What is up with our weather? Doesn’t Mother Nature know it is fall? We have had some hot days followed by crazy storms and humidity. At least the mornings and evenings are cooling off. I’ll take it.
Saturday was a complete rain out, so we headed north on Sunday morning for a hike. We only went to the Table Mesa exit off I-17 and went west for four miles on a dirt road. If you recall, when you head east you’ll end up at the Agua Fria National Monument, which we have been to several times. This time we were visiting the Agua Fria Conservation. You won’t find a ton of information on it as it is fairly new. It is in New River and is considered part of Lake Pleasant Park, which means you will need to pay $7.00 to enter.
Anyway, the dirt road is accessible for all vehicles, but you will encounter some huge pot holes, especially after rain. Pay attention to conditions and at the “Y” head left. You will pass a couple of shooting areas (and a ton of garbage!) and come to a second “Y” in the road. Again, continue left toward the Agua Fria Conservation.
Once upon a time, this was the Boulder Creek Ranch. Phoenix purchased the land and incorporated it into Lake Pleasant and the Agua Fria Conversation project. A gate prevents cars from entering, so you will park in the dirt lot on the right. It is on the honor system to pay the money and deposit in the box. Do note they have cameras watching you, and as soon as you enter the gate, you will be greeted by a park host. Take a map so you can choose your trail and follow along.
We selected the Agua Fria trail and entered the gate and went to the left. You’ll see a sign for the trail and will follow to the left. Some rocks will line the way, and you will see an occasional brown trail sign. This area is not super developed yet, and you will need to keep an eye on where the trail is going compared to the map. We got turned around a couple of times. You will definitely see signs of cows on the trail, too.
Ultimately, we only went one mile out to get a great view of the river and the surrounding mountains. The humidity climbed as did the temperatures, so it was muggy. As we stood with expansive views, we couldn’t believe our eyes at how green the desert has become from all the rain. Quite beautiful! And yes, the Agua Fria River had water in it, so I took a dip when I had the chance.
The trail is very rocky and was slick from the storm on Saturday. You might want to bring hiking poles. The further you go, the steeper the trail gets. It’s a remote and quiet area, but the trail wasn’t our favorite. We hiked our mile back out and decided we would visit Rock Springs Café for lunch since it was only one exit north on the freeway. By the way, there is a port-o-potty in the parking lot by the trail head that is clean. That’s your only option here.
Traffic north was moving, but we could see the bottleneck southbound already. Ugh! Any more, you can’t beat the traffic no matter what time of day. Rock Springs was crazy busy as usual. Mom put her name in but learned they had some “to-go” wraps inside. She got one for her and dad to share with a small bag of chips, and we sat over by the pie store. Rock Springs Café used to have an outside patio that was dog friendly, but someone had just fallen when a chair broke and was threatening to sue the restaurant. Well, they ruined it for everyone. The Café will no longer offer outside seating. Boo.
The wrap was dry and fair at best, and it wasn’t cheap. Everything at Rock Springs is overpriced, and mom has never been impressed with their pies. They dump canned fruit in pie crusts and bake them. Um, what is home-made about that? Anyway, we won’t be going back. This was our third time, and we have never been pleased with our experience or the food. Maybe one day long ago this was a great place, but it is run down now and needs a ton of TLC.
Thankfully the traffic was at least moving, although slowly, on south I-17 all the way home. Our great state is being overrun and ruined. My little heart is breaking at the damage done to the outdoors by people who have zero respect for Mother Nature. Our planet is for all to enjoy. Please be kind and considerate to it and others.
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!