Story and photos courtesy Larry Reese:
This trail is a little different from a lot of trails in SARA Park – this one does not end up at the Colorado River.
This trail takes the hiker over one of the mountains/hills where the view is unbelievable.
At the beginning, the trail head is located at the parking lot across from the Desert Hawks Radio Controlled Flyers Club at SARA Park. It is the parking lot past the parking lot at the trailhead for SARA Crack Trail.
From the parking lot, hikers see the trail and just head off to the left. This is actually the start of the Watershed Loop Trail. These trails were built for mountain bikers but they are shared with hikers.
Continue to follow the Watershed Trail (photo 1) until the Beer Bottle trailhead – it can’t be missed. (photo 2). Watershed loop and Beer Bottle Trail are two easy trails.
Stay on Beer Bottle Trail until it dips down into a wash. The trail continues across the wash. It also goes straight ahead but don’t take that route as it’s just a loop back to the trail you are on. Once across the wash, continue up the hill until the small white sign off to the left. (Photo 3)
Take Criminal Trail and start the hike up the side of the mountain. (Photo 4).
This portion of the hike is a little more difficult. It can be managed it with a walking stick and taking one’s time.
(Photo 5) shows the view behind while walking upward. The other photos show different views from the top of hike.
At the top of the hill, there is a choice to continue straight or go left or right. To continue on Criminal down the back side continue straight ahead.
The hike down is a little more difficult and hiking boots and a walking stick are recommended. Hikers will hike up and down a couple of ridges. Stay on the trail until it meets a well-established bike trail.
Turn right on that trail and follow it until there is a homemade and a BLM sign indicating the hiker is back to Beer Bottle trail.
Turn right and head on back to the parking lot.