This morning I was up early and out the door by 7:00 a.m. for a solitary hike. Having read about a 4-mile trail at Papago Park, which is very near the Desert Botanical Garden, I headed for the Park. Somehow, I missed the turn into the park and ended up on the north end. Luckily, there was a bit of parking on the street (McDowell Rd), so I parked there and headed up these steps to a trail.
Despite appearances, the trail does not run between the two rock mounds. It actually circles them. I went left, into the sun, so that I'd be in the shade at the end when it was warmer out. (With a high predicted at 96-F today, that made sense!)
Here's a shot looking back down the steps and at the other mountains and hills north of the park:
Circling around to the east, then to the south... I'm now looking at Papago Park.
A bit further along, one can spy through this "window":
Further along the circular trail, I had a solid view of the park and where I *could* have parked if I hadn't missed the entrance. There was a lovely picnic ramada that I could imagine as a good meeting place for a local Spark-Picnic.
There are many of these odd rock-piles and rock formations in our city:
Having made it to the shady side of the hike, I turned back for a trail photo.
Much too soon, I was back at my starting point. Checked my GPS and it had been barely over one mile, not the four-mile trail that I'd intended to hike! The choice was either go round the hills again, or head to the Desert Botanical Garden. Made the decision to do the latter and was reminded by this lovely saguaro cactus that we'll soon have a plethora of our state flower, the saguaro blossom to enjoy. They usually bloom in late May and early June.
Keeping a relatively quick pace, I walked the garden trails in a bit under an hour and clocked another 2.2 miles on my GPS tracker. Not the full four mile hike I'd headed out for, yet still a decent morning work out.