Hidden Valley Trail Monday, Nov 21 2011 

Fat Man's Pass

Fat Man's Pass

On Saturday we headed to 24th Street, our closest South Mountain Trailhead, where we ascended 1,000 feet on the Mormon Trail.  From the National Trail we traversed the Hidden Valley Trail which includes a couple of natural tunnels and the challenging Fat Man’s Pass.  The National Trail is very popular for mountain bikers.  We were surprised by how many hikers were out with their dogs.  We are lucky to have such great hiking so near.

Cholla Trail Sunday, Nov 13 2011 

Cholla Trail

Cholla Trail

The Cholla Trail is a 1.75 mile trek to the summit of Camelback Mountain.  The trailhead is at 1,500 feet and climbs to the 2,704 summit via the east side of this iconic Phoenix mountain.  There are great views of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the Phoenician Resort along the way culminating with the 360 degree panorama of Phoenix and its surrounding suburbs.  This rugged trail requires traversing some steep, rocky sections near the top and scrambling over boulders along the ridge crest.  Although included in Steawrt M. Green’s Best Easy Day Hikes Phoenix, I found this hike quite challenging.  Camelback will now hold a new respect whenever I see it back-dropped against the Phoenix landscape.