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Alta Trail Loop Day Hike
Phoenix South Mountain
December 15, 2007
by Eileen Root
group
Ted, Wayne, Eileen, David, Michael. [photo by Ted]
4512
Chilly!   But we’ll soon be in the sun. [photo by Wayne]

What a gorgeous day it turned out to be!

Five hikers, Ted, Wayne, David, Michael and Eileen, started out on the trail at 8:15 AM with gloves, scarves and extra layers.

Eileen
Eileen finds Teddy Bear cholla.
[photo by Ted]
Phoenix
On a clear day you can see Phoenix forever.
[photo by Ted]
hikers
A rocky pinnacle provides the perfect picnic stop. [photo by Ted]

But a half hour into the hike, starting up the switchbacks of the trail and with the sun coming over the mountain, we quickly unloaded the extra clothing.

The “Teddy Bear“ chollas on the mountainside looked like herds of sheep.

Eileen
Do you see what I see? [photo by Wayne]
fishhook
Fish hook cactus has Christmas colors. [Wayne]

The views from the ridge line were clear and outstanding.

It was not too hot and not too cold for hiking — just a perfect day!

We stopped for lunch at the last peak on the ridge line before heading down the switchbacks at the west end of the Alta Trail.

hikers
The Alta Trail skirts the rim of South Mountain. [Wayne]

Then at San Juan outlook, we took the National Trail and connected back up with the Bajada Trail to end our hike six hours later.

What a great day to take a stroll in the park!

cactus
The hedgehog cactus was here first. [photo by Wayne]

Supplemental Report
by Ted Tenny

Eileen Root led an excellent hike on the Alta Trail in South Mountain Park in Phoenix. San Juan Road is closed, so we had to start from the junction and hike an additional mile and a half, making the 9 mile hike a 10½ mile hike.

The day was chilly but clear. Not bad, actually, after the walking warms you up. I did fine, stopping at Wendy’s for fast food on my way home.

mountains
The Sierra Estrella—Little Star of the Desert. [photo by Ted]
Eileen
Eileen among the cacti. [photo by Ted]
cactus
Cactus-covered hillside. [photo by Ted]
mountains
We’re getting higher. [photo by Ted]
slope
Saguaro doesn’t mind the slope. [photo by Ted]
hikers
Trailblazers at the top. [photo by Ted]
slope
Steeply down. [photo by Ted]
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated May 1, 2020