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Hot Picks July 2-8: Hiking Frog Tank Loop, July 4 Blackout Silent Protest

Hot Picks July 2-8: Hiking Frog Tank Loop, July 4 Blackout Silent Protest

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frog tank

Portions of Frog Tank Loop run along a stream in a gorge, and at several points, you make crossings. Photo by Sam McManis

WHENEVER

NATURE IS NEAT

As bars and gyms close for the next 30 days, it’s a good thing the outdoors can’t be taken away from us, right? It’s the safer destination anyway, and being outdoors has been shown to improve mood and relieve stress. Sound like something you need right about now? Us too. While Flagstaff is practically 90 percent hiking trails, travel a little bit further for your next outing if you are itching for a change of scenery these days but want to stay close to home. Munds Park is a quick drive down the I-17, and is more than just a bevy of vacation homes and that one BBQ restaurant. Frog Tank Loop is a three-mile journey that features a little bit of everything. Combined with the mile-long, singletrack Brad’s Trail that gets you to Frog Tank, the trek measures a tad more than 5 miles. Want to go longer? There are other forks and paths from the Iron Springs Trailhead, about 22 miles in all, so knock yourselves out. Just keep in mind that many of the trails are multi-use, so you may encounter folks on ATVs or mountain bikes, but aim for an early morning hike to get the most solitude. At the trailhead, you have the choice of taking Brad’s Trail, a rocky single-track not open to motorized vehicles, or the Frog Loop connector, a smoother path open to traffic. Both are a mile long and drop you off at roughly the same spot on the loop. For anyone being powered by their feet alone, we recommend Brad’s Trail, a flat stretch that winds around ponderosa pines before descending to the more lush area where the loop picks up. In just three miles, hikers traverse stands of stately pines and other coniferous clump, cross several gullies that will get your shoes wet, emerge into a brilliant, verdant meadow that kind of pops up after a slight uphill, and travel parallel to a rocky gorge that sometimes flows with runoff. And, of course, there is the trail’s namesake: Frog Tank. It lies smack dab in the middle of that meadow, a stopping point for birds and wildlife. Signs keep you from getting too close to the pond, so it’s best to admire it from afar and be on your way. Visit www.hikingproject.com/trail/7074547/frog-tank-loop-trail-245 for directions.

SATURDAY | 7.4

SILENT BUT STRONG

The Black Lives Matter movement continues locally and worldwide as people protest police violence against BIPOC and call for systemic change. While positive strides have been made since the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests in May, the fight is far from over. Join in this weekend for the July 4 Blackout Silent Protest at Flagstaff City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave., from 4-8 p.m. Participants are asked to wear all black, including a black facial covering, and practice social distancing to keep community members safe. Instead of chanting, organizers will blast the sound of revolutionary speeches by activists such as Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton and Leonard Peltier. Find the event on Facebook for more information, or join the Black Lives Matter Flagstaff Solidarity Action Group to learn about upcoming events and ways to support.

SUNDAY | 7.12

BALANCING ACT

While this section is typically reserved for featuring events held throughout the following week, foresight is necessary for this class. The Arboretum at Flagstaff is offering Paddle Board Yoga on the cool waters of Lake Mary next Sunday. Interested? Can you keep your balance will holding the Warrior poses? (Even Warrior Three?) Prove it. $35 for Arb members and $40 for non-members will get you signed up for the class led by instructor Cristina Bowen, and includes a stand-up paddleboard rental from Snow Mountain River. Masks are required for participation, as well as registration at least 48 hours in advance. As of Wednesday, July 1, six tickets remain for the July 12 class, which will be held from 9-11 a.m. There will be another limited-size class held July 26 for those who plan even further ahead than us. Visit www.thearb.org for more information and to buy tickets.

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