Phoenix posts, page 2 of 3.

Along the Bell - Windgate Loop

The long stretch of Scottsdale mountains

Chris and I met Kirsty at a small dirt parking lot off of Bell Road in Scottsdale. It wasn't terribly early, maybe thirty minutes before the sunrise, and the morning light was just starting to lighten the cloudy sky. There was a decent chance of rain today which worried all of us. There are few…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 31, 2015
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Gateway Loop on McDowell

Gateway Mountain and trail

Noah and I pulled into the well maintained parking lot a bit frazzled. It had been a long drive to get here, longer than he was used to, and the little guy was rearing to get out. We were north of Scottsdale and almost a full hour away from our house. I hoped it would be worth the drive. Today was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 8, 2015
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Hidden Valley via Pima Canyon

Rosy predawn light over the trailhead

Pink-tinted daylight spread over the low desert hills in the predawn. It was early, though not pre-dawn early, when Noah and I got out of the car and stepped into cool air. I wore shorts and a t-shirt - he wore pants, jacket, mittens and hat. I'd be carrying my son some six miles today and would…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 3, 2015
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Superstition Peak

Superstition Peak cloaked in darkness

A few weeks had passed since Chris and I hiked the length of the Superstition Ridge. That had been a big milestone for both of us, a long all-day hike that introduced us to some of wild lands that the Arizona desert could offer. Something bugged me about it, though. We had previously climbed North…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 10, 2015
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Browns Peak of Four Peaks

Roosevelt Lake in the dim light

Chris and I had already completed two iconic Phoenix hikes: Camelback and Superstition Ridge. It's weird to put those two in the same class, with Camelback a single 1200' climb and the ridge around 5000' of continuous up and down. Anyways, the third iconic hike beckoned to us far to the northeast,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 6, 2015
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Along the Superstition Ridgeline

Night lights bright over Phoenix

Bleary-eyed we stumbled along the rocky path to Siphon Draw. Chris and I had agreed to an early start for this hike thinking that we'd be familiar enough with the trail to Flatiron to tackle it in the dark. Knowing the general landscape of the trail does not stop you from tripping over railroad ties…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 30, 2015
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Beverly Loop of South Mountain

Low hills around the trailhead

Flushed with recent successes I quickly rushed Noah through his morning routines. Last week him and I had a great time on the Goldmine Loop of the San Tan Regional Park, a fun adventure that I was hoping to turn into a regular occurrence. For today I had picked out a nearby destination (South…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 23, 2015
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2015 - The Year of the Desert

Noah and me down by the lake

I'm not sure if I'm excited or not for 2015. Noah will be hitting two, we'll be having a new baby in a few days (oh golly), and working for Shutterstock just keeps getting better. On the other hand, I'm 2000 miles from my beloved Upper Peninsula and living in a desert. Everytime I think of the next…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted January 3, 2015
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Camelback Mountain - Cholla to Echo Canyon

Full moon over Camelback Mountain

This would be my fourth time up Camelback Mountain. I had previously braved the crowds of Echo Canyon twice and the relative seclusion of the Cholla Trail once with Chris. He had some friends in town this weekend, some friends who were interested in a desert hike, so we decided to take them on the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 29, 2014
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Storms above Siphon Draw

Superstition Mountains over the resturant

After a few city hikes in Phoenix I needed a good challenge. Camelback and Piestewa, each steep thousand-foot-plus climbs, had been good warmups. I needed something to make me sweat, something that I test my limits against. Flatiron, a rock formation high above Siphon Draw, looked like it would do…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 3, 2014
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