When I first started thinking about looking for work outside of Portland, I immediately added Albuquerque to the list of cities I was interested in. Thinking about the high desert got me thinking about the regular desert but I had the misconception that the desert near Tucson and Phoenix was flat as far as the eye could see, with the occasional cactus sticking up to break up the monotony. Fortunately I did some research and discovered the hills and mountains around each city.
Once we decided to move here and started looking for a house to rent, one of the things I was interested in was distance to local hiking trails. I saw McDowell Sonoran Preserve on a map and thought it looked interesting from afar, it’s a massive preserve owned by the city of Scottsdale with a variety of trailheads leading out to a network of trails. Most trailheads are a 15 to 25 drive from our house and I’m pleased to say that the preserve has turned out to be a great place to hike, so far 6 of my 8 hiking trips have been to different parts of the preserve.
These pictures are from Tom’s Thumb Trail, the furthest trailhead I’ve visited so far but a lovely hike and one I will return to. You can see Pinnacle Peak in both pictures, the nearby trail was the one I visited briefly during my interview trip and the first trail I hiked after we moved here. Pinnacle Peak Park is also owned by the city of Scottsdale but is not a part of the preserve.