Well, let me first start by saying that on business, i was required to entertain clients by taking them to golf. Little did I realize that this was one of the best golf locations I have and probably ever will visit.
Troon North is really beyond belief, so I will leave it up to you to make your own judgement.
By the way, it is $240 a round.
Equipment: If you did not bring your clubs, worry not... they are available for rent.
One of the most beautiful courses in the world is located on the same location as the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale. Kierland Golf Club is a very nice course of 27 holes with some great rates in the summer. I would say this is the 3rd best course I have played in Scottsdale.
It is also a member of Troon Golf, which means you can use your Troon rewards to golf here!
This hike was nearly as challenging as Camelback. Summit Trail-It is 1 1/4 miles one way, but elevation gain of 1200 feet at 60 degree angle makes it equal to about 2 miles one way. The trail is rocky nearly all the way and they are rough, jagged and uneven. Some flat path is part of the trail, but there is also slick rock to climb. The trail wraps around the back side of the mountain before coming back around the the front when getting close to the top.
There are about 250,000 showing up to hike yearly, and 80% are locals, with 80% of those in good shape at 20-30 years for 90% of the trekkers. I was one of those 2% at 65 years that climbed, and all wrapped up in knee supports, and needing a hip replacement badly(to do in Feb). That, though was the challenge for me, and I made it back down unscathed, but tired for sure.
Equipment: Hands and feet
I did the hike 1 1/4 miles one way; or 2 1/2 miles round trip in two hours. It is actually closer to a 4 mile round trip hike when factoring in the gain elevation of 1200 feet ratio. That was as best as can be done by an older man. Most people climbing this grueling trek were in the 20-30 year age bracket and well fit locals who do this weekly. A group of locals show up here a lot, and few tourists make the hike to the top, I found out, of the 300,000 that attempt yearly, only 1/3 make the top.
I took the Echo Canyon side vs. the longer, but easier Cholla Trailhead. It is steep rock climbing, and sometimes hand over hand grasping. The path is slippery with loose dirt/sand/gravel and slick rock. Elevation gain is about 60 percent, which makes this 1207 gain climb equal to 4,000 feet (3/4 mile), and that puts more stress of the body to achieve the steepness.
The Echo TH is off McDonald Dr near intersection of Tatum Rd, and about 1/2 mile north of Camelback Rd at 44th St. Cholla is off Chapperal Rd, to the west of Scottsdale Rd.
It was my first time trailriding so I didn't really know what to expect. We were taken around the property seeing all sorts of different types of cacti. We saw a couple of birds, but no animals or reptiles. It was a slow, leisurely ride... no great gallops across the plains, no great cliffs to go down. They were quite good at judging the type of horse for the rider.
Equipment: If you do not bring your own helmet, they have them available. You will have to sign a detailed waiver of responsibility. Children MUST wear a riding helmet.
You're not encouraged to have cameras dangling around your neck, but if you can keep it still, no trouble bringing it along.
A great workout with a fabulous view of Phoenix. There are many stops along the way and you can turn around at any point, or you can get a really good workout and go to the top. The trail was a good challenge ranging from an uphill walk to climbing up rocks.
It's steep and rocky, so please be careful if you are not an experienced hiker. The trail is very popular and because of the AZ heat, people like to go in the mornings. But, even early in the morning, parking is an issue, pretty busy... be prepared to deal with that, but the views from the top are worth it
If you are a baseball fan, spring training in Scottsdale is the place to be. Before the office baseball season begins, all teams from the west side of the country come to Arizona for "training". It's a social scene along with great baseball watching.