Thursday, December 27, 2007

South Mountain's National Trail

Mile 1171, Phoenix, AZ - Yesterday I went with my family and we hiked a desert trail in South Mountain. It was great, but we didn't get to hike very far. Today, I went back and ran the trail.

South Mountain is the largest urban park in the US. That's downtown Phoenix off in the distance. The National Trail runs the length of the mountain for 14 miles. I ran a bit of it today.
Lots of mountain bikers doing crazy things on this mountain. The trail is very rocky and narrow. For about a mile of it all I could do was hike. You can see in the photo below the valley I could run in, but then I had to climb the mountain.

Here's a photo of my father in law - Harry Potter with my wife (his daughter) Amy. He actually looks more like Dumbledore.

More on the run in a bit. As I was leaving my neighborhood I got to see a water main erupt. Pretty cool. I got to drive thru the downpour. Must be due to our freezing temps.

Google earth view of the trail. It starts off as a service road. Wide and slightly uphill. Still rocky, so you have to watch your footing. Enough of a hill, that I felt it a bit. After about 1.25 miles, you get to the base of the mountain.
This picture makes it look like your on top and the trail is wide open. But, it's not. Lots of boulders and it's pretty steep. It was beautiful and you feel like your far from the city. It was slow going, as you can see by my splits below. But, on the return, it's all downhill. You do a lot of breaking on boulders make lots of twists and turns till you get in the valley. Then I was able to cruise all the way back to the parking lot.

It was a fantastic run. I hope to run it again next week and go further, much further.


J~mom said...

Wow! That water main breaking is something else!

Nice job on the mountain! I ran that trail one time last year and enjoyed it!

Like the new look!

Darrell said...

The mountain looks like fun and like it has other options too. Enjoy!

Marathoner in Training said...

There are so many trails on South mountain, that is what makes it fun, you do not have to keep doing the same one each time.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Great pics as usual, Pat. Thanks for sharing. That water main was cool. Hope they take care of it quickly.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pat,

Your old, gimpy-legged friend, Jerry here.

Good to see you're having a great Christmas break...I've also hiked South Mountain many times as I lived in Ahwatukee for so many years. Would love to hike it again soon...maybe sometime after your RNR Marathon...BTW, good luck with that... said...

That is the coolest thing ever pat - someday we are going to switch places for a week. You live in a wonderful spot!

Jeff said...

Looks like a nice run, Pat.

How do you like trail running? I hear it's better for your legs and feet -- less impact, I guess. Do you do anything different when you run off road?

Cheryl said...

That's so cool to have all those parks in the Phoenix area for you to run and hike in. What a great way to spend time with the family. Looks like a challenging run. Watch out for those boulders!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

ooo, love the pics of south mtn! i've heard so much about it