Arizona Hiking Gallery
San Tan Loop Hike
San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Queen Creek, AZ
September 10, 2017
Gallery contains 19 photos
Gallery last updated: 10/6/2017

This hike was an approximately 5 mile easy counter-clockwise loop hike in San Tan Mountain Regional Park just south of Queen Creek, AZ. (Easy, except for the late summer heat.) The hike loops around the unnamed central mountains of the park using the Moonlight, San Tan and Hedgehog trails. This photo gallery is mostly about cactus.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 1
Young and old Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). The iconic cactus of the Sonoran Desert.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 2
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 3
Dense spines of a young Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 4
Close up of the spines along the ribs of a yound Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 5
A young California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus), is ball of spines.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 6
Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides). This species will often arch its tail over its back and sway it back and forth showing contrasting black and white strips on the underside of the tail.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 7
Green grasshopper in Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 8
Another classic Sonoran Desert plant is the Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). In hot dry conditions it will drop its leaves. After rains come the canes will leaf out once again. In the spring bright orange flowers adorn the tip of the branches.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 9
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) tries its best to hide behind a Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 10
Spines of California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus),

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 11
California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus), blossom and buds.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 12
California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 13
Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 14
A trio of California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) blossoms.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 15
A trio of California Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus) blossoms.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 16
Wonderful color and pattern on Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 17
Wonderful color and pattern on Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Note on this older saguaro most of the spines have been lost.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 18
Arizona Fishhook Cactu,s aka Fishhook Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria grahamii) somehow grows from a crack in a rock ledge.

San Tan Loop Hike: Image 19
A grand odl Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) rises above the trees at the edge of a dry wash.

All images Copyright ©2017 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.