Lookout Mountain
July 26, 2004


Today is Monday. After work I went back to my hotel for about an hour then drove to Lookout Mountain for a short evening hike. I hiked the Circumference Trail (2.6 mile loop) and then the Summit Trail (1 mile round trip). These are hikes #12 and #11, respectively, in Stewart Green's book. I began this hike at about 6:00pm. Throughout the hike the weather became more threatening with lightning in the distance, but I was not affected by it.
As I walked to my car I saw this hawk in the parking lot, apparently taking advantage of a puddle of water left from last night's storms.
To reach the trailhead from Scottsdale, go west on Bell Road (aka Frank Lloyd Wright Drive), then south on 16th Street, which dead ends at the trailhead. This is the trailhead.
As the name implies, the circumference trail goes around Lookout Mountain. You are never far from homes. It is, nevertheless, a pleasant walk. Here is a view from the south side of the park looking towards Squaw Peak.
The south side of one of the lesser peaks has a large population of cholla cactus, also known as teddy bear cactus.
Phoenix Parks and Recreation uses these brown metal posts to mark its trails. I saw the same posts at Squaw Peak. Unfortunately, these posts usually have a number only. Occasionally you'll get an arrow, but not very often. I found this to be frustrating. You're not going to get lost in this park, but there are many secondary trails which crisscross the main trail and sometimes it is difficult to know which direction you should go. Carry Green's guide book!
Looking east.
The northern sky is darkening and I am seeing some lightning...
I have completed the circumference trail, and want to do the summit. Do I dare? How soon will the lightning be here? My friends and family are afraid I will die of dehydration here. What irony to get struck by lightning instead...while carrying about a gallon of water and gatorade!
I've never been accused of having too much common sense. So I went to the summit. In my defense, I wasn't the only one there. The sunset was nice. The summit is flat and invites you to stay. It would make for a romantic picnic dinner. Sipping Gatorade from fine plastic stemware...
Me on the summit of Lookout Mountain.
Me again.
Looking north up 16th street. Not looking too pretty...time to get off this mountain!
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Copyright © 2004 by Bill Qualls. Last updated July 26, 2004.