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 it feels as rural as New River!....little joke there. We always have a wildlife spotting of some kind on this one so don't forget your headlight/flashlight. After a steady and gradual uphill climb, the wide bicycle trail of the preserve gives way to a steep bugger of a final quarter mile to the summit. Beginners welcome: Since we come back the same way, tired hikers can stop before the last climb and catch us on the way down.
Meet time: 5:30
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation gain: 600' (1600 to 2200 feet)
Terrain: Well maintained bicycle trail with a short/steep hiking trail to the top
Duration: 1.5 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