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hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

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Chicago, Illinois
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hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Looks like I am going to spend a few days hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, in Phoenix.

I have looked into the altitude and I should be able to handle that. I climbed Long’s Peak (14,365 feet) some years ago.

I know that early June in Phoenix will be hot, hot, hot, but I have gone for long walks in the sun in Vegas in July and August.

I plan to watch out for nature that bites, use sunscreen, bring a hat, reasonable clothing, decent shoes, lots of water, my cell phone and do my hiking early then recuperate around the pool.

My Lady will know where I plan to hike, in case I am dragged off by a giant Gila Monster or some such, yes I watch the Scifi Channel.

The park’s website are unclear, will I be on hard “sidewalk” or more natural gravel and sand.

Is it somewhat secluded or as busy as a city street with horses, bikes and hikers?

Arizona
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1. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Altitutde should not be an issue. Phoenix is at about 1200 feet above sea level, and even getting to the top of Piestewa Peak means you only gain about 800 feet or so.

I have hiked this area for many years. The trail that goes through the Pointe Tapatio will get you to many other locations.

If you go east, you can walk for miles through desert parkland. Some of it will be near some roads, other parts will have you right next to some mountains (and you can walk to Piestewa Peak itself, though that's a pretty good walk from the Pointe). At times you will feel like you're completely out of the city, and at other times, it's right there.

You will not have to deal with cars because the trails go into pedestrian tunnels under the major streets. (This may not be true of 7th st, where the hotel is located, I can't recall.)

If you head west of your hotel, there is less for you to explore, but it's still worth your time.

North Mountain is just across the street from the hotel and the trail to the top is paved. There are some radio towers at the top, so the road is there for maintenance trucks, though it is open for hikers, joggers, etc.

Just a little further to the west is Shaw Butte. This also has radio towers on top and has two ways to get to the summit. The north side is the road which is paved but pretty bumpy. The south side is a mixture of trail and old road. It makes for a nice loop if you want to go to the top one way and come down the other. The trail from the hotel will get you to Shaw Butte with ease.

Aside from the two mountains I mentioned, most of the trails in the Phoenix Mtn. Preserve are not paved. Many are marked with numbers and are mapped. Some are not. Still others are closed, and will be labeled as such. Most of these closures are to allow for the desert to recover from past abuse by unauthorized vehicles, etc. (Cars, ATVs, motorcycles, etc., are not allowed on the park trails at all. Horses and mountain bikes are o.k.) None of the closures should affect you - they're really just redundant or unecessary trails anyway.

Your plan to take water, sunscreen, cell phone, etc., is very wise.

You may see a few people, but you may also be nearly alone, but at no time will you truly be far away from civilization or help, should you need it.

If you see a Gila Monster, just tell him you're a lawyer. He'll give you professional courtesy and let you pass.

Sorry. Gratuitous shot at the fine legal profession.

Seriously, if you see something that looks like a Gila Monster, it is probably a chuckwalla (not joking, they're really called that). Chuckwallas look menacing, but they are harmless. Gila monster sightings are very rare and almost unheard of on a sunny June day.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Many thanks for the on the ground info.

I will get maps, trail info, etc. and bring my handy compass just in case but will leave my GPS on the boat.

I looked in on the area through Google Earth.

I suspect that line of sight landmarks will be easy to spot. I know that the features of the peaks can change depending on your angle of view.

Thanks, I am well aware of lawyers and their habits having been bitten in the past.

I will add a camera to my gear.

Bringing a lot of water but then have to ask are there "facilities" along the way?

Arizona
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3. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

There are "facilities" at a very few select spots. Squaw Peak Park has picnic ramadas and full restrooms, but you may or may not get that far. There are also restrooms at Dreamy Draw Park, which is a bit closer to where you are staying, though still not particularly close. There are no facilities at the radio tower sites (which begs the question about what technicians who spend the day up there do, but I digress.)

If it's just "water" that you are "disposing of," you will find plenty of bushes to hide in.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Thanks for the useful insight on watering bushes in teh desert, posted on Earth Day no less.

I am really looking forward to this trip, a new area to explore. As you can see from my profile and posts, I am well known for doing a lot of that in Las Vegas.

I don't suppose the area around the hotel has very many "dive" watering holes such as I am drawn to in Las Vegas.

I am in Las Vegas later in June for the MEGA Meet and Greet and conducting a walking tour of the "rough" east side, if you are in town come along.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i624-Downtown_a…

Arizona
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5. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Actually I have a co-worker who lives near downtown Phoenix and he swears by the Bikini Lounge. It's on 15th Avenue and Grand. Don't bother asking the concierge about it, he won't have heard of it and would probably warn you about the neighborhood anyway. I'd say the Bikini Lounge is about 20 minutes from your hotel.

And if you drove about a mile or two south down 7th street from your hotel and hung a left on Dunlap, you wouldn't go far before you found quite a few neighborhood dives that might fit your bill.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Thanks

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

this is the highest that I have been, the photos are not mine.

http://www.komar.org/faq/longs-peak/

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8. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

There are also restrooms at the North Mountain Visitor Center which is on the west side of the tunnel under 7th Street. They're pretty close to where you're staying anyhow, but if you're hiking in that area and don't want to go back to the hotel, you can make a pit stop there.

I hike these trails every weekend, and they're my favorite. There are a lot of different trails, a few with some elevation and others flat. If you're out in the early or late hours in June, you may see snakes -- we've had a lot of rain earlier in the year, and we seem to get more snakes when that happens. I haven't seen one yet though. There are rattlers out there -- stay on the trails, away from shrubbery and watch where you step.

I've never seen a gila monster there in the 15 years I've been hiking, but I've seen many coyotes, cottontails, jackrabbits and quail, a few roadrunners, a couple of really big scorpions and a one-time sighting of a ringtail cat and a javelina (not together...). The javelina surprised me -- I didn't know we had any in the mountain preserve. We used to have a wild donkey, but I haven't seen him for many years.

The surfaces are mixed -- sand, gravel and rocks. There used to be stables at the Pointe with daily horseback rides that really played havoc with the surface -- it's pretty solid now though.

You'll still run into the occasional horseback riders (usually I'll see the park rangers on horseback), but most of your company will be bikers, hikers and joggers. The number of folks out there isn't very high in the summer months (at least, not in the early morning or early evening when I'm out there). I've had days when I didn't pass a soul in an hour!

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

Thanks.

10. Re: hiking around Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix

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