Forgive me if this blog isn’t as clever as my others.
I’m a mother now. I have to make certain sacrifices. Because I have exactly 27 minutes until the nanny goes home.
Good writing may have gone by the wayside but good hiking has not. Now that baby is no longer a screaming, writhing, constantly-nursing newborn, I’ve been strapping her into a carrier and hitting the dirt.
On the very best day of my motherhood so far, baby and I set out alone to explore Trail 100 heading east from the North Mountain Visitor Center (make sure to check that place out — great exhibits for kids, a bookstore, a library, jewelry for sale, and special events).
This hike is yet another little itty bit of the great Trail 100 which stretches end to end in the Phoenix Mountains totaling 11 miles. The hike described here is considerably shorter. It wanders under 7th Street via a tunnel, past the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Hills Resort, and into some of the most serene desert you can find in the middle of the city.
After a recent rain, the place was covered in green grass and swollen cacti. I loved it out there as I worked up a decent sweat climbing a few small inclines. Baby slept the whole time, and the smell of horse crap from the neighboring stables only lasted for a few minutes. Pretty awesome.
Trail 100 East From North Mountain Visitor Center
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 180 feet
Online Map & Driving Directions (click the link and scroll to bottom of page for Google map driving directions)
From the southeast corner of the parking lot at the North Mountain Visitor Center, find Trail 100 clearly marked by large signs. Hang a left to follow the trail east and you’ll immediately travel through the tunnel that runs under 7th Street. With the Pointe Hilton resort to your right and horse stables to the left, you’ll have to travel a few feet to escape the odd aromatic mix of chlorine and horse manure. This doesn’t last long and before you know it, Trail 100 opens up into a gorgeous desert landscape. From here, just follow the signs for Trail 100 which will keep you veering and turning to the right as you bypass two trail intersections. At the 2nd intersection, you’ll hang a sharp right to follow the Trail 100 sign and the trail will narrow as you begin to climb up rocky terrain. Once the trail reaches a small saddle (at just under a mile), feel free to call it a day and turn around.
From what I experienced, this allows for about an hour’s nap for the 4 month old strapped to your chest.
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