Lost Dog Wash Trail- Arizona

Chloe here with a hike that will always have a place close to my heart. I was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. I grew up differently than most adults (21-22 years old) our age. I rarely watched tv, saw movies, or stayed inside. My parents have always led us to explore the wonders of the outdoors. This is the very first hike I have ever been on, and have done more times than I can count. It is a mere 2 miles from my parents home, the home I was raised in, and has a trail that loops all the way to it if one so desires to walk there too!


Lost dog wash, sometimes known as sunrise trail due to the amazing photography opportunities it presents, has changed a lot since I was young. I remember it being quite desolate, seeming just like my family was there. There are a lot of different trails that can loop over the McDowell Mountain range. “The Loop de jure”, the name my parents gave it, is just a 2.5 mile hike, with a beautiful overview of downtown Phoenix city. The place has become more populated with bikers, hikers, dogs, horse riders, and even off-road jeeps. They even now have a handicap accessible trail with informational signs on Arizona native plant life. Two of the most common cacti seen in the desert of Arizona are the Saguaro and Barrel Cacti. Below are pictures and botanist facts.


Young Saguaros often begin life under a nurse plant, such as a Triangle-leaf Bursage or Palo Verde tree for protection. A 2 inch saguaro is 5 years of age. a 1 foot saguaro is 20 years of age. At 2 feet and 30 years of age, the saguaro is old enough to emerge from the nurse plant and no longer needs its protection. The arm buds do not emerge until years 60-100 and the cactus is 12-15 feet tall. At 30 feet and 175 years of age the base of the saguaro starts to wooden and spikes have fallen off.  The growth is extremely slow which is influenced by soil condition and summer rainfall. A Picture is directly belowIMG_6436.JPG

Compass Barrell Cacti need little to no water and live in soil that looks to be infertile. They do not grow merely as tall as saguaro. Pictured below is a 2 and 1/2 foot barrel cactus. Average height of a full grown barrel is 3-6 feet. They live between the range of 50-100 years.

IMG_6437.JPGIMG_6438.JPG We brought my little cousin Feleke (10 years old) , who has never been to this nostalgic place before. He recently went on a outdoor field-trip and had lots to tell us about some natural plants of Arizona. My dog Henry also joined us on a 74 degree, winter day in Scottsdale! I had to take my shirt off at times, from the sun beating down on us. Everyone is so surprised at Henry being the little hiking trooper he is! He absolutely loves it and is so light on his feet. That is one happy pup!


I’m happy Fel joined us and fell in love with this place as much as my family loves it. He taught us about when it rains the creosote plants give this specific scent that gives us this “smell of rain” we always hear and talk about. It is different where these plants grow;stronger and more earthy. I knew it was the plants that gave the smell of rain, but I didn’t know specific ones were more pungent than others. You learn something new everyday! Thank you Feleke, for joining my mom and I on a peaceful and delightful hike before the New Year. Happy 2017 to you all. May it be a year filled with adventure and more hiking 🙂 Peace and Blessings


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