Scottsdale Area Hiking, Biking & Trail Guide - 33

Number One
BALANCED ROCK
Balanced Rock, located near Granite Mountain, always comforts me. It has absolutely
no business being upright, yet there it stands, a multi-ton, mushroom-shaped boulder,
precariously perched on a foundation of bare stone . Completely exposed and alone in
the desert, it serves as a reminder that seemingly impossible things exist. See Granite
Mountain Loop Trail on pg. 29 n

Number Two

Number Three

DOUBLE CRESTED SAGUARO (left)
The saguaro is the unquestioned king of
the Sonoran Desert, towering over the
landscape. Yet despite their royal status,
few wear a crown . Those that do are
called crested saguaros .

CATHEDRAL ROCK METATES
On the loop surrounding Cholla Mountain,
I stop to enjoy Cathedral Rock where
mighty boulders are stacked together
and pocked with shady grottoes . In the
largest room, metates, the shallow
indentations in the bedrock where Native
Americans would grind food such as
mesquite pods, are still visible. See
Cholla Mountain Loop on pg. 31 n

When the growing tip of a saguaro
produces a fan-like shape instead of
columnar arms, it's referred to as crested
or cristate . The specimen at the junction
of the Coyote Canyon and Desperado
trails is one of the most rare . The main
trunk forks, with both ends fanning out
into a regal double crest . It's beautiful
and eerily reminiscent of Princess Leia's
twin-bun hairdo . See Granite Mountain
with Coyote Canyon extension on pg. 29 u

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Scottsdale Area Hiking, Biking & Trail Guide

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