Arizona Hiking Gallery

South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail
Phoenix, AZ
December 29, 2018

Gallery contains 58 photos

Gallery last updated: 1/2/2019

On this hike I wandered out along South Mountain's Desert Classic Trail from the Telegraph Pass Trailhead, to see what wildflowers might be in bloom in late December. I did find a few!

South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 1
This hike was an out-and-back along the Desert Classic Trail from the Telegraph Pass Trailhead.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 2
Phacelia crenulata, which goes by many common names including Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope and Notch-leaved Phacelia, was quite abundant along the trail.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 3
Phacelia crenulata
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 4
Another common name for Phacelia crenulata is Scorpion-Weed due to its coiled inflorescence resembling a scorpion tail.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 5
Here's a classic example of a Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) growing under the protection of a Palo Verde "nurse" tree.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 6
The Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) usually has a bright magenta flower in early spring.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 7
Close up of Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 8
Watch it! Don't get too close! Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 9
In front is a California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus), In back is a Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 10
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) blooms provide a splash of yellow along the Desert Classic Trail.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 11
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) putting on a show in late December.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 12
Painted Lady or American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) visits the flowers of Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 13
Close up of Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) flower.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 14
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) flowers.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 15
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 16
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 17
Here a Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata) shows its fuzzy white fruit.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 18
Emory's Rockdaisy or Desert Rock Daisy (Perityle emoryi).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 19
Leaf of Emory's Rockdaisy (Perityle emoryi).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 20
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) in the middle of a wash.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 21
Injured trunk of Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 22
Fallen Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 23
Notch-leaved Phacelia Phacelia crenulata showing flower and basal leaves.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 24
Notch-leaved Phacelia Phacelia crenulata.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 25
Notch-leaved Phacelia Phacelia crenulata flower close up.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 26
Notch-leaved Phacelia Phacelia crenulata base.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 27
The California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) is usually solitary, but here we have a group of four.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 28
A Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), past its prime, casts an eerie figure.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 29
Dead skin of Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 30
Ribs of dead Saguaro Cactus arm hang like sinewy tendrils.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 31
Arm of dead Saguaro Cactus.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 32
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) blooming among tangled branches of dead tree.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 33
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 34
Another group of four California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 35
Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii). Note at the base of this cholla is a mammillaria.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 36
Close up ofTeddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 37
Arizona Fishhook Cactus (Mammillaria Grahamii).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 38
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) skeleton.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 39
Saguaro rib candelabra.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 40
A look inside the rids of a dead Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 41
Close up of Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) ribs.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 42
Look mom, no hands! It seemed strange to see such a tall Saguaro without arms.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 43
Mexican Gold Poppy. This used to be classified as a separate species (Eschscholtzia mexicana), but now it is recognized as a sub-species of the California Poppy and so now goes by the new name (Eschscholtzia californica subsp. mexicana).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 44
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) in front of a rock outcropping.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 45
A small California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) and Emory's Rockdaisys (Perityle emoryi) in rock rubble overseen by a Palo Verde tree.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 46
Rock outcropping.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 47
A pair of California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 48
Communication towers atop South Mountain.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 49
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) glowing in the backlight.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 50
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 51
Fallen Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 52
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) blooms with orange flowers at the tip of its wands.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 53
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) blooms.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 54
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) bloom.
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 55
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 56
Fuzzy fruit of the Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata).
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 57
A closer view of the fruit of Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata)
South Mountain Park Desert Classic Trail: Image 58
Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata) flower and fruits