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A cherry-stem and loop around and summiting Union Peak.


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Map Key

8.0

Miles

13.0

KM

Lollipop

2,165' 660 m

High

1,614' 492 m

Low

932' 284 m

Up

932' 284 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

This is a nice eight-ish mile route during the fall, winter, and spring. It loops around Union Peak with a side trip to the summit.

Need to Know

Parking is free at the Desert Vista Trailhead.

Description

Starting at the Desert Vista Trailhead, the route first follows the first half of the Hawks Nest Trail, and then turns right onto the Desert Tortoise Trail, which is followed to its terminus at the Valle Verde Trail. Turning right at the Valle Verde Trail, the route continues until the junction with the Great Horned Owl Trail.

From here, the route is a loop that can be travelled either direction. (The author prefers CCW.) The Great Horned Owl Trail makes a complete loop around Union Peak, starting downhill and followed by a significant continuous climb. At the intersection with the Cactus Wren Trail, this route continues west (left).

At the high point of the loop of the Great Horned Owl Trail, the Union Peak Trail intersects the loop. A side trip up to the summit is optional, but recommended for the great views. After completing the summit trip, the loop continues downhill to the connection with the Valle Verde Trail.

From here, the route returns to the trailhead the way it came.

Flora & Fauna

Typical Sonoran Desert plant and animal life. Watch for rattlesnakes when it is warm out.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Riddle

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#4711

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#180

in Arizona

#4,711

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Photos

A Great Horned Owl spotted along the Hawks Nest Trail.
Apr 9, 2017 near Anthem, AZ
Sunrise from Great Horned Owl.
Jul 19, 2019 near Anthem, AZ

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