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Friday, March 7, 2014

Crack down on illegal parking and stopping at Camelback Mountain trailhead

Camelback Mountain, Phoenix
Hike South Mountain trails instead

Just like the old adage ---"stuff expands or contracts to fill the space allocated for it"---the newly upgraded Echo Canyon trailhead parking lot at Camelback Mountain is once again bursting at the seams. Even with double the parking, traffic congestion continues to be a problem.  The extra spots fill up quickly and hikers have been ignoring posted regulations and illegally stopping and/or parking along McDonald Drive to wait for an open space. Well, according to a press release issued today, the party is over, folks. You can now expect to be towed and/or ticketed because the City of Phoenix in conjunction with the Town of Paradise Valley is stepping up enforcement effective immediately. Remember, if the parking lot is full, you must leave the area and return later---no idling or parking along the street. Additional suggestions to avoid traffic backups are available on the Echo Canyon/Camelback Mountain webpage at:
As a side note, I avoid this trail.  It's too crowded, has zero wilderness appeal and adds to my stress levels. Nope---city trails in the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve and South Mountain Park deliver a much nicer hiking experience. 

Monday, March 3, 2014


City of Globe

Bull's Eye Loop Trail

In Arizona, where the sun shines almost every day, we really love our public recreational lands.  Nearly every town with a population over 50 has developed its own trail system. Even places like Globe--which boasts close access to Tonto National Forest and the Arizona Trail--have invested in the Grand Canyon State's obsession with the great outdoors.  The 6.7-mile,  six trail system of Round Mountain Park offers pleasant, family-friendly alternatives to the more remote and difficult (think: Sixshooter Canyon and Picketpost Mountain) routes in the "Copper
Pinal Mountains viewed from the Boulder Canyon Trail
Corridor" mining district. Originally designed by the University of Arizona Landscape Architecture program in the 1990s, the 386-acre site has been continually upgraded and expanded by the city, local businesses and volunteers. The well-signed trails wander among boulder-strewn canyons, shallow caves and fascinating geology including a curious hole in a wall of stone known as Bull's Eye Rock. An elaborate seating area at the park's highest point provides 360-degree vistas of the Pinal Mountains and the area's ore pits.
A full complement of amenities including restrooms, water, shaded picnic spots and benches placed at scenic stops along the trails make for a relaxing day of hiking.    
Bull's Eye Rock

LENGTH: 6.7 miles total
RATING: easy - moderate
ELEVATION: 3560' - 4201'

Mountain views on the West Trail

From the US60/AZ188 junction in Globe, continue 4.8 miles on US60 to South Street (Round Mountain Park Road).  Turn left and go 0.5 mile to the park. South Street is easy to miss--it's near the Quality Inn/Express Stop about a quarter mile before the US70 junction.