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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Green Mountains to climb?

Looking for a healthy and green way to spend some time? Consider hiking in one of the city’s seven wonderful mountain preserves. Nothing beats a great hike on a cool Arizona day, or even one in the heat of summer, assuming you are smart about overexertion.

Be sure to stay on the marked trails, observe signage and never leave trash behind. Never forget that in spite of the fact that you are surrounded by City, there are plenty of creatures living in and around the preserves- coyotes, javelina, rattlesnakes, bees and any number of birds share their preserve with you, so be aware and respect their homes.

Many trails are open to bikes, pets, and some even allow horses. Some are best travelled simply with a friend, a light snack and plenty of water. There are 2 websites listed below to decide which parks are best for the kind of experience you are looking for.

Check the posted open and close times, due to changing Phoenix budgets etc. hours may change, but most trails open at 5 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Be aware, that some areas may be charging fees to park vehicles, and season passes may be available depending on the City budget process. Funds are used to continue allowing access to the parks, as budget cuts in this economy often fall hard on such items. If you are hiking in, at this time, fees will not apply.

Checking the website for your chosen preserve is best until all the details are worked out by the city.

1. Piestewa Peak Rcreation Area
2. Dreamy Draw Recreation Area
3. Camelback Mountain Park
4. Papago Park
5. Lookout Mountain Preserve
6. North Mountain and Shaw Butte Preserves
7. Phoenix Sonoran Preserve