Hills and Houses at Whitney Mesa

The main trail at Whitney Mesa begins to the right of this canopy.
Photo by Diane Taylor

We recently met a couple that like us, are walkers. They said something about walking paths near my neighborhood. We made a mental note to find this new place to walk.

My gentleman friend does a little exploration and says he found the place to park before the walk — in Henderson, right on Sunset just “around the curve”. The official address is 1760-1848 W. Sunset. Parking is free.

The main Whitney Mesa trail features a series of slight hills. It’s not mountain climbing, but the hills are noticeable.
Photo by Diane Taylor

“You mean that spot where I see cars parked all the time and thought those were folks were looking for critters..or were..ah hem…romancing in their cars? (I actually thought that.). “Yep, it’s a place called the Whitney Mesa Recreation Area Southwest Trailhead.”

I’ll be damned. I had passed that place thousands of times.

So off we went. Two trails can be accessed from that parking lot. The main 2.8-mile loop trail is mostly a stone path, is curved, contains some small hills and has several high viewing areas. Signs indicated that coyotes and rattlesnakes may be in the area.

Yes, some young folks were sprinting up and down the hills. We walked and soon noticed muscles in the hind-end area coming alive…as happens with hills.

The camera crew and a “blind date couple” at Whitney Mesa.
Photo by Diane Taylorr

On that initial walk we ran into several young folks with cameras. They told us they were filming for a “Vice” documentary, in this instance about a couple’s “blind date” that included a walk at Whitney Mesa.

Also on the walk were several family units. We may have been the oldest walkers, but we were able to navigate several of the hills, though we didn’t sample the entire loop of the main path. The scenery on our portion of the walk included lots of interesting rock formations and even a small stream. Yes, we took pictures. Fortunately, we didn’t see any creatures and eventually were rather grateful to return to the car; we had had a workout.

The night of our walk we talked with another couple about Whitney Mesa. “Didn’t you see the south path?” “What south path?” “Go to the other end of the parking lot, go down the sidewalk and walk around the gate that blocks large vehicles.”

The entry to the “other” walking trail at Whitney Mesa.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Two days later, we then followed these new instructions. The wind was blowing and we did see a bunch of papers that had blown across the street and were lodged against the bushes. And yes, we walked around a big white gate and then followed a wide paved path or road. We were right along side a big fence. On the other side of the fence were homes, so the path/road did not seem as private as we would have liked. Only slight changes in elevation were on this path. As we walked, dogs in the nearby homes would bark. We walked quite a way and ran into a construction crew that seemed to be doing something with the creek that ran throughout and underground the area.

The somewhat urban landscape of the second trail featured plantings and this blooming tree.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Returning home, I went looking for information about Whitney Mesa and also ran into information about Whitney Mesa Park Recreation Area and the Whitney Mesa Nature Reserve as well. Obviously we have more to explore.

My recommendation: If you are in for a challenge, try the northern or “main” trail at Whitney Mesa. Scale the hills — run up and down, stop and view the surrounding urban areas. The scenery is interesting. If you are not quite up to hill-walking, go around the fence and walk the paved walkway at the south. You won’t have as picturesque a walk, but you will get your exercise and dogs in the nearby houses will be glad to note your arrival. (Dogs on leashes are acceptable as well.)

PS: Plan your restroom stops before or after your exercise. We saw no public restrooms during our walks at Whitney Mesa..


2 responses on “Hills and Houses at Whitney Mesa

  1. Sounds like some interesting walking areas. My routine of walking “laps” in my backyard seems boring now!

  2. Glad you found the place! I was there, on my own, a few years ago and checked out the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center… terrific facilities! Since I don’t live in the area, I didn’t sign up for anything but loved the atmosphere inside and out around the grounds. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to take Silver Sneakers for their membership, but I do enjoy free walking and bicycling! Thanks for the reminder of this beautiful park!

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