First, a little history about Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve: Back in the 1990s the city and citizens of Scottsdale, AZ set about to acquire over 30,000 acres of the adjacent Sonoran desert and McDowell Mountains. They even approved two small tax increases over the years for land acquisition and improvements such as hiking trails and trailhead parking areas. There are now six trailheads and over 100 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, free for anyone to use. How nice of Scottsdale to preserve this magnificent landscape.
Yesterday our friend Jane met us at the Granite Mountain trail, about halfway between the campground at McDowell Mt Park and her house in Cave Creek. We hiked just under 7 miles in this beautiful desert and only saw a few other people.
Jane and Jim doing a little route planning.
We saw some interesting looking saguaros.
The beginning of a crested saguaro?
We could barely see the clump on top of the rocks, so Jim took a closer look with the zoom.
Looked a bit like palm trees from a distance.
This one appeared to be a very recent fall right across the trail, probably due to the rain we had a few days ago.
We took a side trail to Balanced Rock. Luckily it didn’t fall on us.
What an enjoyable hike, and not strenuous or rocky so we could actually look around while hiking without worrying about our footing. It would be a great trail to bike on, too.
We were hungry after our hike and stopped for a very good veggie pizza at Brugo’s. Then Jane invited us to stop by to and see their house and meet some friends and neighbors who also own a Lazy Daze, so we did. We could actually see living in a community like that one day but who knows. We really do like this part of Arizona and if Jim needs to be close to the Mayo Clinic it might just be a place we could live in at least part of the year. Always thinking of the future but can’t quite grasp settling down yet. Just hope we don’t have to anytime soon.