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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rain check hike

South Mountain Park, Phoenix 
If it hadn't rained this weekend, this was to have been my hike....

This sweet little traipse up a desert gully, has been entertaining Phoenicians since the 1920s.  The Kiwanis Trail #62 is an easy way to hike high enough in the hills to get excellent views of the Valley without breaking a sweat. Of all the trails in South Mountain Park, this is perhaps the best groomed— there’s little loose rock underfoot and even the shrubs and trees are trimmed. Stone steps and strategically placed railroad ties make the ascent effortless. In addition to the view, the trail features a healthy population of ironwood trees, which explode with pink pea-like blooms in spring. Also, keep an eye out for petroglyphs. Some are pecked into the cliffs while others embellish stones that flank the trail. The trail tops out at Summit Road where you can pick up the National Trail or hike another quarter-mile uphill to visit the Telegraph Pass lookout. LENGTH: 2.2 miles roundtrip RATING: easy ELEVATION: 1,570' – 2,070'  BEST SEASONS: October - April
DOGS: must be on leash
KID FRIENDLY?: yes   GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, go south on Central Ave. all the way to the end to where it enters the park south of Dobbins Road. Pass the guard gate and continue straight on the main road (San Juan Road) through a second gate at the old stone park administration building---where there are restrooms. At the 4-way intersection just past the admin site, turn left and follow the signs to the Kiwanis trailhead/picnic area. INFO: City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation:

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