As I have mentioned before, I am always up for adventure suggestions. A tennis friend of my mom’s told her about his favorite hiking location, so off to Thunderbird Conservation Park we went. The easiest way to get there is to head West on Pinnacle Peak Road off I-17 and continue all the way to 55th where you will find a dirt parking lot on your left. Note: There is no restroom at this trail head. If you need a restroom, the main parking lot has one, and it is just ¼ mile down the road at 59th: 22800 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85310
Right away, we weren’t impressed because of the crowds. We are nature seekers, not city folks, and this trail is full of city people. Lots of folks were listening to music without ear buds, and many others were talking on their cell phones. This is not a place to go to be with nature.
From the dirt parking lot, we went to the right on Coach Whip, which is a flat connector trail. The signage is poor, and there isn’t any good map to tell you the distances. We continued straight to join the Arrowhead Vista trail, which is a difficult and extremely rocky trail. It is so heavily used that the rocks are slick from being worn down.
Besides a steady stream of people, the traffic noise is awful. You hear the road and freeway the entire time. My mom’s friend needs to get out more! Anyway, we were here and ready for the task at end. We plugged away at the 1.5-mile uphill slog.
We saw just a few wildflowers, and as we climbed up, we did have views in every direction. To reach the top, you need to take a left onto the Arrowhead Vista Trail, which takes you to the flag.
Note: This trail is extremely hot and exposed. There are no trees and hardly even a cactus. It is very barren. Be sure to hike when temperatures are cooler and bring plenty of water.
We enjoyed looking over at Arrowhead Lake. Apparently, mom and dad looked at a house there before we moved to Phoenix. They said they don’t have Kuma-friendly yards. My folks always have my back. Woof!
We hung out for a while then went to the left to take the trail back down the other side. This side wasn’t quite as rocky and connected back to Coach Whip. The park has some shade structures with picnic tables, but without a human restroom, what’s the point? We pressed on to the car. BTW, mom’s ankle did great! This trail is an ankle sprain waiting to happen, so be careful.
All in all, I think we went just over 2 ½ miles. Thunderbird park does have a variety of trails from mild to wild, but they all have the traffic noise and tons of people. We are spoiled by the beautiful Sonoran Desert by us and prefer the peace and quiet. That being said, Thunderbird Park beats a poke in the eye! It is something for those who live right there. We decided they can keep it, thank you very much.
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!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/kumas-great-adventures/
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!
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