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Pemberton Trail Day Hike
McDowell Mountains
January 12, 2019
by Quy Nguyen
  GPS Map 
by Carl Lunde
group
Quy, Mimi, Ramona, Sunae, Lin, Carl, Joe, Billie, Neil, Katherine, Becky, Susan

In the morning there is a strong beam of sunrise light, and a clear sky with some white clouds. We hope there will be no rain, even though the forecast said 15% chance of rain.

dawn
We enjoyed a colorful sunrise.
trail
Hikers start their trek on the Marcus Landslide Trail.

Starting at Marcus Landslide Trailhead, we hike 0.3 miles on Marcus Landslide Trail to the Rock Knob Trail, then take the Rock Knob Trail 0.5 miles to the McDowell Mountain Park boundary and continue 0.6 miles on Rock Knob to the Pemberton Trail. We see a jumble of granite rock knobs and a bunch of chollas along the trail.

knob
Rock Knob.
east
Trailblazers head eastward.
hikers
What a fine day for hiking!
hikers
Hmmm, this looks interesting.

At the junction with the Pemberton Trail, we turn right and hike 1.1 miles to the Boulder Trail. The Pemberton Trail is mostly flat with some ups and downs. It offers variety of activities including hiking, running, biking; wonderful views of the Four Peaks, Weaver’s Needle and the Superstition Mountains, and the big sky views.

group
Glad to be here!
view
Verde River Valley, from the Pemberton Trail.
hikers
Yes, this is the way.
rock
I’m watching you.
After hiking on the Boulder Trail 1.1 miles to the Marcus Landslide Trail, we decide to take the loop to Submarine Rock. Along the loop there are numerous huge stones with interesting shapes. We can name these rocks with our own imagination.

With some rains, brittlebush and yellow poppy are blooming to brighten the hills and made our hike enjoyable.

We take some breaks to enjoy the surrounding views, then trek 1.4 miles back to the trailhead.

It was good day for hiking with blue sky, a little breeze, and sunshine.

rock
Hey folks, those are granite boulders, not potatoes, on the Boulder Trail.
down
Heading downhill on the Boulder Trail.
view
Weaver’s Needle rises in the east, from the Pemberton Trail.
hikers
What a fine picture spot!
view
We’re almost around the loop.
rock
Trailblazers at Submarine Rock.
rocks
Mushroom Rocks by the Marcus Landslide Trail. [photo by Carl]
trail
The trail back is lined with brittlebush.
yellow yellow
Golden poppies brighten the trail. [photos by Carl]

Thanks to all for coming to join my hike. Happy Trails!

About 6.5 miles with 950 feet accumulated total elevation gain in about 3 hours (including all of the various stops along the route).

→   More pictures, by Carl
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
Comments? Send them to the AZHC .

updated January 14, 2019