A relatively new trail system in North Phoenix, the Preserve is a Mtn. Biking paradise, but is fun for hiking too. After climbing into the park, city lights fade away into the dark of the wide open desert and you can forget the city is so close. I am making the change to Mt. Union more or less permanent to shake up our routine. The distance is longer and the hike will be a full two hours but this one is worth the work. After leaving the Dixie Mtn trail and rounding the corner, we cross a saddle and descent into flat Mtn Bike terrain, then climb the last mile to a neat, narrow summit ridge where the treat is a great view of the airport.
Return is via the same path.
Meet time: 6:00
Distance: 5.8 miles
Elevation gain: 700'
Terrain: Well maintained bicycle trail with a short/steep hiking trail to the top
Duration: 2.0 hours
Equipment: Your sturdy hiking shoes and at least some water. Also, a headlight or lightsource.
See map here: (http://www.phoenix.gov/webcms/groups/internet/@inter/@rec/@parks/@parks/@nrd/documents/web_content/sonoranmap.pdf)
Directions: From I17, exit Jomax and go right (East) to Norterra Parkway. Go left (North) to a T intersection at North Valley Parkway. Turn Right (South) to Copperhead trail. Go left on Copperhead trail, then left on Melvern, and then right on Desert Vista Trail. The parking area will be at the end. The address above seems to work on Mapquest, not on google. When in doubt, use my directions