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Go John Trail Professional Review and Guide
"A gorgeous loop through the desert north of Phoenix. This pleasant loop gives hikers a good introduction to the Sonoran Desert. The abundance and diversity of plant life surprise most first-time visitors. One factor that allows the Sonoran Desert to contain so many different kinds of plants—from cacti and wildflowers to small trees and shrubs—is that there are two rainy seasons. Certain plants tend to utilize the winter moisture, while other species rely upon the summer rains. Thus, not every plant is competing all the time with its neighbor for the precious rare fluid. Permit: Park entrance fee must be paid."
--Stewart Aitchison & Bruce Grubbs, Hiking Arizona (Falcon Guides).
Awesome hike - very few people frequent this 5.8 mile trail, but you're bound to see some wildlife and there are excellent views of the surrounding mountains. Just enough of a climb to get your heart rate going, but not too strenuous.
Best time to go - March and April when the desert wildflowers are blooming!
Instead of hiking this trail, my husband and I rode our mountain bikes. I don't suggest this to to many people. You have to be the kind of rider that rides National at South mountain to ride this trail. It would be great to hike. The views are beautiful. I can't wait to go back and explore more of the trails that are located in State Trust land just outside of the park. We will probably ride our bikes again but just the first part of Overland trail and the east end of Go John.
I began the hike heading North
completing a 4.8 mile clockwise loop.
The time was approximately 8:15am.
Within the first 100 yards or so, a the
trail steadily began to incline at about
30-45 degrees. Once over the first of
two noticiable saddles the intensity
declines with the trail.
Most of the terrain is a combination of
small rock (mostly quartz i think) and
dirt, making it a fairly comfotable hike.
About midpoint the trail again begins to
ascend at a steady grade of about 30
degrees. On this particular day, the
trail was very dry and dusty. The views and scenary
are spectacular. I noticed that this
trail met up with a few others to
extend the distance (7/8 miles) or
could be kept to 4.8 miles. This trail
is very beautiful and well preserved.
If hiking with a group of people it
tends to get long, but for a quiet
peaceful hike for one or two, it can be
very rejuvenating. Highly recommended!
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