Mad Cow starts a few hundred feet into Coyote Ugly
, which in turns begins at the nearby Bowen Ranch roundhouse. Look for a sign marking the beginning of the trail, which can be missed if cutting through the bushes and cacti a little too early on the south side. For hikers who begin the trail from this direction, they'll find its composition very similar to the neighboring Lazy Cow
: gritty, flat singletrack. A few short up and down sections add a little variety, but otherwise this section of trail is straight and easy.
Cross a wooden bridge about a third of a mile into the trail. A few smaller, golf ball sized rocks start to appear on the path afterwards. The view towards the mountains is easy to appreciate throughout this section; whereas many area trails require hikers to keep their eyes down to avoid obstacles, here one can spend more time enjoying the surrounding scenery. Stay right at the fork around the two-thirds mile point.
Little changes until Mad Cow crosses Rockshock Road
around a mile and a half in. No signs mark either trail, but the intersection is easy to make out. Afterwards, Mad Cow quickly transitions to a hilly area. Desert grasses and huge sotol plants start to surround the path. As the scenery changes, so does the trail, changing into a winding climb that becomes rocky and moderately technical in some parts.
A series of short switchbacks leads to the top of a foothill near the two mile point. At the top, the cut in the hillside for Blue Moon
is easily visible to the west. Continue a little further to the trail's end. Again, there is no sign marking the intersection, but a rock cairn and the clearly visible path makes it easy to find.
Barrel cactus, creosote bushes and mesquite. Birds, lizards and snakes.