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Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Phoenix Sonoran Preserve trails

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, North

Climbing Ridgeback trail

On Saturday, November 9, 2013,  former Phoenix mayor Skip Rimza and other city officials dedicated the Apache Vista trailhead amid a crowd of eager Valley hikers, bikers and equestrians. With 21 miles of new trails, deciding where to begin exploring this northern extension of Phoenix Sonoran Preserve can be a dilemma. Suggestion---head for the hills. Ridgeback Overlook and Apache Vista are highpoints capping this cluster of Sonoran Desert trails.  A map board at the trailhead shows how to cobble together a route to climb to both hilltops.  The peaks each have short loop trails winding over the cholla-encrusted summits that give excellent 360-degree views of both the trail system layout and iconic Valley landmarks.
Looking south from Sidewinder trail

From the trailhead, hike north on Sidewinder to Apache Vista.  After ascending, hike back down and continue on Sidewinder, connect with Apache Wash, turn left  and hike to Ocotillo.  Turn right, hike Ridgeback Trail to the overlook loop. After ascending, climb back down, backtrack to the Ocotillo/Apache Wash junction and follow Ocotillo back to the trailhead.

LENGTH: 5.50 miles
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 1720' - 2002'
HOURS: 5 a.m. to sunset or 7 p.m., whichever comes first.
FACILITIES: restrooms, shaded seating, horse staging area, map kiosk (no water)
Former Phoenix mayor Skip Rimza dedicates the site

From Loop 101 in north Phoenix, take Cave Creek Road exit 28 and go 4.5 miles north to Sonoran Desert Drive.  Turn left (west) and continue 3.5 miles to the trailhead on the right.
INFO & MAPS: Sonoran Preserve Ranger Office: 602-262-7901

1 comment:

Jarl Kubat said...

Great site! Lots of good information. Arizona has so many beautiful hiking trails. The weather this fall has been great for hiking.