3 Days – 3 Trails

   This past week I was in the Phoenix Arizona area enjoying some unusually cooler weather and the mountain and desert scenery. My goal was to hike as many days as possible until the weather got too hot – which was by Thursday. Morning temperatures were in the upper 60sF low 70sF but by around 9:00 am the temperature was in the upper 80sF heading for 100oF or higher.
   Nonetheless I got in two warm up morning hikes on Sunrise Mountain and Calderwood Butte. Both were typical of what I call City Mountains. They are largely igneous masses with considerable rocky rubble on most of the trails. Locally the trails are described as ‘ankle busters’ as it is easy to step incorrectly and injure yourself. What is neat about these ‘city mountains’ is that they are very easy to get to – many of which are parts of city park systems. Trails are fairly well marked although I use the AllTrails App to keep me on the right path.
   The 3rd day I spent several hours wandering around the Phoenix Mountain Preserve That morning I pushed it and completed 3 different but connected trails. Trail 1Trail 2Trail 3. This was an incredible area with trails every which way with many taking you away from the city sounds but nearly all required some uphill and downhill navigating. I encountered a few trails that going up or down were very steep but well worth the effort. Lots of interesting rock formations along the way.
   The geology of the area is a fantastic combination of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Much of the level ground is outwash deposits from the surrounding mountains while the mountains are a mixture of igneous and metamorphic rocks. I saw what looked like either marble or chert, schist, and outcrops of slate among the types I recognized. There was a very obvious lean to many rock exposures and according to the geology of the area the rocks have a northeast strike.

   The video below shows some of the geology I encountered on these hikes.

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3 thoughts on “3 Days – 3 Trails

  1. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to rocks until I moved to New Mexico. With the sparse vegetation at lower elevations (and not so low! My home is on Lake Valley Limestone at 6900 ft, with almost no soil, just rock, so the vegetation is stunted, leaving many outcroppings bare) the rocks are impossible to ignore. I’ve gone on a few guided hikes with real geologists and it’s fascinating. Arizona is seeing a lot of wildfire starts recently – watch for smoke, carry water, and thanks for sharing your hikes.


  2. Pingback: I Should’ve Gone to Mars! | Bob's Spaces

  3. We used to live in Texas, Laredo while in the Air Force, and then Alpine in the western part of the state, ‘Big Bend’, for undergraduate school. Geology major and Literature (mostly southwestern) Minor.
    Hiked and camped the heck out of Big Bend National Park, northern Mexico across the ‘river’. and also in southeastern New Mexico. Did a lot of caving at Ft. Stanton, and others along the Texas Panhandle.
    Beautiful country too say the least.
    And yes there were fires in AZ but none that I saw where I was.
    My brother used to live in Tucson and we were there during some of the big fires on Mt. Lemmon.
    Speaking of rocks you do know on a field trip (well at least mine) there are two principal types of rocks. Leverites (pronounced leave er right – there because it is too big to move), and of course heaverites (small enough to throw!)..


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