I hope Monday morning is soon enough ... I'll try to rush through this before a 9am meeting. (They usually start late ...)
single favorite hike in metro Phoenix : The Cave Creek Trail #4 portion of this hike http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=756
1. How are the views? can you see houses or buildings ... just a ranch near the trailhead. It's mostly in a canyon, so there are not any wide panoramas
2. Terrain difficulty, rate 1-5, 5 being most difficult ... 2. It's got some up & downs, and soem creek crossing, but nothing really strenuous. (At least not by HAZ standards.)
3. Chances of viewing wildlife? I never see wildlife on any of my hikes unless it is lizards and rabbits. I have seen bear scat though, and being Arizona there is always a chance of snakes.
4. Crowds ... In four hikes in that area, I have encountered people three times, twice a pair on foot, and once three or four on horseback.
5. Historical significance? - any petroglyphs? Some early 20th century rock etching, but otherwise none I've found. Historical significance is that the ranch up there was apparently some sort of big deal in the late 19th and early 20th century. Don't recall why off hand.
6. Are dogs allowed? not sure
7. Solitude - is this hike truly peaceful? or can you hear cars or noise? yes, and none at all. Great creek scenery!