Western Loop Bike Trail is located in Adero Canyon, Fountain Hills, AZ. You can reach Adero Canyon from Palisades Ave; when heading east on Palisades from Shea Blvd, take a left at Palomino Ave. Continue straight through the Adero Canyon neighborhood. The road dead-ends into the Adero Canyon recreational parking lot.
About the Hike: The loop rail is 2.3 miles with a 623-foot elevation gain. Today I accessed the trail by starting on the Western Bike Loop trailhead.
Another option is to hike along the Promenade Trail to the other Western Loop trailhead. To learn more about the Promenade, read my Promenade Hiking Trail blog post.
I've hiked this trail from both trailheads, and my favorite is to start at the Western Bike Loop trailhead near the parking lot.
I immediately noticed how green all the brittlebush was along the desert floor. They haven't started blooming yet with the cooler weather we've experienced this 2023 winter; however, the buds are starting to show, so a colorful brittle bush explosion is only weeks away.
The good news is all the other early bird wildflowers are blooming and adding a wonderful splash of color.
I've been hiking in Adero Canyon for years, and each time I come, I'm somewhat saddened to see the construction and stripping away of the beautiful mountainside to build more and more homes. It leaves me wondering about all the wildlife being pushed out of their habitats.
Pink wings fluttered across the fairy duster scrubs providing a playful energy as I hiked along the trail.
The Teddy Bear Cholla's sparkled in the sun. But hikers beware of those awful pups that spring off of the cactus. They stick to anything including your shoes. A good tip is to always carry a fine tooth comb and tweezers.
If a cactus pup gets stuck the comb will easily remove it from your shoes. But sadly if a cactus spine pierces you, you'll need tweezers to pull it out.
Wildflowers lined the trail offering splashing of yellow, white, and pink.
Marbled across the desert are clumps of granite intertwined with flowers and cactus. It's amazing to analyze the rocks and think about the huge slabs of granite that are created for kitchen and bathroom countertops.
Pops of red made there appearance among the boulders as I drew nearer to the Andrew Kingsley Trailhead.
Continue along the trail until you come to this signpost. You want to take a right onto the Western Loop Trail. Ensure you do not continue straight along the Andrew-Kingsley trail; otherwise, you'll be hiking toward Sunrise Peak.
Luckily, once I headed up the Western Loop trail, I could turn my back to the construction and hike upward toward the mountain range to take in the views from all directions.
The narrow path is smooth and easy to navigate as you wind through the majestic saguaro cacti standing guard.
A feeling of accomplishment swept through me as I looked behind me. The elevation gain is modest, but when I looked back seeing where I've been felt good.
You have a 360-degree view from the top. From the east, the view of Four Peaks and Flat-Iron Peak in the Superstition Mountains were hazy across the horizon against the stormy clouds.
The trail on the mountain's north side offers more of a hiking challenge as you descend the trail. As you head down, you'll follow switchback after switchback for the first quarter-mile. I strongly recommend hiking poles; some places along the trail has loose gravel.
The northside views are modest compared to those on the east and southside. Instead of focusing on the views, I redirected my attention to the natural features along the path. Check out the colorful lichen growing on the rocks. I couldn't believe how electrifying the orange color was against the greenish yellow.
The switchbacks ended as I traveled through this last cluster of boulders. The path smoothed out, allowing me to continue focusing on the wildflowers that popped up here and there along the trail.
I was excited spotting my first California Poppy as I grew closer to the Promenade trail.
I felt joy as I hiked along the Promenade Trail when I saw many more poppies lining the trail. Poppies, Poppies, oh my....Poppies, Poppies, on my!
The Ocotillos are starting to sprout leaves but no flowering flames are bursting along the tops of their branches.
A solidary cluster of wildflowers provided the perfect splash of color to end my hike.