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Rainbow Valley-Toothaker
Estrella Mountain Regional Park
December 31, 2019
by Quy Nguyen
  GPS Map 
group
Andy, Quy, Kevin, Billie, Terry, Meng, Michael, Daniel, Gail, Neil, Chuck

We walked counterclockwise on the Rainbow Valley-Toothaker loop and started at Rainbow Trailhead, near the Rodeo Arena in Estrella Mountain Regional Park.

The trail is maintained, easy to follow, smooth, rolling with many ups and downs, a few points going up, but it is gradually climbing, not very challenging.

hikers
... and we’re off!
view
Looking north from the trail.
view
Good desert landscaping.
sign
The trail didn’t used to be so well signed.
nest
Bird’s nest is well protected.

There is no shade long the trail, with some teddy bear, cholla cacti, a few saguaros around. Today it’s a quiet hike. We encountered only few bikers and hikers along the trail. The views are not exciting, but it’s good desert landscaping.

When we pass the junction with the Dysart Trail, the trail is rocky and uphill to the Rock Knob.

climb
The climb is gradual.
break
This seems like a good place for a break.
wash
We’re heading for the high country.
hikers
The Dysart Trail goes east a couple miles.
hikers
What a lineup!

From there the trail goes down and ends at the junction of Toothaker.

We turn left and hike 2 miles on Toothaker Trail. This trail is down to a wash and uphill a few times to the junction of Rainbow Valley Trail. From there we take a short walk on the right and go back to parking lot.

knob
Distant view of the 1801' Rock Knob.
break
Made it to the top of the Rainbow Valley Trail.
cactus
Pincushion cactus.
cactus
Here, it’s this way.
rock
Volcanic rocks at the top.
hikers
Trailblazers on the down grade.
hikers
Climbing out of a wash.

Nothing is to compare with the good weather, nice hike, good company on New Year’s Eve.

→   More pictures, by Quy
collage
Happy New Year!
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated January 4, 2020