Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hike #30: Go John Trail, Cave Creek Regional Park

Length: 5 miles

Listed in almost all the Arizona hiking guides, the Go John Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Phoenix area. Although the trail provides a rather stereotypical desert experience, it is the annual burst of spring flowers that truly draws the crowds!

The trail itself is a simple loop hike around the Go John Mountain. Whichever way you hike the trail, it will be a good mixture of gradual inclines and relaxing declines. I, personally, chose to complete the trail clockwise, since the trailhead was much more pronounced on the north end of the parking lot. Proceeding this way, the trail begins with a series of switchback up the side of the mountain; although the scenery is a little dull, a multitude of blue lupine along the trail adds a little spice to the the trail.

After reaching the trail's peak near the top of the mountain, the trail turns and slowly desends down the northern face of the mountain. Protected from the harsh desert sun, the north face of the moutain is completely carpeted with golden poppies. With panoramic views of the surrounding mountains in the background, this is where the true beauty of the Go John Trail comes to live! The trail continues around the mountain with a variety of wildflowers to view before eventually returning to the parking lot.

To view more pictures of the Go John Trail, click here.