In conversations with hikers I have been meeting along the trails I have been learning about additional parks & preserves where I could experience what I came here to experience. San Tan Mountain Regional Park was one of those places so that is where I ventured to today. Here I could reach a high point with vast views and also hike amongst the cactus along sandy desert winding trails.
I paid the dues then hit the San Tan Trail which was the beginning of a gigantic loop. It was early, overcast, cool, quiet and I settled right in as I most certainly have my desert legs now. I could see I would be sharing a portion of the day with mountain bikers.
In one direction it looked dark and dismal, in the desert that created a dramatic scene. I hoped that would stay over there and I was glad I was not heading in that direction.
Continuing along, it continued to be pretty and then even got prettier. Every now and then there would be a memory bench to sit for a spell. I took advantage of those for my snack breaks.
The San Tan Trail went on and on with many opportunities to veer off and head back to the Visitor Centre. I could see the hills and mountains ahead and assumed that was where I would arrive to then begin the climb. Along the way I still admired all the scenery especially the saguaros.
I reached the end of the San Tan Trail and began the climb up the Goldmine Trail. It was gentle at first then got a little rough and rugged.
I made it to the top. As I was approaching the summit a small group was packing up to begin their descent. I stuck around awhile up here and just savoured some snacks and the scenery.
The views from up here were incredible. There is history that goes with this Goldmine Mountain. I opted to admire it for its golden colours and golden views.
After investing a good amount of time, I began the descent. At the bottom I continued along the Goldmine Trail back to the Visitor Centre. I kept looking back just because it looked so darn pretty.
I arrived back at the trail head feeling very pleased and content. I was happy to receive the advice to give this place a go. Other places were suggested too and I will give those a try. Beauty surrounds us in this desert!