My Mt Whitney trip is coming up quickly, July 20th will be here soon! I wanted to get in at least one higher altitude hike beforehand, but when they closed the National Forests in Az due to fire danger I thought I was out of luck.
Fortunately they re-opened the forests right after July forth, and I got a rare Friday off. Seemed like hiking a mountain was the thing to do!
Left to house in Phoenix a little before 5am, at the trailhead around 8. Started out under blue skies! Glad I got an early start from Phoenix, an hour after I left the summit the thunder started!
Felt good the whole time, pretty much did it with no breaks in one push. I’m feeling good for Mt Whitney and ready to roll!
This hike is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I figured was a good Mt Whitney milestone hike.
The wife and I took all this week off, it’s her birthday week and we both needed a break. We took a few day trips and just relaxed! We saw Arcosanti, Montezuma’s Castle, Tombstone, and cruised around Phoenix.
I had Wednesday morning free so it seemed like a good time to tick off this hike. Woke up a little after 5am, grabbed the gear and headed out. After a quick stop for coffee I was on the road. It’s about an hour to get there from my house, pulled into Picacho State Park about 6:45, a few cars in the lot, but pretty quiet other than that!
The hike starts off uphill and really doesn’t ease up much at all until you get to the saddle, where the first of the cable sections begins. From the saddle, where some nice people have stashed extra gloves (make sure you bring gloves), you descend a steep rocky section, taking you around to the west side and meeting up with the Sunset Vista Trail for the climb to the peak.
There are 3 main sections of cables from here to the peak, it’s a pretty cool section of a hike. The exposure isn’t too bad but I was definitely glad to have the cables in a number of places! After the last cable section it is a few minutes hike to the top and a great view. As you make your way down you might be even more glad to have the protection the cables provide, I know I was!
When you reach the saddle again the work is done and you can cruise on downhill to the parking lot, there’s some cool rock formations to check out, and they’re easier to enjoy on the way down!
Overall it took me just over 2 hours, I felt good the whole time, can’t wait for some more time hiking up big hills!
I’ve probably posted this view before, but it’s pretty cool and the trailhead is 10 minutes from my house!
A few years ago the main road I used to ride my bike on was torn up for a new freeway. They said a multi-use path would be built alongside the freeway, but I was skeptical.
Yesterday I got to ride on the new path and it’s pretty awesome!
I was really doing good pedaling during the spring lockdown, feeling strong! Unfortunately I allowed my return to work in early May and the Phoenix summer heat to put the kibosh on my riding (and most other fun outdoor activities).
I’m past ready to get back at it, so it was nice to get back on the bike on such a beautiful day. Did my standard start and cruised down to the new path.
It’s wide, smooth, has some hills, and is super protected from the freeway traffic. As skeptical as I was about it existing, I have to say ADOT really hit a home run with this. I love living in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix and this is just another great addition!
Now there’s really no excuse not to ride, and it’s the best time of year in AZ!!