Hike #09 – Sunflower Trailhead South – 15 Miles

What a gorgeous hike this one was. My friend Dave and I set out on an early November morning to Sunflower AZ, a quick drive from Scottsdale up Highway 87. Heading north, when you see the little Sunflower sign, keep going until you see the Service Road 22 turn. It’s a large bump as you pull in so….. slow down. Drive a little way up to a closed road marker and park. The AZ Trail intercept is a short 1 mile or so down the road toward the creek. You’ll see the AZ Trail signs so it’s really easy to get on trail. Once on trail, take the trail to your left and be ready for some amazing views. You will shoulder a mountain for about 2 miles and then, it opens up to a land like time forgot. Prehistoric was my immediate thought. This section is known for the old 1950’s junk cars found in a wash on the hike. I have no idea how they got were they are, nor why they are there, but its cool to come up on the while hiking. Adds to remote feeling. The trail takes you into a wide valley and up until mile 5.5 at Boulder Creek it will be a steady but slow up hill. After 5.5, the up becomes a little aggressive although well worth the climb. Dave and I stopped for lunch at 7.5, which was an awesome overlook view of the valley we just hiked, nearly 1800ft up from the start. I actually enjoy hikes that are up on the way out and down on the hike back to the car. Not so fond of the reverse…. the fish bowl hikes. This hike was great and very enjoyable.

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