Saturday, March 30, 2013

Piestewa Peak by Night

Weather:  ~85°  & sunny

Time to Summit:  ~28 minutes

About this hike:  Hiked up for the sunset, which was disappointing.  Hiked down in the dark, but I came prepared with my headlamp.  Since Piestewa Peak trails are open until 11pm (parking area closes at sunset, oddly enough), there were numerous other hikers.  Seeing all the flashlights coming down the side of the mountain was pretty cool, like when everyone puts their phones up during a dark concert.  Oh, and to mitigate the parking issue, I left my car in a residential neighborhood just off Lincoln Drive.  Numerous other hikers were in violation of the no parking after sunset rule, but it didn't appear to be getting enforced.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Loved" My Hike Up Piestewa

Weather:  ~70° & rising. Sunny.

Time to Summit:  28 minutes

About this hike:  Haven't done Piestewa Peak since July (and even then I had some "excess baggage" that quit long before the summit!).  I did try a few weeks ago to access it via Dreamy Draw, but after over an hour of navigating labyrinthine trails that don't match the map (not a fan of Phoenix Mountain Preserve) and then finding the summit trail only to hit a "Trail Closed" sign, I gave up.

Had to fight for parking this morning, but learned that it is legal to park in the surrounding neighborhoods.  The Preserve (not the parking areas tho) stays open until 11pm.  I might have a use for that awesome hiking headlamp I bought last summer...

Despite having to dodge tourists and slow hikers, I made the summit in under 30 min.  While a few catch-my-breathe stops were necessary, Piestewa is almost too easy—Camelback please open again soon!!!

This morning a totally in love couple got engaged complete with picnic basket, wine, roses, candles and a ukulele.  Always something unique every hike...