Keep your eye on your car...
The unique thing about this trail is that, as long as you know where you're looking, you can literally see the entire length of the loop from the parking lot. Likewise, you can see your car in the parking lot from the entire length of the trail, which is good, considering the neighborhood you just parked in. The trailhead is at Mountain View park at 7th ave and Cheryl, which is also the farthest west trailhead for Charles M Christiansen 100.
From the trailhead you head northeast on a rocky jeep road. Trail 100 soon forks off and continues on through the valley between North Mountain and Shaw Butte. Keep going on the jeep road until it narrows and starts a steeper ascent up a pocket on the southwest side of North Mountain. Soon the trail levels and you skirt north mountain for about a quarter of a mile until you hit a saddle with a fork in the trail. The obvious decision is to turn right and complete the loop back to your car. The other two options are to go straight up to a small peak just ahead of you or go left towards a neighborhood. I did both. The peak is anti-climactic. If you go left you'll decend down to a ritzy little "luxury rental" complex. Ooh La La. Turn around and go back up the trail to the saddle, admiring the luxury rentals below you. Reach the saddle and look ahead. Oh yeah I live on that side of the mountain... And there's my car getting broken into. Fortunately it's a quick sprint back to the parking lot. There's a few forks on the way back that just lead to other areas of Mountain View Park, and remember, you're not allowed anywhere off the designated trails in Phoenix Mountain Preserves. Please respect those rules, too; there's already enough trash and graffiti there.
The trailhead at 7th ave and Cheryl is a good starting spot for Shaw Butte, Maxine Lakin, Charles M. Christiansen, or even North Mountain.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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