The McDowell Mountain Regional Park is 20 miles east of our house and offers many miles of hiking, riding, and biking trails from beginner to expert. It contains several competition level off road biking courses for the advanced rider. It is a pretty cool place but we rarely go there. So today we thought it would be a good time to check out one of the hiking trails. There is a brand new welcome center inside the main gate with very helpful volunteers staffing the gift shop. At the volunteer's recommendation we hiked the easy 3.7 mile "Scenic Trail" that gave views to the 4 Peaks mountain range, the Superstition Mountain range with "Flatiron" and "Weavers Needle" as well as the McDowell Mountains. We also saw many beautiful Saguaro cactus plants that must have been up to 30 feet tall.
Picture 1: Fran with 30 foot Saguaro. There were many flowering cacti in the preserve.
Picture 2: Huge Saguaro with six symmetrical arms and retirement community of Rio Verde in the background
Picture 3: "4 Peaks" in the distance at about 50 miles. Roosevelt Dam is behind 4 Peaks and provides water to Phoenix.
Picture 4: Superstition Mountain at about 30 miles showing Weaver's Needle on the left and "Flatiron" on the right. Charlie Adams and I climbed to the top of Flatiron a couple years ago and had lunch at the top of the 5,000 foot mountain at the edge of the 1,000 foot cliff.
Picture 5" Fran with McDowell Mountains behind her
Picture 6: Fran with parking lot and trailhead behind her