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It's all uphill from here: Hiking Telegraph Pass
No matter what time of year it is, there's a good chance you will find Shane Hill, 32, hiking or running up Telegraph Pass in his spare time.
“I love being outside and just the physical exercise aspect of it and the challenge,” he said. “I would much rather be outside than sitting around inside watching TV or something lame like that.”
When asked what initially prompted him to start climbing up Telegraph Pass, he laughed and said, “a girl.”
Hill said that when he met his girlfriend, Amy Hauk, last year, she suggested that they should take on the trail together, and that's how it all started.
“It is something that my girlfriend and I both enjoy doing. We try to do it pretty regularly,” he said.
Hill explained that Telegraph is conveniently located, a place where he and his girlfriend can meet after work for a hike, followed by grocery shopping at the Fry's store only about five miles away.
Besides the obvious physical benefits of hiking, he said he just enjoys being outside.
“My job is mostly indoors, so any chance I get to get outside, especially on weekends, I take every opportunity. I like getting outside and enjoying the sun and the warm weather.”
He commented that when looking at hiking up Telegraph for the first time, people should keep in mind that it will be an intense physical challenge for most of them.
“I would say walk to the gate and see what you think of that, and get warmed up with that, because there's a pretty good size hill at the beginning,” said Hill of the mile-long walk just to get to the base of the mountain.
“Bring a (water bottle) and go as far as you can no matter how long it takes.”
Other than water, he said, the only other thing people need for the hike is comfortable clothes and a good pair of tennis shoes.
“Your body will let you know what you can handle — you've just got to remember to listen to it, don't push yourself too much. Know your limitations.”
He noted that once you get to the top of the mountain, the view is incredible.
“It's really cool when you get to the top ... you can see the sand dunes past Yuma and all of the farmlands to the east. Be sure to fill out the logbook, I mean that's part of the accomplishment of getting up there putting a little comment in there,” Hill said. “Once you get to the top the hard part is over and it's a heck of a fun time coming down.”
In addition to hiking other trails at Pilot Knob and Palm Canyon, he said that he also enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, biking, walking and running.
To get to the Telegraph Pass trailhead:
• Take Interstate 8 to Foothill Boulevard
• Go north and turn right on North Frontage Road and follow road until it dead ends.
• From there, you can do the mile-long hike to the foot of the mountain. Or if you have a vehicle that can handle rough, rocky roads, you can turn right onto a path that will get you closer to the trailhead.