|Salt River viewed from Saguaro (aka Mine) Trail|
Sunday, November 23, 2014
SONORAN DESERT (HAWES) TRAIL SYSTEM
Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District
Originally constructed by mountain bike enthusiasts, this intertwining system of trails overlooking Granite Reef Dam on the Salt River in Mesa is just too interesting for hikers to ignore. In 2005, 10.3 miles of the 20-mile web of social trails were adopted into the Tonto National Forest System. As would be expected of bike trails, these routes offer an entertaining mash up of twists and swooping turns tracing the site’s hills and valleys. The 5-trail maze is also known as the "Hawes System" after the longest route in the mix. As bikers heavily use these trails, hikers should stay alert and share the dirt accordingly. Trail courtesy dictates that bikers yield to hikers and everybody yields to horses---especially the wild mustangs that roam this riverside terrain. However, a bike careening through a hairpin turn at break neck speed won't necessarily be able to avoid you without drawing blood. So, although riders on these trails are generally courteous and careful, be prepared to relinquish the right of way whenever possible---after all, they were here first.
LENGTH: 10.3 miles (maintained trails only)
Hawes Trail #52: 3.4 miles
Ridge Trail #59: 1.7 miles
Granite Trail #54: 0.7 mile
Saguaro Trail #50: 3.1 miles
Saddle Trail #51: 1.4 miles
ELEVATION: 1150’ – 1760’
From Phoenix go east on Loop 202 to exit 23 for Power Road in Mesa. Travel 2.1 miles north on Power Road to the Hawes Trailhead on the left. Trail begins across the road.
INFO & MAPS: Global Bikes
Tonto National Forest