Arizona Hiking Gallery
Park Trail Hike
Tonto National Forest, Punkin Center, AZ
April 9, 2006
Gallery contains 37 photos
Gallery last updated: 5/3/2006
On this hike I followed the Park Trail about 2 1/2 miles and 2000 feet of climbing into the Mazatzal Mountains to a small saddle before turning around and heading back.
The Park Trail start off with a crossing of Park Creek. With such a dry winter I was surprised to find a little water in the creek.
Western Spiderwort (tradescantia occidentalis).
The first 3/4 mile of Park Trail is a gentle climb.
Powder River Livestock Handling Equipment.
Panaramic view of the Mazatzal Mountains from the Park Trail. (Mosaic of three images.)
Fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia).
Almost all of Park Trail travels through an area that was hit hard by the Edge Complex Fire, a 71,635 acre wildfire started on July 15, 2005 by a lightning strike.
After about 3/4 mile the Park Trail cross an unnamed dry wash and the climbing begins.
Yucca scarred and felled by the fire.
Interesting contrast between the white wood and the burned bark of this now dead tree.
A view to the east across the Tonto Basin and toward the Sierra Ancha.
Bud of Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula).
A view looking northeast across the Tonto Basin.
Looking over the burned landscape southeast toward Lake Roosevelt.
Looking southeast over Tonto Basin.
A lone Saguaro Cactus on a rocky hillside. The only saguaro I saw on the trail.
Heading up into the hills. The Edge Complex Fire has burned almost all the plant life in this area.
A rare and welcome splash of vivid color in this charred and burned landscape from a Strawberry Hedgehog (Echinocereus engelmannii) in bloom.
After about 2000 feet of climbing in about 2.5 miles the Park Trail reaches a saddle and my turn around point. This is a view from saddle to the northwest toward Mt Ord.
At the saddle there is a quartz vein running through the hillside.
An easternly view from the saddle overlookng Punkin Center in Tonto Basin.
Turkey Vulture soaring above the hills.
Atop Mt Ord is a lookout tower and several communication towers.
This Barrel Cactus amid the rocks fell victim to the fire.
The trail is sometimes faint, but it is often marked by rock cairns.
Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla) is a member of the pea family.
Back down near Park Creek is stand of Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii>).
Goodding's Verbena (Glandularia gooddingii).
A Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly visits a patch of Goodding's Verbena.
Back at Park Creek signals the end of the hike.
All images Copyright ©2006 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.