Coffee heat rising

Up North Mountain

I made it all the way to the top! Only figured to get halfway up — hauling an extra 20 or 30 pounds of corpus made the hike a little more interesting than it was the last time I climbed North Mountain. These “mountains” (some would call them “hills”) form an island park in the middle of the sea of houses that is Phoenix.

As usual, click on the photo for a bigger, clearer view.


Parking lot’s right in a residential neighborhood.


The lower trail looks benign enough…



Development flows right up to the edge of the park.


P1020223View to the north and east

P1020224Due north

P1020225There’s the summit


After the recent rain, the ocotillo are in bloom

P1020230View to the south

P1020233Getting closer…


P1020237We’re two-thirds of the way to the top here.

P1020240Downtown Phoenix rising from the smog

P1020242Nearing the summit

P1020253There’s the top of Shaw Butte, an adjacent hillock

P1020255Made it to the top!


P1020261The price of progress

P1020262View from the summit

P1020269Headed back down


 P1020273Backlit creosotebush blossoms and fuzzballs

P1020274Creosote is what makes the desert smell like rain

P1020275Watch your step…this is the trail!

10 thoughts on “Up North Mountain”

  1. Wow! I am impressed.Looks like a great hike and some amazing views. And Big Yellow Taxi is one of my all-time favorites I have not listened to in years!. You must have felt so good after that hike. You have inspired me and I am getting out there soon (it snowed today so I have to wait for better weather). 🙂

  2. That hike looks so wonderful! I visited relatives in AZ last year and would love to spend more time there. Just not during the summer. ;o)

    • 😀 There are whole communities here whose residents spend the winter in Arizona and then go home for the summer. In fact, that’s what SDXB’s New Girlfriend does: She comes into town in October and then she’s outta here in April. This week they’re taking a driving trip into California, but I’m sure as soon as they get back, she’ll head for Colorado. Last time I spoke with him, he said he didn’t intend to spend the whole summer in Colorado this year, but I can’t imagine why not, when he has a lovely lady with a lovely home there.

      We have some very fancy RV resorts around here that fill up during the winter and essentially close during the summer. It’s such a phenomenon that sociologists have actually done scholarly studies about the culture that’s developed around them.

    • M’hijito was at work, it being a (gasp) work day, poor wretch. Cassie can’t make it that far, especially on a warm day — with all that fur, she’s not good for much when the weather’s warmer than about 70 or 75 degrees.

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