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Gateway Trail System
August 26, 2021
by Billie Horn
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Ready ... Aim ... Snap!  [photo by Bill]
Diane, Yanis, Billie, Adrian, Neil, Rodney, Bill

Billie Horn led this hike. We had a nice group of 7 hikers arrive before 6:00 AM at the Gateway Trailhead. Gateway is known as “The Gateway to The McDowell Sonoran Preserve”.

The recent rains have enriched the desert landscape which now boasts many varieties of plant and creature as evidenced by Adrian and Bill’s beautiful photos.

“See, it’s like this.” [photo by Adrian]
And we’re off! [photo by Bill]
This caterpillar isn’t diesel-powered. [photo by Adrian]
orange red
white orange
[flower photos by Adrian]

We started out on the Desert Park Trail, which begins just across the road from the parking lot. This, combined with the Horseshoe Trail, forms a half circle to meet up with the Gateway Loop Trail.

GLT forms the “stick” for this lollipop configuration. The GLT is where most of the elevation gain takes place in about a mile. We turned around at the junction with Windgate Pass Trail, and after a short rest, followed GLT back down and continued until the junction with Saguaro Trail. At this junction we decided to follow a short 0.3-mile Saguaro Loop Trail returning to the Saguaro Trail which leads to the Gateway Trailhead and completes the circle of the lollipop.

Oh, how the mighty ave fallen! [photo by Bill]
The trails are well marked around here. [photo by Bill]
There’s something interesting to see. [photo by Bill]
Adrian and Billie head toward Tom’s Thumb. [photo by Bill]
Ocotillo. [photo by Bill]
The trail gets rocky. [photo by Bill]
We made it. [photo by Bill]
More caterpillars. [photo by Bill]

On this, the hottest day of the week so far, we enjoyed being in the shade of the hills with a slight breeze, and as planned returned to the trailhead before the heat set in.

We were treated today by Rodney, who shared melons and cucumbers from his garden for each of us to take home.

→   More pictures, by Adrian
→   More pictures, by Bill
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated August 27, 2021