HIKE - WIND CAVE TRAIL … Usery Mountain Park (E. Mesa)

This is a very popular hike to a cave in the side of Pass Mountain and a great view of the entire valley.

The trail is 1.6 miles up about 800 ft. (switchbacks that get steeper as you get closer to the cave) and then 1.6 miles back. There is only one area that is considered even mildly difficult, but as always we take it slow and the great view of the valley will be worth it.

Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. Expect this hike to last 3 hours.

Website:

http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery

Here are links to photos from our previous trips:

12/11/11

http://www.meetup.com/phoenix-atheists/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=4915052

slide show

http://www.meetup.com/phoenix-atheists/photos/4915052/

1/29/11

http://www.meetup.com/phoenix-atheists/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=1242495

slide show

http://www.meetup.com/phoenix-atheists/photos/1242495/

At this link is a “virtual” trip to the “cave” (click on 2nd panel below index):

http://www.govirtualhike.com/GoVirtualHike/Virtual_Hiking_Phoenix.html

… We won’t take the additional hike to the top (too difficult for our group?)

At this link is a short video of someone’s trip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hite5z2EJ_s

For the asking, I have handouts discussing, geology of the area, and plant and animals we’ll likely encounter. Also I carry reference books for after the hike.

One of the special geological features we will see is the Geronimo Formation:

http://www.gemland.net/webblog/?p=66

http://www.gemland.com/geronimo.htm

HIKE SUMMARY:

Distance: 3.2 miles

Time: 3 hrs.

Difficulty: moderate . . steep in few places but short

Trail: gravel and rock

Elevation: [masked] ft.

change: 830 ft..

Parking: lot with facilities

Tailhead GPS: 33° 28’ 26.23” N, 111° 36’ 26.00” W

Entry fees: $6/car

Dogs: OK

REMINDERS:

Always carry and drink plenty of water!

Sunscreen is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions

How to find us: Meet at the trailhead parking lot (See directions below)… If lost or late, my cell is[masked]-5945.

To get there:

Take US 60 east. Exit Ellsworth Rd. and go north to the Usery Mountain Regional Park entrance. Then drive ahead to the wind cave trail head.

OR

Take the 202 east to exit 23a and south on power rd to left on McDowell and then left on Ellsworth and right into Usery Park on E Usery Park Rd.

See this link for help on locating the park:

http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery/Directions.aspx

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR CARPOOLERS:

Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must ontact others for arrangements. You could email members or post on this announcement page comments.

 

Although you may know of better choices, and I want to hear of them, I can suggest these carpool locations around the valley:

 

Those traveling from north or northwest of Phoenix could meet at the park-n-ride or Fry’s just west of I-17 on the south side of Bell Rd. From there you can take the 17 to the 10 to the 202. Allow about an hour to get to the trail head.

 

Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa area could meet at the parking lot just north of the 60 on Alma School Rd. . . enter Fiesta Mall toward the west from Alma School Rd. and park straight ahead at the perimeter of the parking lot across from Best Buy. From there you can follow the 60 to the 101 north to the 202 and east to the park and get there in a little over 30 minutes.

 

Following the hike we will reconvene at Old Chicago near Power Road and the 60. They have outside patio seating allowing dogs. To get there from the 60 take Power Rd. south a few hundred feet to Superstition Springs Blvd. and turn left (east) a few hundred feet to 6821 E. Superstition Springs Blvd… restaurant is obvious on right (south side).

REHYDRATION STATION OPTION:The Monastery restaurant/bar/playground/picnic area. http://www.realfunbar.com/

Reviews on the internet say it is a great place with great food.

“You buy the meat there and cook it up yourself on the grill. You also can purchase alcohol while you wait. After getting grub, play horseshoes, darts or sand volleyball, or just mingle”

 

“It is very fun to go there with family and friends. It is also fun to play ping pong, pool, foosball and listen to the live bands. It is a great time any time to go at all times of the year.”

 

“It’s a great place to hang out and have a beer outside in this large patio area. The best part is that I can bring my dogs. As long as you have them leashed the place is the most dog friendly place I have ever been to in the East Valley.”
TO GET THERE:

from the east on 60 go North on 202 and then take McKellips exit and go About 3 miles west

from greenfield exit on 202 go south 2 miles to McKellips and turn east (left) ½ mile

from greenfield exit on 60 go north 4 ½ miles to McKellips and turn east (right) ½ mile

ADDRESS: 4810 East McKellips Road, Mesa, AZ

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    The trail was nice, but I wish it had been a loop trail. I also wish the park rangers hadn't been so insistent about leashing our dogs.

    1 · December 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    You don't think it would be too perfect for a bunch of atheists to eat out at a place called "The Monastery"?

    1 · December 2, 2012

  • Amanda C.

    Without the additional scrambling to the top, this hike would have felt incomplete. Glad I tagged along with the billy goats to challenge myself and get the battle scars!

    December 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I don't know why I didn't see this sooner, the wind cave is one of my favorite hikes and it is near my house, kind of. Maybe I can get into Scott's van at CVS?
    Now that you guys are doing local trails the timing will be so much easier!

    December 2, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Site. See you there.

      December 2, 2012

  • Al T.

    wish somebody would have begun the Monastery controversy sooner.

    I made reservations at old chicago. Lets do Monastery in the spring?

    December 1, 2012

    • Amanda C.

      Then I'll probably skip lunch. Nothing there for me, and I've been there recently.

      December 1, 2012

  • Mike

    Would it be better to park at Old Chicago, so we go back there to eat?

    2 · December 1, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Amanda. Do they have meat on the menu? ;/

      December 1, 2012

    • Cathy

      I vote for the Monastery! Hope they have gluten-free options... ^_^

      December 1, 2012

  • Al T.

    Looks to me that the CVS at Brown & Ellsworth would be the closest convenient spot to carpool from. .... maybe 3 miles south of Park entrance.

    December 1, 2012

    • Amanda C.

      Meet there at 9? 845?

      December 1, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Picking up a passenger at the airport at 8:30,then I'll shoot over there

      December 1, 2012

  • Jodi

    Scott....where are you picking up people and is there room for me? Jodi

    December 1, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Jody, call me. [masked] 3086. Yes there's room

      December 1, 2012

  • Tammy

    Al will know. He knows all.

    December 1, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Just let me know. I figure I can get 9 in my van

      December 1, 2012

  • Scott R.

    Amanda, know a good meeting area?

    December 1, 2012

  • Scott R.

    I am not sure of the area to meet but my big ass van would work well for getting a bunch of people in! :)

    December 1, 2012

  • Larry K.

    As usury park charges $6/vehicle. We should meet outside the park and fill empty seats first. Any ideas?????

    December 1, 2012

  • Jade N.

    Hi everyone my name is jade .. I just move to az..I was wondering if this was a strenuous hike?? If it's ok if I join :)

    November 28, 2012

    • Tyger G.

      It is not only okay if you join us, we openly welcome you! I'm the official FOF of the group (Fat Old Fart) and if I can make it, which I have twice before, I'm sure you can, too. It's not an EASY hike, but if you take your time, even the last, steeper part can be done without much of a problem. The important part is we all have fun doing it.

      1 · November 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you can pick me up, please call me at[masked]-0196. I don't always check in here regularly.

    November 27, 2012

    • Scott R.

      Left you a voicemail. [masked] 3086. I can pick you up. I will have Amanda, maybe Chris and dogs. Others can come too.

      November 27, 2012

    • Tyger G.

      You have to promise to personally deliver our letters to Santa for us all, of course.

      1 · November 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm still looking for a ride from Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, AZ to the trailhead (and back). I do need to be back at Falcon field no later than 2:30; am flying Santa to Deer Valley Airport at 3 PM.

    November 27, 2012

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