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    Brian Kordansky reviewed Flatiron Via Siphon Draw Trail

    17 days ago

    Siphon Draw presents the best valley hike in my humble estimation. I found the up, not as hard as some have written. Truly, if you just take your time this is very doable if you can make it up Camelback without rescue.

    The down here is harder than the up, particularly with my so-so knee. At about 3600' or about 500' above the basin, the ground turns very loose and slippery. This poses the greatest danger of the whole hike as falling becomes a very real possibility if you aren't very careful.

    One note of significance, is that loose rocks can tumble down very easily on much of the trail. Please be careful of those below you and keep a mindful eye on those above you.

    Brian Kordansky followed Hannah Brzezinski

    about 1 month ago

    Brian Kordansky followed Rebecca Hemshrot

    about 1 month ago

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Camelback Mountain Via Echo Canyon Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Hate to be in the minority here, but Camelback is just meh. My issue is the crowd and just the general traffic of the mountain. I have done this hike 3 times. The first time was 117 at my truck when I started out. as you can imagine there was only 5-10 people on the trail. The second time up was just about 10 degrees cooler and was also uncrowded. Today the temperature was about 76 and was very crowded and kind of unfriendly.

    Yeah the hike is strenuous and a scramble for most of the way, but what I find lacking is soul.

    For an in town hike I am all about Piestewa. People just seem happier, less aggressive and I like the views better. Given the opportunity a short drive to the mountains ringing our valley and points beyond seem to offer what brings me happiness and peace. I understand the draw here, but I think I'll reserve Camelback for the crazy hot months when the crowds are sane enough to stay away.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle

    about 1 month ago

    Peralta TH is my favorite in the Superstitions. The trail is lush and green on the way up. Amazing views from the top. Really just an amazing trail.

    Brian Kordansky completed Lost Dutchman Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Black Cross Butte

    about 1 month ago

    This is a very interesting trail. The pros are beautiful views from the top of the mesa and a not overly strenuous route.

    The cons all have to do with the east side of the loop.

    I started to travel east on the loop and chickened out when I couldn't find a trail that I could safely navigate. It appeared to me that the counterclockwise route at least at the onset is not safe in my opinion. Maybe hiking with someone who has traversed that side of the loop before would make a difference.

    No prob, I'll just go clockwise and make my way. While somewhat undeveloped with loose rock this part of the trail IS undoubtedly navigable (a/o today's date). The trip up is moderately strenuous, but nothing compared to many of the 'hard' hikes in the Tonto, Superstitions or around the valley. There are many cairns and although I did get off track a little for the most part the trail was ok to follow.

    The top of the Mesa and the views of the Salt River Canyon, 4 Peaks and the high mountains to the East are spectacular.

    I began to descend thinking that the side of the loop that I first tried would be easier to navigate coming from a different direction. I was able to follow the trail to the start of the descent into the Salt River Canyon, but again could not find a safe way down.

    Before writing this review I had a look at the recordings of other hikers. It appears I am not the only one who had some of the same issues. Take a look and remember that traveling the way I did (3/4 of the loop and back) was still really fun, but it is a much longer hike than advertised.

    One last note. After dropping off the Mesa retracing the trail down the way I came up, there is a saddle with many cairns leading to the peak to the West of Black Cross Peak. If your intent is to go down and you are following that path you are not going the right way. Again, looking at the recordings I am by no means the only hiker to make this mistake.

    This is a fun hike with some very pretty terrain and views. Please be safe (and smart), take plenty of water, a map, snacks, GPS and let someone know where you are at.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300

    about 1 month ago

    Great workout. I prefer this to Camelback. The difference may be the 300' vertical elevation difference :-)

    I like the views and people sharing the trail seem to be pretty friendly. Great fun for an after work hike.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Black Mesa Loop Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Went counterclockwise and started at about 7 AM. The views going up Dutchmen trail are probably the best of the hike. Once you hit Black Mesa Trail the hike turns into a pretty average (albeit very healthy) Sonoran desert landscape without any views. The exception here if you turn around after climbing the rise after the Black Mesa and Dutchman junction. A great view of Weavers Needle can be found.

    The whole loop took about 3 hours and I went through 3 Liters of water. Sun was at my back going back to the trailhead via Black Mesa and 2nd Water trails by going counterclockwise.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Saguaro, Ridge and Granite Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Nice views of Red Mt. and Salt River Valley, but a better mountain bike ride than hike.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Bulldog Saddle and Pass Mountain Trail Loop

    about 1 month ago

    I would almost give this 5 stars except for the beginning of the trail starting on the Bulldog Saddle side. The trail is of really poor quality with tennis ball to softball sized loose rocks. It's just hard going until you get to the saddle.

    From the backside of the saddle to the Pass Mountain side of the trailhead this is an absolutely beautiful hike. I found the backside of this loop really easy to follow right up to the second saddle (travelling counterclockwise). At that point just hug the mountain and work your way to the far side of the canyon where that ridge will take you down with tremendous views of The Flatiron along the way.

    If you can time this part of the loop to coincide with sunset you will be treated to some stunning views.

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Massacre Grounds Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This is right between easy and moderate. Also, I'd give this trail 3.5 stars (if I could). Great view of the backside of The Flatiron, but the highlight is the very end of the trail. The end of the canyon is cool and green. I will definitely return after the next rain.

    As an aside please read into the historical angle to this trail. There was definitely a twinge of sadness for the bitter demise of the Peralta family at the end of the trail.

    Brian Kordansky followed Rachel Gurevich

    2 months ago

    Brian Kordansky completed Black Cross Butte

    2 months ago

    Brian Kordansky completed Black Mesa Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    Brian Kordansky added Do This Now

    3 months ago

    Brian Kordansky added Backpacking

    3 months ago

    Brian Kordansky added Winter Hikes

    3 months ago

    Brian Kordansky followed Megan Hall

    3 months ago

    Brian Kordansky reviewed Dutchman and Bluff Springs Loop

    3 months ago

    The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

    The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

    The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

    Brian Kordansky completed Gold Mine Trail

    4 months ago