I am grateful that the temperatures have gone done a bit to more normal for this time of year. Unfortunately, we are already seeing fires caused by humans. Please be careful out there! Our desert is a treasure, and my mom and I hooked up to the Sidewinder Trail from Central Avenue recently instead of our usual trail heads.
Off Carefree Highway (heading east if you came from I-17), turn right or south onto Central Avenue. It is the street right by the Desert View Church. Follow Central Avenue until it ends, only a mile or so. You’ll see a dirt parking lot that can fit about 10 cars on your right. Park here and not by the fire access gate. You’ll see a “No Parking” sign by it. Parking is free but limited.
It starts off on what used to be a dirt road and passes some homes. I haven’t met him yet, but a dog always barks at us when we go by. Say hello for me! You’ll quickly come to a trail sign that reminds you this is an all access trail – meaning hikers, bikers, and horses can use the trail. Go straight at the sign. To the right would take you over toward 7th Avenue or the tower trail head.
Most of the trail is moderate because of the relatively steep incline. Parts of it are difficult due to washed out sections that are small, rocky ravines. This trail is not maintained as well as others in the Sonoran Desert Trail System. Depending upon your comfort level, you might want hiking poles. Be sure you have sturdy shoes.
Mom and I enjoy this trail because it has less traffic, plus it is nice and close. We had to get up early to beat the heat and appreciated a slight breeze. Again, you hike up on this trail, and as I indicated, you will want to watch the time. In about 30 to 40 minutes, you should come to a “T” where the right takes you to a mesa. You’ll see a small trail to your left that goes straight up to a vista. This section is very rocky, and you will want to watch out for snakes.
It is short and steep but worth it. You will have 360-degree views from here. It will take you 10 to 15 minutes to get to the top, depending upon your speed. There’s a nice flat area to rest and take pictures.
This is an out and back, so as you come down from the vista hill, you will turn right and follow the Sidewinder Trail back to Central Avenue. Landmarks for you are: 7th Ave Tower will be on your left as you head back, and the water tank will be on your right. When you come back to the trail marker, continue straight back to the parking lot.
Mom thinks it is only 2 or 2 ½ miles, but it feels long because of the steep grade. It is always wild and quiet. I think you’ll like it! Let me know if you give it a try. Stay cool!
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, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness 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!