If you live in the Phoenix area you are probably rejoicing because temperatures finally dipped below 100 degrees this week. With overcast skies, some monsoon moisture lingering in the air, and a slight breeze, the high of 97 degrees yesterday was almost refreshing.
As the weather changes, I notice I have more energy, and more desire to get outdoors and play, so get ready to see a lot more posts about local hikes and adventures.
Yesterday evening my daughter Sara and I took advantage of the cooler weather to do a short hike close to home. Lake Overlook Trail in Fountain Hills, Arizona is a well maintained 1.5 mile trail that skirts around the lake in the center of town. The town classifies the trail is easy to moderate. I consider this trail to be easy, but there are a couple small hills and the gravel path can be slippery on the downhill sections. While you will only gain about 150 feet of elevation on the trail, you will have beautiful views of the lake down below, Red Mountain and the Superstitions, and the McDowell Mountains on the edge of town.
You can access the trail on the north end from the trailhead at the corner of Saguaro and Panorama Blvds just across from the Northwest corner of Fountain Park. However, I typically start from the south entry which is across the street from the parking lot on the east side of the park, on Panorama between Diamante and Vista del Lago.
From this trailhead, the trail climbs the hill to a nice overlook of the lake. There are park benches at the top of the hill if you want to sit and enjoy the view. If you time it right, you can plan to get there at the top of the hour and watch the fountain as it goes off.
The trail continues, working its way around the lake, skirting between the desert arroyos and hillside condos. There are several side trails going off towards the homes in the area, but the main trail is well-marked and easy to follow.
At one point the trail does cross Bonita and La Montana Drives, and takes a short jog down the hill on La Montana to where it restarts again on the south side of the road (also well-marked).
When you reach the north end of the trail, you can walk around the lake back to the parking area. At this point, I like to take the walking path towards the amphitheater area and plaza, then follow it down El Lago Blvd past the Veteran’s Memorial and back to the parking area. This route adds about another 1.25 miles making it a total loop of approximately 2.75 miles.
Fountain Hills is a very active community so don’t be surprised to see lots of people out and about, on the trail and around the park. If you are bringing your dogs make sure to keep them on leash, there is a lot of cactus along the side of the trail, and a plethora of wild life in the area including javelina and coyote.