Today’s hiking expedition was split into 2 different groups. One group left early for a ‘Challenge’ hike up to the top of 5057 mountain. This peak is so named due to it’s elevation being 5057 feet. As we had plans to attend a play in the evening, and were warned that the hike was very challenging we both decided to take the shorter hike offered today, and headed off to the San Tan Mountain park, about 10 miles south of Mesa in the area of Queen Creek. We’d driven past this area a couple of times in the past, but never stopped at the park.
The weather was a little cloudy this morning, but certainly warm enough to hike without a jacket early in the morning. I don’t know how many took the plunge to climb 5057, but there were 42 of us on the San Tan hike.
The trail was wide and sandy for the most part, and for a change the group stayed together in one large pack for the entire hike.
The Saguaro were quite thick throughout the park, and there were lots of large ones with multiple arms. It’s quite unusual to see them so close together at this size.
The highlight for most of us was this Crested Saguaro about half way into the hike. We had to stop for quite a while as people lined up to take their pictures. This guy is about 15 feet tall, and very healthy looking.
The hike was about 5.5 miles, and fairly flat, though you could take some side trips to various hillsides, including this one that’s full of small caves.
We’re heading out to our play this evening, and are planning on visiting a monastery in the middle of nowhere tomorrow. We’ll let you know how that goes.