Arizona

Craving Color?

We’ve finally made it through the summer!  Do we dare say 100 degree days are behind us?  Maybe we’ll whisper it just to be safe.  As expected, as the weather cools in the desert it’s also cooling in the high country.  This means color!  Fall leaves will soon be decorating the mountainsides with an array of oranges, golds, reds and browns.  Fall in the Arizona mountains is something you don’t want to miss!  In this article by azcentral.com you will find detailed information on areas all over the state that offer amazing opportunities to witness this beautiful time of year.  Keep in mind that depending on the region it could be early October to mid November before some of the leaves begin to turn.  The US Forest Service has provided a website that will give you all the information on when certain regions come alive and how quickly you need to start planning your trip.

Enjoy the cool season everyone!  This is why we live here!

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Fido Friendly Fun Zones in the Phoenix Metro Area

Have you noticed that Fido has a case of cabin fever?  Being cooped up indoors during the summer can leave even our four legged companions antsy to get out and take in some fresh air.  If you’re new to the area or just looking for a new spot to explore, Phoenix is jam packed with dog friendly spots to sniff out this weekend.

1. Love to hike?  If you and your furry companion are hikers there are several trails within the city limits that you can venture out to.  South Mountain, Camelback Mountain, North Mountain and Piestewa Peak just to name a few.  Due to the fact that these are urban areas, you will encounter other hikers and K9’s; therefore, leashes are required.  Also, keep in mind some trails don’t allow dogs.  Check the park websites for information before heading out.

2.  RJ Dog Park at Pecos Park – on the southern end of town you will find a 2 acre off leash dog park for your furry friend.  Named after a police dog killed in the line of duty, RJ Dog Park is a great escape to let Fido run free for a few hours.  Equipped with lots and lots of grass, water, shade, and two fully fenced areas – one for large dogs and the other for the little guys.

3.  Echo Mountain Off Leash Dog Park – on the north side is a 2.3 acre grassy off leash park built with the support of the Echo Mountain Neighborhood Coalition, the park features divided separately fenced areas for large dogs and smaller dogs under 20 pounds, shade, and cool water.  Mutt Mitts are also provided for clean ups.

4.  Steele Indian School Park Dog Park – located in the center of Phoenix, this park offers double gated entrances and cold drinking fountains for you and your pooch.  Also provided are separately fenced turf areas for large and small dogs; one acre for the large dogs and .63 acres for the small ones and solar powered lighted areas.

After an early start to your day either at the mountain, a park or just a stroll down the block don’t forget to stop off at one of our city’s fine dog friendly restaurants for coffee, brunch or an early lunch.  Visit www.bringfido.com to find information on many of the restaurants in town that cater to our canine friends as well.

These are just a few spots to check out in the Valley of the Sun.  As you may already know, Phoenix is a very outdoorsy, dog friendly city and you don’t have to try too hard to find a place to run free or rest your paws. Just remember, even though the weather is cooling down a tad it’s still warm out there folks; so, if you decide to venture out get an early start and take plenty of water!

Have fun this weekend everyone!!!

Here We Go Again – Hurricane Odile is Heading Your Way Phoenix!

As most of us in the valley are still drying off after what was left of Hurricane Norbert last week; we need to start preparing for a visit from his sister Hurricane Odile.  Although she won’t even be a tropical depression by the time she gets here, she’s still bringing a lot of rain and she’s planning on stopping by this Wednesday through Friday.  Yes, we always welcome whatever rain we can get here in the desert southwest; however, all of it at one time proves to wreak havoc on our city.  As we observed last week, our drainage systems can’t keep up, our landscape crumbles and floods and our streets turn into small lakes.  Thankfully, our unwelcome guest has called ahead and provided us advanced notice of her pending arrival.  In this next day or so it would be wise to prepare your home for more rain and possible flooding from our already saturated surroundings.

 

A few quick tips to prepare –

– Clean out roof drains of leaves and debris to prevent water accumulation.
– Make sure dry wells are clean and clear.
– Back up all the data on computer or servers in case they get wet.
– If possible, consider installing generators in case of a power failure.
– Create an emergency contact list.
– Repair your landscaping and make sure water will be able to drain away from the house.  Low lying areas are most vulnerable.  Try to load up on sandbags and place them in these targeted areas of your home.  The Phoenix Fire Department has 10 stations around town that are providing free sandbags. See the list below for details.

Available at ONLY these Phoenix Fire stations:

Station 11: 2727 E. Roosevelt Street

Station 26: 3301 W. Rose Lane

Station 31: 5730 E. Thunderbird Road

Station 36: 21602 N. Ninth Avenue

Station 39: 2276 W. Southern Avenue

Station 40: 3838 N. 83rd Avenue

Station 43: 4110 E. Chandler Boulevard

Station 48: 5230 W. Happy Valley Road

Station 49: 3750 E. Dynamite Boulevard

Station 52: 21650 N. Tatum Boulevard

Station 57: 1708 W. Dobbins Road

Being prepared and proactive help us get through this next storm hopefully without too much trouble.  However, should you experience any unfortunate flooding and damage AvenueWest Phoenix can help with short term housing while your home is being repaired.  Should you need our assistance contact us directly or ask your insurance company to give us a call.

Do your best to stay safe and dry out there this week everyone!  We’re in this together, let’s help one another and our community ride out this next storm!

There’s More to Arizona than Just Desert

When most people think of Arizona they think of dry deserts, temperatures that can match the surface of the sun, cactus and tumbleweeds. Although the southern part of this great state is desert, there are miles and miles of forest areas as well.  State Fact – Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in the world.  These tall majestic trees stretch from near Flagstaff, all along the Mogollon Rim and into the White Mountain region.  That’s right folks it’s the largest pine forest in the entire world…Arizona  is NOT just a desert!   With the unforgettable scenery, breathtaking views, historical landmarks and an abundance of wildlife, the Arizona mountains are a must see for anyone who loves the outdoors.

It’s going to be hot and humid in the Valley of the Sun again this weekend.  Yes, it’s September.  Yes, the weather should be cooling down.  And yes, we know you’re probably tired of the heat.  However, the fact remains, we’re not through it yet and there are still a few weeks left of summer temperatures.  Great news though…there’s still time to get up into the mountains to enjoy the fresh pine scented mountain air, beautiful scenery and cooler temps!  Take a drive up north into the pines.  Enjoy their beauty, listen to them sing as the wind blows through their needles and relax in their shade.   The great outdoors are calling your name this weekend!

Let the Games Begin!

Well folks…here we are!  The NFL Football Season is officially underway!  The Arizona Cardinals season opener is at home this Monday night, September 8th.  Show the entire nation your AZ pride and go cheer on your home team in person!  The Cardinals will be hosting the San Diego Chargers at 7:20 pm.  This convenient game time will give you plenty of time to get off of work, go home to apply your face paint and get to the stadium for a little tailgating before the game starts.

 

Hurry and get your tickets, so you don’t miss any of the action.  The last time we checked there weren’t many seats left!

GO CARDS!!!!

Travel to the Thompson Trail

It’s going to be a hot one in Phoenix this weekend folks – 110!  Unless you enjoy the heat or have a pool, escape to the mountains for some cooler weather on this 3 day weekend.  One of our favorite mountainous areas is the White Mountains located about 3-4 hours outside of Phoenix.  Since most of us have a 3 day weekend ahead of us we thought the White Mountains would be a perfect spot to write about for this weekend’s getaway.  Check out the White Mountains Regional Chambers of Commerce website for all of the activities and lodging in the area.  Also, while you’re up there check out the Thompson Trail hike located near the west fork of the Black River.  It’s an easy 6.5 mile trek amongst some of our state’s most beautiful scenery.  If you’re not up for the full 6.5 miles there’s also an option to cut it down to 4.8.  Below we’ve included more information on the hike originally published by Arizona Highways Magazine.

Thompson Trail

Thompson Trail

Picture a long alpine valley at nearly 9,000 feet of elevation with a blue-ribbon trout stream running its entire length and forested slopes of spruce, fir and yellow-leafed aspen trees ascending to surrounding peaks. Imagine a level trail that meanders with the stream, mostly in sun, sometimes in shadow, never more than a few yards from the stream bank. Add a sunny Arizona fall morning with frost underfoot and a fine mist exhaled from the shallow, fast-moving waters. That’s a description of Forest Service Trail 629 (Thompson Trail) in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The trail traces a portion of the West Fork of the Black River near Big Lake in Arizona’s White Mountains. The round-trip length of the hike is either 4.8 or 6.5 miles, depending on whether you hike Trail 628A, the shorter loop that begins where the Thompson Trail meets the West Fork Trail, 628 in the trail system. Because it traverses sensitive riparian habitat, the Thompson Trail 629 is for hikers only. Trail 628, a section of which travels along an old railroad grade above and parallel to the Thompson Trail, is open to both hikers and mountain bikers. Either route offers views of some of Arizona’s most scenic landscapes.

Trail Guide

Length: 6.5 miles, round-trip

Elevation: 8,600 to 8,840 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From Springerville, drive south on U.S. Route 180/191 to State Route 260 and turn west. After 3 miles, turn south on State Route 261, which joins Forest Road 113 as it loops around Big Lake and becomes Forest Road 249E. To reach the trailhead from Big Lake, drive northwest on FR 249E until it merges with Forest Road 116, then it’s approximately 1.5 miles west to the trailhead at the confluence of Thompson Creek and the West Fork of the Black River at Thompson Ranch. A parking area and information kiosk indicate the trailhead.

Travel Advisory: This hike is best done in late spring, summer and autumn. Be prepared for any type of weather in Arizona’s high country.

Information: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Springerville Ranger District, 928-333-4372;www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf/recreation/trails.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and happy hiking!!!

 

Sunday Funday!

We’ve had some wacky weather lately that has cooled things down a bit; but, don’t be fooled, summer is still here my friends.  For this weekend’s fun cool “getaway” idea we thought we’d stay local and send you indoors.  On Sunday, August 24th head on out to the Arizona Cardinals pre-season football game at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Stay cool inside this state of the art, one of a kind stadium while enjoying the amazing talents of our Cardinals football team as they host the Cincinnati Bengals.  Game time starts at 5:30 pm and tickets range anywhere from $30 to over $100.  Put on your red and black, apply that face paint, arrive early for tailgating and cheer on your Arizona Cardinals to victory!

Also, don’t forget, Super Bowl XLIX is in Arizona this year.  Start your planning early and make arrangements for lodging soon. Contact us for more information on all of our great rentals.

Have a great weekend everyone and Go Cards!

Whistles, Water & Wine

Hold on tight everyone!  Believe it or not, we are almost at the end of another Phoenix summer!  In about a month you should start to notice…dare I say…a slight dip in temperature.  I know at this point it sounds too good to be true…but hang on…we are almost there!

While we wait, we’ve got another cool weekend getaway idea for you,  two selections to choose from this time, both just a short distance away tucked within the Verde Valley. Whistles, water and wine anyone??

First stop, the Verde River.  Sedona Adventure Tours offers a unique way to cool off by taking you on a Water to Wine guided float trip down the relaxing Verde River.  Choose from two tours, the Classic and the Grand, both include a beginner friendly cruise down the river on inflatable kayaks.  Soak up the sun and the amazing scenery from the water.  Once you reach your destination you will enjoy award winning wines from some of the areas best wineries.  Depending on which trip you choose, lunch and tours may be included.  Visit their website at www.sedonaadventuretours.com for more information and reservations.

All aboard!  All aboard the wine train that is! The Verde Canyon Railroad offers an unforgettable adventure through the Verde Valley and delights it’s guests with scenery you will never view from the road.  Ride first class or in one of the open air viewing cars. Either way, there’s not a bad seat in the house!   The railway has daily trips for the whole family; however, during the summer months they offer a special treat for adults – The Grape Train Escape.  Take the same route through the valley only this time enjoy rolling wine tasting under the stars.  The Saturday evening tours host a different region each time from Tuscany to Napa.
What better way to spend a Saturday night than under the stars with a glass of wine in your hands.  This time you can do it in style on the railway.  Unfortunately at the time of this posting we are nearing the end of this season’s tour.  The next and last trip is September 9th.  However, visit their website for information on other exciting events that they offer throughout the year.

Happy Trails!

Renovation Relocation

Wondering where you will stay during your renovation?  AvenueWest Phoenix can help you get comfortable in a nice cozy space while waiting for your dream home to be done – draft free and mountain climbing not required.

Give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest! Visit our website at phoenix.avenuewest.com or call to speak to one of our representatives at 602.753.2412. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Worth the Drive

Staying with our Friday theme by highlighting a cooler weekend destination, we’ve decided to showcase the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this week.  Some may argue the North Rim has more spectacular views than the South Rim and with 1/5 of the visitors than on the south side the North Rim is definitely worth the extra 5 hour drive.  The average high temperatures in August hover right around a refreshing 75 degrees and with a variety of hiking and lodging this is a perfect getaway.  Due to the fact that it is about a 6 hour drive from Phoenix we recommend you get on the road early.  Also,  if you can swing it – consider taking a 3 day weekend in order to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

We found a very informative website that highlights the north side of the park and we’ve shared information on the hiking trails below.  This was originally published by Hit the Trail and if you would like more information on the area you can follow this link to their site.

Bright Angel Point Trail

Bright Angel Point brochureHighly recommended as your first hike upon arriving at the North Rim! It is only ½ mile each way, paved, and takes you to one of the most spectacular views at Grand Canyon. A fabulous walk to during sunset to emphasize all the details and dimensions obscured mid-day when the sun is directly overhead. Since it does follow a ridge line for part of its distance, I have seen a few people who were troubled by the drop offs and unable to walk out to the point. Try it before you decide to not to hike to it; it is a sight to behold! The trail begins at the log shelter in the parking area by the Visitor Center or at the corner of the back porch behind the lodge.

To get the most out of your visit to the point, download the park’s brochure for Bright Angel Point in PDF format (1.65 MB).

Transept Trail

Another wonderful hike located right in the village area of the North Rim. The Transept Trail connects Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground and follows the rim of a side canyon called Transept. Although not paved, it is an easy trail that doesn’t have any terrible drop offs along its edge to discourage those with a fear of heights. The trail takes you through Quaking aspens and ponderosa pines, making a very pleasant walk that isn’t too demanding for most people.

Uncle Jim Trail

The Uncle Jim Trail begins at the North Kaibab Trail parking lot and is 2.5 each way. It winds through the forest and comes out to a spectacular point that looks out over the canyon and the North Kaibab Trail switchbacks. It is a pleasant enough trail, but since it is used by mules, let’s just say that the scent of pine tress is not the prevalent “fragrance” here!

North Kaibab Trail

The North Kaibab Trail is the only maintained trail from the North Rim that can take you all the way down to the Colorado River. It is 14 miles one way to the river—with over a mile drop in elevation—and NOT a day hike. However, there are several destinations that make great day hikes. Do be aware that the trail begins at 8,000 feet in elevation, and therefore is pretty strenuous hiking back out no matter how you look at it!

In spite of this challenge, I highly recommend a hike to the Coconino Overlook for nearly anyone. To get to this incredible viewpoint is only ¾ mile one way and provides one of the greatest views to be seen from the North Rim. It is one of my favorite spots along the North Kaibab Trail!

Another ½ mile from the Coconino Overlook, two miles from the rim, is the Supai Tunnel. This is the turning around point for the short day mule trips. There are toilets here as well as a water faucet (check availability before counting on water here). This is a common turn around point for day hikers who don’t want to get into much strenuous hiking. Be very careful leaving packs unattended here as the squirrels can destroy them in seconds looking for food!

Nearly five miles and 3050 feet down will take you to Roaring Springs. This is an extremely strenuous hike and takes a full day to do. It can also be extremely hot in the inner canyon, especially when compared to your starting point on the rim, and requires carrying up to one gallon of water per person. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get started as early as possible. I am not exaggerating when I recommend that you start no later than dawn. You can’t know how important this is until you are stuck below the rim in oven-like temperatures! Roaring Springs is the turn around point for the long mule rides. No mule rides go beyond Roaring Springs; Phantom Ranch can only be accessed by mule from the South Rim.

Widforss Trail

Widforss Trail brochureA very pleasant, relatively level hike through the aspen and pine forest. The trail ends at the rim of the canyon, 2½ miles distance one way. A great hike to take a picnic lunch along. To access the trailhead, watch for the dirt road located one mouth south of the Scenic Drive/Cape Royal Road. Drive in ¼ mile to the Widforss Trail parking area.

To get the most out of your hike, download the park’s brochure for the Widforss Trail available in PDF format (1.75 MB).

Ken Patrick Trail

10 mi. / 16 km one-way; 6 hours approximate one-way hiking time. Winds through the forest and along the rim from Point Imperial to the North Kaibab Trail parking area.

Cape Final Trail

4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. A 2-mile walk from dirt parking area to Cape Final. This trail offers a view of the canyon.

Cliff Springs Trail

1.0 mi. / 1.6 km round-trip; 1 hour approximate round-trip hiking time. Meanders down a forested ravine and ends where a chest-high boulder rests under a large overhang. The spring is on the cliff side of the boulder. Please do not drink the water as it may be contaminated. Trail begins directly across the road from a small pullout on a curve 0.3 miles/0.5 km down the road from Cape Royal.

Cape Royal Trail

0.6 mi. / 1.0 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. An easy walk on a flat, paved trail providing views of the canyon, Angels Window, and the Colorado River. Markers along the trail interpret the area’s natural history. Trail begins at the southeast side of the Cape Royal parking area.

Point Imperial Trail

4.0 mi. / 6.4 km round-trip; 2 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. This easy trail passes through areas burned by the 2000 Outlet Fire and ends at the north park boundary. From there connections are possible to the Nankoweap Trail and U.S. Forest Service roads.

Roosevelt Point Trail

0.2 mi. / 0.3 km round-trip; 20 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. This trail is a short, secluded woodland loop with spectacular views. Offers benches for relaxed enjoyment of the canyon.

Safe travels and have a great weekend everyone!!!