Sunday, December 23, 2007

Usery Mountain Park

Mile 1162, Mesa, AZ - Today was a trail run day. Yesterday I did an easy 3.1 miles in the neighborhood, but today I went out to Usery Mountain Park with my father in law, Harry Potter. No, not that one.

He hiked up the Wind Cave Trail and I ran the Pass Mountain trail. You can click on the map below to see my route.

The trail is very rocky and you are constantly running in and out of washes. So, the going is slow for someone that doesn't have a lot of trail experience. I'd rather go slow and not visit the dentist afterwards. I got a feeling you can do face plants into boulders pretty easily.
This is Usery Mountain. At the top you can see a shady area. That is where the wind cave is. I haven't been up there yet. But, some day. Today I decided to run around the mountain.

Here's a good shot of what the trail looks like. Some parts where flat and smooth, but lots of the trail looked like this. Not ideal for running.



This is a view of the trail coming out of a wash. It's Arizona, so there wasn't water in any of the washes. You just run down in to them and back out. The deeper washes had mini switchbacks to get in and out of them.


I love Saguaro's. This park is a virtual saguaro forest. The mountain has a ribbon of rock across it. You can see the ribbon in the picture above. I used to know the story about it. You can learn more about the park at there website.

Some saguaro's don't make it. Here's one with the ribs exposed.

If you've ever flown into Phoenix from the east, you may have seen the sign pointing the way. Here it is on the mountain side. Click the photo for a better view. Made of rocks, it is very easy to see from an airplane.
My run was a slow one, but I did get almost 3.5 miles in and I really loved the scenery. I hope to do more trail runs this coming year.

7 comments:

Dan Seifring said...

You have some very nice area's to run out there.

Dan Seifring said...

And Merry Christmas to you and your family Pat.

Jeff said...

Nice run, Pat.

Flown into PHX quite a few times, but I've never noticed the sign. I'll keep an eye out next time through.

Darrell said...

Looks like a nice run. I love trails.

Marathoner in Training said...

Trail runs are great.

Pokey said...

Wow Pat, I must have missed this part of your post when I read last night.....what a cool run!

I am planning on doing the 8K trail run at the Lost Dutchman in March....they say it's a good *first* trail run for rookies. I thought it would be cool to try something different.

J~mom said...

Hey cool! Maybe the TRC can try a trail run!