrance to a dance floor

The start of the T-Bone trail is not signed.  It’s located at the far east side of the parking lot at the break in the curb next to a no parking sign. From here, hike 1 mile east on T-Bone Trail to the Max Delta junction.  Turn right (south--toward the road) and go 0.25 mile to the Crosscut Trail junction.  Turn left and follow Crosscut 0.5 mile to Ma-Ha-Tauk Trail, turn right and hike 1 mile back to the trailhead.

LENGTH: 2.75-mile loop
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION:  1300' - 1770'
PARK HOURS: 5 a.m. - 7 a.m.
FACILITIES: restrooms at the big picnic ramada
INFO:  City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation, 602-262-7393
Form Phoenix, travel south on 7th Ave to Baseline.  Turn right (west) and continue on Baseline to 19th Ave. Turn left (south) and follow 19th Ave to the end where there's a small parking lot and trailhead sign.  The hike begins at the east end of the parking area (not at the Ma-Ha-Tauk sign) where a dip in the curb provides access. There's no "T-Bone" sign here, but you'll begin to see them in about 0.2 mile. MORE PHOTOS:

1 comment:

Brenda's Arizona said...

I have not "met" this trail. Thanks for the introduction. Am anxious to find it and walk it.