Saturday, February 11, 2023

What Happened to the Sonoran Desert?

The Sonoran Desert may be the lushest desert in the world, but "lush" is relative.  Until yesterday.  I'd never seen it so green.  We've had more rain and cooler temperatures than usual lately, and the rain has been at better intervals than normal.  And this...this is the beautiful result.  One guy I met on the trail said, "It's like a golf course!"  So all the people who are in town for the Super Bowl and are out hiking are going to be like, "Why do these people think they live in a desert?"  

Pictures are from the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve (Desert Vista Trailhead).  The greenest sections were on the back end of the Desert Tortoise trail and the Valley Vista trail (which also appears on some maps as the highly accurate--as of today--Valle Verde trail).

The poppies were also out:

Hike Stats:

Distance: A little over 11 miles

Elevation Gain:  A little over 2700 feet

You can take much shorter hikes here.  I was training for the Grand Canyon.

My route:  From the Desert Vista Trailhead up the Hawk's Nest Trail, clockwise on the Dixie Mountain Loop to the Western Vista Trail (which I did twice), then to the Dixie Summit Trail (which I did twice), then to the Valley Vista trail, then clockwise on the Great Horned Owl trail just to the Union Peak Trail (which I did twice) and then backtracked on the Great Horned Owl trail and the Valley Vista trail to the Desert Tortoise Trail and back to the parking lot.  BEAUTIFUL hike in this weather and this green.

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