Why to go: Because you hate yourself
How long will it take: Forever
What do I need to bring: LOTS of water and sunscreen and M&Ms, err I mean trail mix.
Last week we got a “wild hair” to go hike Daisy Mountain. Yes I say “wild hair” now and it is completely Mark’s fault – apparently it is part of the Minnesota vernacular along with saying Minne SO tah. It is spring in the desert folks and you don’t want to miss it. Its the one time of year we can actually be outside. Well, there is winter too, but this year it was a rainy and cold winter so we didn’t get out as much as we would have liked. So out the door we went. We didn’t want to squander a JOYFUL ADVENTURE opportunity.
We had hiked Daisy Mountain before, oh yes, but it was under that delightful bliss of newfound love that enables you to do things like hike mountains in a single bound and look like you have a dewy glow because you’re just so smitten. That doesn’t mean we AREN’T smitten but somehow we felt this one – or at least ~I~ did. Mark is actually the type of person who can apparently undertake any athletic endeavor and never be out of breath or look like it takes even a smidgeon of effort. Me – on the other hand will sweat like a 300 pound man and struggle for every breath like I’m in cardiac arrest. It makes for lots of scenes that look like this: Mark calmly looking around enjoying scenery, while I hold up my pointer finger meaning “give me a minute” as I’m doubled over trying not to throw up. Its a match made in Heaven!
The hike starts out just beautifully…a lovely flat trail…so nice… so flat…and this time of year – it was so scenic! The wild flowers were abundant and I felt that dewey glow as I pranced down the path hearing that song that plays in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy is heading to Oz through the last of the poppies (here is a link to the video in case you have no idea what I’m talking about – thank you random person for posting it on youtube). But then we started going uphill and I realized that dewey glow was really sweat and my prancing was really huffing and puffing.
The path soon led to a steady incline that went on forever. Truthfully I am not a complete wuss, but this really isn’t a hike for the faint of heart or grossly out of shape. I say “grossly” because I’m only “mildly” out of shape. While I still greatly enjoyed the wild flowers, the sweeping views of the valley and the quiet of the trail, it was a steady hard climb. I almost died at least three times from being slightly dizzy and stepping too close to the edge. Note to self and readers: don’t do this in the heat of the day…REALLY bad idea.
It took us about an hour and a half, although I think if someone were in peak shape an hour would be the max for the incline. At the top is a flag and a bunch of cans with notebooks in which you can sign your name and leave a message. We were able to find our first message to each other from when we were first dating… sigh.
We sat at the top and ate our snacks enjoying the sprawling 360 degree view. You can see so much of the valley it is impressive. We finished up having not seen more than four people the entire hike and headed back down the other side of the mountain. This is another really nice aspect of Daisy Mountain in that it is a loop if you choose to make it so. You can hike up one side and go down the other.
All in all, it was a lovely, yet exhausting outing. We certainly got our calorie burn in for the day – my iWatch told me I burned over 1200 calories and our hike clocked in at 3.5 hours – 7.5 miles…see the map from AllTrails.com below.
If you live in the north valley, or you just want to hike a great challenging hike with amazing views, Daisy Mountain is a great choice. We are lucky it is only 5 minutes from our Phoenix home base. But I’m not really sure I could hike that every week. Its a once a quarter type thing in my book.
Enjoy the photos and let me know if you have any questions about the hike! Otherwise, get out there and have your own adventure!