REVIEWS

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Not the Lake, It's the Great Geology



I have to confess that I'm not a water sports fan, and I'm pretty sure that Lake Pleasant is a great place to get a sunburn. That said, I've noticed that a lot of locals really enjoy the lake and its recreational opportunities, so I'm not trying to knock it -- I simply don't know enough about that aspect of it to write a review about it. Instead, I'd like to talk about the geology and a wonderful trail we hiked.
The Hieroglyphic Mountains (and its neighbors) are a testament to the varied volcanic activity that shaped most of Arizona over the last 1.7 billion years, though most of the landscape you see on the Pipeline Trail near Lake Pleasant has its origins in the Tertiary and Quaternary periods. We saw everything from vesicular basalt to rhyolitic tuff, and the colors were fabulous. Check out the USGS pdf map of the area -- it will give you a more detailed breakdown of the rock types you'll find in the area.

The trail is not a loop, and it's 2.2 miles each way, but it's moderate in difficulty, without a lot of climbing. The views are gorgeous, especially if you're fond of desert flora and fauna, and there are even wild donkeys in the area (we saw several of them, and heard their "EE-Aw"s echoing up and down the canyon). This is a hike for the cool season, late Oct to late March, and you need to take water -- and your camera!

After hiking both ways on the trail, we drove to Wickenburg and had supper at Anita's Cocina, ignoring the fast food joints along HWY 60. It was a wonderful day.



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