Places: Desert Vista Trail, Phoenix Arizona

Phoenix is blessed to have many place to hike.  I have a new favorite locally the Desert Vista Trail.

Desert Vista Trail Phoenix Arizona Hiking

Just north of the city, it offers a nice variety of mountain trials…

and a desert trails with something to look at.

You may even get to see a Coyote.

And somebody circa the 80’s must of had some explaining to do…

 

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Summer Hikes in the Desert

Yep, it’s hot.  Really hot sometimes. So what’s a guy to do when he wants to hike in the summer?  He gets up at 4:30 in the morning and sets out.  

What started out as a personal goal to take 7 sunrise hikes in 7 days has now surpassed 20.  It wasn’t for any particular reason – mostly to break up the summer doldrums.  In the desert, we look forward to summer ending.  And my “for any particular reason” feeling has been well worth it.  The desert is a beautiful place:

I will say that it is starting to feel like somewhat of an addiction and I have done a couple of days of “sidewalk” hiking.  But in Arizona, even in the neighborhood, you never know what you will see.

Like a tarantula crossing for school:

Or a rattlesnake at “guarding” the trail sunrise:

And apart from feeling better,  it is a great time to be out getting some amazing early morning views:

Happy Trails and No Guardrails!

Places:  Lake Pleasant, Arizona  

Ok, so I went to Lake Pleasant and didn’t take any pictures of the lake. But I wasn’t there for the water.  I was there for the sunset.

Lake Pleasant Sunsets-59

And got to see my first couple of wild burros (you have to look close – they didn’t want me anywhere near):

They’ve been pretty elusive for me. Here is the “bigfoot” version (can’t even see the zipper of the suit):

Places: Bryce Canyon Rim Trail

After spending the day before hiking to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona,  my wife and I traveled to Bryce Canyon (we spent the night in Page, Arizona) for our next “Adventure”.

Being from Phoenix, we wanted to take advantage of another day where the temps were not going to be 110 F+ (this is always a good thing)!

Unfortunately, we only had a limited amount of time, so we spent what we could on the Rim Trail, though I was able to sneak a few minutes going into it – if only to wet my appetite for a return trip.

It was well worth it, but a problem was a nearby wildfire continued to fill the canyon with smoke.  It was something you noticed breathing (and the altitude) after a time.

And we pass the source it on the way out.

Smokey Bryce Canyon Wildfire

As always, I had to be “me”!

Places:  Devil’s Bridge in Sedona.

Had a fantasric hike in Sedona, Arizona yesterday with my wife.

Hiking Desert Trail Sedona Arizona

I will say that this moderate+ trail was well worth the effort (and the beat – it soared to 104F).  You do have areas where a little “mountain goat” is needed, so plan accordingly.  As always, you can never bring enough water.  This is a popular trail and it always amazes me to see folks with one little water bottle.  There was actually a 911 call for a lost man who wandered off after feeling ill.  Altitude and heat are a dangerous combination!

But for the trail itself – fantastic!

Photos speak for themselves 

Hiking Sedona Arizona Devil's Bridge Rusty Ward

Hiking Sedona Arizona Devil's Bridge Rusty Ward

Hiking Sedona Arizona Devil's Bridge Rusty Ward

Hiking Sedona Arizona Devil's Bridge Rusty Ward Old Man

And don’t forget the payoff (this is why you are here):

Hiking Sedona Arizona Devil's Bridge Rusty Ward
“Old Man on the Devil’s Bridge”

Places: Courthouse Butte Trail in Sedona

I was able to have a beautiful little hike with my daughter this weekend.  We had never been on the Courthouse Butte Trail, and I have to say it it may have instantly become one of my new “favorites” (I have a lot of “favorites” – no shortage in Arizona!).

I easily took a few dozen photos that were instant “keepers”.  You almost cannot take a bad photo in Sedona – and even they still don’t do it justice!

For me this is the perfect “short” hike.  Roughly 5 miles, it takes you, ironically, completely around the Courthouse Butte with great views of Bell Rock and the surrounding area.  A bonus this time was that the century plants were starting to bloom.

Well worth it, and it might be one the “must” trails to take our visitors when the come to town.  Make sure to get there early as the parking will fill up.  And don’t forget the water – it is still the desert!  Most folks head right to Bell Rock, but save that until the end.  Until the next trail…..

Places: Return to Horseshoe Bend

Darn you Arizona!  There is so much to see, but you leave us little options but to visit all of your fantastic landmarks multiple times to get a more complete experience.  And what a wonderful problem to have.

A recent trip through Page, Arizona was carefully planned to take in a couple of places at a different time of day (and season) then the last time I was there.  Along with Lower Antelope Canyon, one I had to see again was Horseshoe Bend.  This time at Sunset.

Horseshoe Bend Sunset. Hiking Arizona. Page

Sunset provided a much different experience than the early morning of last summer.

Horseshoe Bend. Hiking Arizona Old Man Hiking

But do not forget that the “wall” that provides the viewing plateau is very underrated and quite impressive on its own.

Horseshoe Bend. Hiking in Arizona. Page. Colorado RiverHorseshoe Bend. Hiking in Arizona. Page. Colorado River

You’ll notice that the 1000 ft. drop to the bottom offers “no guardrails” and many folks often put them themselves precariously close to the edge.

Horseshoe Bend is not the only view of the Colorado River.  Take a quick stop just outside of town for a scenic view of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River.

Other Places to consider:

Monument Valley

Lower Antelope Canyon