Maricopa Mountains

The Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona protects more than 487,000 acres of the most biologically diverse of the North American deserts.



Shadow walking along the trail

We hiked through the 63,200-acre North Maricopa Mountains wilderness area.  A federally-designated wilderness area cannot have any signs of human improvement, including roads and buildings.



Maricopa Mountains panorama.  Click for larger view.

This wilderness area contains a 10-mile section of the Maricopa Mountains, a low-elevation (1,000 to 2,813 feet) Sonoran Desert mountain range, and extensive desert plains.  Click the photo above for a desert mountain panorama.



Theresa contemplates climbing the last hundred feet

We hiked one of the smaller hills (“only” 300 feet high) to find a good lunch spot.  This wasn’t an easy task, as the hill was quite rocky and full of sharp cacti.



Theresa and Shadow on top of the world

Theresa and Shadow are enjoying the terrific view.



Timm standing in front of the hill we just climbed

Here I am standing in front of the hill we just conquered.



White lizard

There were many lizards scurrying about, including this white fellow that blended in well with the light colored desert landscape.



Bleak and desolate desert landscape

This trail was so desolate that we didn’t see or hear any signs of human life, except for the occasional jet high in the sky above… just how we like it!

>> Next Stop: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park >>

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