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Usery Park Large Loop - South Side

Easy/Intermediate
  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

7.6 mile 12.2 kilometer loop
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 243' 74 m
Descent: -244' -74 m
High: 1,891' 576 m
Low: 1,717' 523 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Doug Baer

A mostly flat loop that covers the southern part of Usery Mountain Regional Park.

Doug Baer

Features Wildlife

Overview

This combination of trails is a bit over 10 km. It is pretty flat and takes you through the SE part of the park, which tends to be much less crowded than any other place in the park. It is mostly frequented by people on horseback or MTB'ers. There are some wash crossings and some of the trail is sandy, but nothing that would even require gaiters most of the year. The Channel Trail is full of water after rainstorms, and you can substitute the parallel and upper Levee Trail if that is the case.

Need to Know

It is $7 to enter the park and park where I began this hike. Alternatively, you can park on the SW of the park and begin/end the hike at the gate near the Channel Trail and Levee Trail intersection and just pay $2 as a "walk-in".

Description

I start and end this hike at the "Area 10" trailhead because parking is usually pretty simple, and they've got a restroom (not a port-o-john). Head south and then west (right) on the Blevins Trail, following that until it joins with the Moon Rock Trail the second time. From there, make a right onto Moon Rock Trail and follow it a bit until you meet up with the Levee Trail and head south until that meets up with the Channel Trail (or stay on the Levee Trail if Channel Trail is wet/muddy/full of water).

This is a pretty easy hike across the width of the park. When you meet up with the Spillway Trail , head left onto that and hike until the first branch, which will be the Ruidoso Trail on the right. This trail will wind around the eastern side of the park, and you may even see planes flying around from the nearby model plane airfield.

Continue on this trail (again, mostly flat desert trails with a few easy wash crossings) until it meets the County Line Trail and head north (left). This will be mostly flat with a bit of uphill grade until it meets with the Meridian Trail. This trail is a bit more on the rocky side than the previous trails, but not too bad.

Once the Meridian Trail joins with the Blevins Trail, take the right fork and follow that back to the Area 10 Trailhead spur you came in on. There is a parking area with port-o-johns about 2km from the start —good to know in case you can't make it back to the beginning!

Flora & Fauna

Typical Sonoran desert plants and animals: coyote, jackrabbits, deer, squirrels, lizards, etc.

History & Background

There is a popular model airplane airfield in the SE corne,r and planes are frequently visible on the Ruidoso Trail. Interestingly, "ruidoso" means "noisy" in Spanish... I'm not sure whether that was named because of the airfield or if that is merely coincidental, but when there are a bunch of planes, it sounds like a swarm of bees!

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible

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Contacts

Land Manager: Maricopa County Parks

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Check-Ins

Feb 9, 2019
Saman Garkani
I did not complete the entire loop.

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3189

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Featured Hike Rankings

#130

in Arizona

#3,189

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268 Since Dec 21, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

This is a shot showing my favorite spot on the Blevins Trail - it's colorful in spring and has a good view of Pass Mountain.
Jan 18, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
Enjoy phenomenal desert views from the Ruidoso Trail.
Mar 12, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The Channel Trail offers a great view of the distant Superstition Mountains.
Feb 13, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
Barrel cactus in bloom
Sep 23, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
A confusing transition. Look for this sign to the southeast of the permanent toilets and continue on.
Jun 9, 2019 near Apache…, AZ

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