We've spent the last two weeks hopping between some of the very nice parks surrounding the Phoenix metropolitan area. First stop, five nights at Lost Dutchman State Park
, where we last stayed in March 2014
. This time we just hiked some trails in the park (though not the intense Flat Iron trail), met up with some friends staying nearby, and spent some time with my dad who was passing through the area.
|Hans, Lisa's dad Ron and Cookie overlooking Canyon Lake in the Superstition Mountains.|
|Sunset at Lost Dutchman State Park.|
|On the feeder at Lost Dutchman State Park.|
Our next stop was an old favorite, McDowell Mountain Regional Park
. We first stayed here in November 2012
and discovered the amazing network of fun and not-too-hard mountain bike trails at this park. Hans managed to ride over 60 miles during our 5 night stay, I rode about 30 and we both enjoyed every minute of it!
New to us this time was adding some of the trails from the adjacent McDowell Sonoran Preserve
to our rides. The Goosenecks and Saguaro Nest trails were fantastic flowing fun that should be on every mountain bikers list! We also enjoyed watching some great riders on the Cactus Cup 40 mile race held the weekend of our stay.
We love, love, love the sites at this park. Huge separation and amazing views. We loved site 62 last time and we loved site 56 this time. Even though 56 is an interior site, there are no close neighbors, views are wonderful, restroom is nearby and we had shade all afternoon...important as the temps edged into the 80's.
|Sunrise at site #56, McDowell Mountain Regional Park.|
|Several hundred riders did the Cactus Cup 20 and 40 mile races at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.|
Here we catch a little action on the race course!
|Crested saguaro beauty at McDowell Mountain Regional park.|
Our third stop outside of Phoenix was Cave Creek Regional Park
. We last stayed here in March 2014
and had a site that was pretty and spacious but our patio area baked under the hot sun all day long. This time we got smart and booked the lovely site #8, with all day shade and views and privacy galore. We really hit the jackpot with spring flowers on all our hikes in this area.
|Sunset at site #8, Cave Creek Regional Park.|
|Morning ascension seen from the Go John Trail.|
|It's the perfect time to stay at Cave Creek Regional Park!|
|Excellent bird activity around our site at Cave Creek Regional Park.|
|Is there room for me?|
We once again hiked the fabulous eight mile lollipop loop at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
, following Dragonfly, Tortuga, Elephant Mountain and Spur Cross Trails. We also spotted our first rattler of the season...Hans would have walked right past him if he hadn't let us know he was watching!
|Petroglyph and a view from the Dragonfly trail.|
|We'll make a loop around impressive Elephant Mountain....it's a pretty strenuous trail!|
|A little excitement along the trail...|
|The variety of flowers blooming in the Cave Creek area was stunning!|
|This javalina crossed the trail in front of us one morning on Go John Trail at Cave Creek.|
|Awesome site #8 at Cave Creek Regional Park.|
Privacy, enormous separation, all day shade on the patio, views and birds.
Tomorrow we continue north to Camp Verde...into red rock country!