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Friday, March 8, 2013

Barrier-free wildflower trails

South Mountain Park
Judith Tunell Challenge Trail, March 7, 2013

Recently re-paved and groomed these two trails make getting out into the desert easy for everyone.  Two connected loop routes offer choices for those with mobility concerns or families with little kids.  The Accessible Loop is 100% paved, flat and outfitted with benches, shade ramadas and interpretive signage giving insight to the local flora, fauna and human history.  The Challenge Loop, although also paved, features a slightly steeper grade leading to a scenic rest point overlooking downtown Phoenix.  Both loops are perfect choices for viewing spring wildflowers. Right now, brilliant Mexican Gold Poppies are spilling over the bajadas while vivid purple lupine and scorpionweed vie for attention among saguaros and hedgehog cactuses.  Today’s rain will surely amplify the colorful show, which usually runs wild through April.
Scorpionweed & Gordon's Bladderpod

LENGTH:  1 mile (two 0.5-mile loops)
RATING: easy, barrier-free
ELEVATION:  1370’ - 1440
From Phoenix, travel south on Central Ave., which will dead end at the park entry gate.  Pass through the gate, take the first left and continue 0.1 mile to the Environmental Education Center.  Trail begins behind the center.

City of Phoenix, South Mountain Park


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