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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hike with me on Saturday May 25, 2013

O'Leary Peak on the horizon

Hi Hikers,  As one of 60 hikers selected from across the USA to participate in the 60th anniversary celebration of the first ascent of Mt. Everest, the folks at Post cereals have provided me with FREE SAMPLES of  Grape-Nuts Fit to give out during a commemorative climb up Flagstaff's O'Leary Peak.  Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay ate Grape-Nuts on their historic 1953 trek.  Look for me (or my volunteer sherpas) and claim your goodie.  Hikers who make it to the summit have the option of appearing in photos (or not) with the official summit flag which I'll post here after the event. Hope to see you on the mountain!  Mare

DATE:  Saturday, May 25, 2013. NO RSVP---just show up and start hiking. 
TIME:  we'll be on the mountain from approx. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
LENGTH:  10 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION: 6956' - 8916' 
RATING: moderate-difficult (you are responsible for your own gear and safety, this is not a sponsored hike)

From Phoenix, go north on I17 to the I40 interchange in Flagstaff.  Head east (go right) on I40 to exit 201 for US89 north.  Go roughly 10 miles north on US89 and turn right at the sign for Sunset Crater National Park (FR545).  Follow this road 1.5 miles and turn left at FR545A for O'Leary Campground.  Continue 0.3 mile to a free parking apron at the summit road gate.  Do not park in the campground---unless, of course, you plan to camp there and pay the fee.
ABOUT O'LEARY PEAK:!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ!!/?ss=110304&ttype=recarea&recid=55146&actid=24&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&navid=110000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=FSE_003741&pname=Flagstaff+RD+-+O'leary+Peak+Trail

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meet hike book author Bruce Grubbs tonight

Author and outdoor enthusiast Bruce Grubbs will be speaking and also signing his new book tonight at the Arizona Hiking Shack.  The Creaky Knees Guide features 80 easy Arizona hikes selected for seniors, boomers and families with young kids.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013 7 p.m.
3244 E. Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Inside the canyon

Another in my series of  “who knew” hikes, this one hides behind Flagstaff’s Museum of Northern Arizona.  After shrugging it off for years, I finally made the detour this weekend and was pleasantly surprised.  Instead of the dull “edutainment” trail I was expecting, this one is free of signs and packed with interest.  The trail begins on the rim of a 50-foot-deep, sheer walled canyon, then descends via a set of stone stairs into a beautiful riparian corridor cluttered with arroyo willows, brambles and Rocky Mountain irises.  Winding among enormous volcanic boulders and Ponderosa pines, the route cuts a figure-eight path with a couple of fun detours.  First, look for another stone staircase that leads up to the canyon’s west rim, here, you’ll follow a rambling, leaf-littered path to an aspen-ringed cove and the stony harbor of an intermittent spring.  Also, on the east rim near the museum, a simple path paralleling US180 leads to a wooden observation deck with a pond and green swale fed by the trickling waters of Flagstaff’s only “river”.
Rio de Flag

LENGTH:  0.6-mile loop
RATING:  easy (rocky, uneven surface)
ELEVATION: 7048’ – 7120’

From Phoenix, go north on I17 to Flagstaff.  Continue through town and connect with US180 (Fort Valley Road).  Go roughly 3 miles north on US180 to past milepost 218 and turn left into the parking lot for the Museum of Northern Arizona.  Trail begins near the museum entrance.