April 1, 2011

Silly Mountain

Silly Mountain . . . my April Fool's joke! Yes . . . it exists!!! It is my default hiking destination since it is close to where I live. I enjoy starting my work week listening to my co-workers tell me:
"I hiked Camelback!"
"I hiked Lookout!"
"I hiked Squaw Peak!"
Only to tell them . . . "I hiked Silly!" 
Botanical Walk
Silly Mountain Park includes over 5 miles of trails made by Superstition Area Land Trust and Apache Junction Parks & Recreation that now manages the park. The area used to receive heavy ATV use, but it is now recovering although a large scar is still visible on the front of the mountain. Recently, a botanical walk was added through grant money from the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust, local businesses, and SALT. The park is easily accessed from US-60 to Mountain View Road, right on 32nd Ave., and right on Silly Mountain Road.

I pretty much always do the same loop starting at the parking lot then going left at the first trail sign on the Palo Verde Trail, up to Superstition View Point then along the Superstition View Trail. There are some great views of the Superstition Mountains from this part of the hike: 

From here, I cut over on the Old Baldy Trail, then turn right on the Crest Trail and follow the signs up to High Point. You can eliminate this short up and back section of the High Point Trail if you've done it many times before, and just carry on along the Old Mine Trail. This section is a little steep and rocky so watch for sliding. I still prefer going down this section rather than up it. From here, you will turn left on the Brittlebrush Trail to take it back to the parking lot. It makes for a really nice loop, and I feel it showcases the best of Silly Mountain.

Length: about 2.3 miles for the loop I've described
Elevation gain: 400 feet
Time it took us: 1 hour
Dogs: Yes
Fees: None