Passage 6 is right after passage 32 on the Maricopa Trail. They don’t go in numerical order on the MT. The first 10 passages are part of the older Sun Circle Trail. When the MT was first created, the powers to be picked passage 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the old Sun Circle Trail to be part of the new Maricopa Trail. Here’s a map of the entire MT to make it easier to figure out. Click on the photo to get a larger image.
I’ve completed passage 32 at the bottom of the map. My next passage is 6 the runs from Freestone Park in Gilbert west past Chandler and into Tempe. It ends at South Mountain Park, a Phoenix City park. This is almost all canal hiking with a bit of street hiking at the end (miles 11-13).
Heres’ some info on this passage hiking east to west.
It starts at Freestone Park. Freestone has water, bathrooms and picnic benches (WBP) plus it has a recreation center with showers that you can join for the day. The Western canal or trail is at the SW corner of the park on the other side of Lindsay. The trails head in all four directions, so make sure you’re going west away from Lindsay Road.
One mile west gets you to Gilbert Road. Downtown Gilbert is just to the south with lots of food choices. Joe’s BBQ is a must for any MT hiker. You can eat at picnic tables on the lawn. At McQueen (south only), Arizona, Alma School, Dobson, McClintock and Rural roads you’ll find food and water. Bathrooms too. When the canal turns north you’ll find Ken McDonald Golf Course. It has a restaurant and bathrooms. You’ll get to hike right thru the golf course as well as many city parks along the way.
After the canal turns north you’ll find Guadalupe Road. Turn west and do some street hikin’. Or continue on thru Kiwansis Park to get to Baseline (off MT), turn west to get to the Arizona Mills mall, hotels and restaurants. Kiwansis Park has a Rec Center with showers too.
Back to the MT, you’ll go west on Guadalupe thru the town of the same name. At the corner of Guadalupe and Avenida del Yaqui is the San Diego SeaFood Restaurant. I hear it’s mexican food at it’s best. Three blocks north is Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. I haven’t been in it, but you’ll feel like you are in the heart of Mexico. On the SW corner is a farmer’s market. Then, you’ll head west on Guadalupe and cross over the bridge. A small path on the north side of the bridge is all you get. Be safe. After the freeway, you’ll want to take the first left, first right and then the first left into South Mtn Park. Unless of course you want to go to the Arizona Grand Resort. See the directions below.
As far as beds for rent goes, you probably won’t get any more luxury than the Arizona Grand Resort at the end of this passage. It’s at the entrance to South Mtn Park after you’ve crossed over I-10. Coming from the east, you’ll want to walk along South Pointe Parkway east, heading north will get you to this huge resort. From the west you’ll take 48th street north. However, there is a gate you’ll have to go past. If you take a left right before the gate and go around the pool, you can take a route over the golf course. Not sure it there’s a way around the gate going to your right. Or, you could wait for a car to open the gate.
If you don’t want to spend resort prices, you can check out the hotels on Baseline about a mile north of Guadalupe. To do this, just stay on the canal over Guadalupe Road past Kiwansis Park until you get to Baseline. Then head west to the hotels near Arizona Mills Mall. To get back to the MT, head south on any major road or head west to the resort and hike south thru the resort to the park entrance. There’s no camping in South Mtn Park and all the hotels seem to be on the western edge of this passage.
Over 13 miles of hiking on this passage.