|Entering the park in north Scottsdale|
Last Wednesday, I took my 5th annual Christmas Day hike. This year I went to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in north Scottsdale. I took the Gateway Loop trail, which was a little over 3.5 miles and took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the low to mid 40s.
I went clockwise on the loop trail, which took me on the north side of a peak, so the first half of the hike was shaded. It was a gradual rise in elevation until I reached the Gateway Saddle on the east end of the loop. From there, it was downhill and on the sunny, south side of the peak. I started the hike a little before 8am, so I didn't run into too many people until the last mile of the hike.
|The all-important topo map|
|Let's take a walk|
|A beautiful morning for a hike|
|Hmmmm…let's go clockwise|
|Morning sun peeking over the McDowell Mtns.|
|Drinkwater Peak off in the distance|
|Expecting The Thing to emerge|
|Warm sun on the south side of the loop|
|Almost back to the trailhead|
|Phoenix Mtns in the distance.|
|Back at the trailhead|
|Not 10, not 15…13|