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Hawes Trail System, AZ

no permit
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Guide 80 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.4 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 13 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,500 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
2  2019-09-19 gummo
1  2019-09-07 gummo
2  2019-09-04 gummo
2  2019-08-31 gummo
1  2019-08-08 gummo
3  2019-07-23 gummo
1  2019-05-10 gummo
3  2019-05-02 gummo
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Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 247
Photos 7,293
Trips 1,818 map ( 15,596 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Winter
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Design A Loop
by AZLOT69

Looking for a quick hike or want to burn some calories on your mountain bike, close to town ? Look no further than the Hawes Trail System in Northeast Mesa. While still under development, these trails already offer a great cross country desert experience. When completed these single track trails will join with the Usery Mountain trail system off Ellsworth and within the Usery Mountain Park System.

While there is no specific destination in mind, the trails meander through the Sonoran desert offering views of Red Mountain, Four Peaks, Fountain Hills, Granite Reef Dam , the Salt River and the west side of Usery Mountain. Built with mountain bikes in mind but great for moderate hiking as well. The area is clean and free of trash unlike the Granite Reef picnic area just down the road which has been totally trashed. Not for the hiking purist, you'll be sharing the trail with bikes on some occasions.

There is a map posted at the trailhead. There are several well marked interconnecting trails so you can design your own loop for the desired distance. Made up of Hawes Trail # 52, 3.5 miles, Ridge Trail # 59, 1 3/4 miles, Saguaro Trail #50, 3 miles, Saddle Trail #51, 1.5 miles, Granite Trail # 54, the Mine trail, Twisted Sister and the Wild Horse Trail. The last three mentioned are not marked yet. They are part of the Sonoran Desert Trail System Expansion Project that will designate them as official trails, but they do exist. The map I have included is not official yet but will help you to decide a route.

Map removed as it contained an unauthorized trail on the reservation. Everything east of Power Rd seems fine and within the Tonto National Forest.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-11-27 AZLOT69
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Hawes Trail System
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    First time on the Hawes system. In fact I only heard about it a week ago. I parked at the TH for the Hawes trail #52, right after the canal. Started at 6:35 and by 7:00 I had already seen 3 bikers. So my first thought was oh no what have I selected. Took the Hawes trail (and Microwave Tower Trail) up to the Microwave towers. On the way back I turned onto a side trail thinking it was the Secret Trail. About a mile in ran into a nice lady who told me that it wasn't the Secret, rather the Cactus Garden and that it didn't join up again with the rest of the trail system. But that a hundred yards ahead there was a great view. So I continued on for the great view and got a couple pictures. Interesting that the Cactus Garden goes about 80 feet higher than the Microwave tower area. Then retraced my steps back to the Hawes.

    I found the Magic Mountain Trail which led me to the Upper Secret and then the Secret Trail. Then onto the Saddle which led to the Saguaro. Then took the Ridge Trail and back to the Hawes.

    It was fairly hot out there with the sun beating down. Not many people being a Monday. I think my main concern with the Hawes is that it follows just about in the back yards of houses much of the way. Nice houses but I'd rather be away from houses.
    Hawes Trail System
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I rode here at Hawes on Saturday, it had been over a year since I had been out here and it showed. I was reminded how fun riding out here is though.
    On to Sunday. My Girlfriend and I had planned on doing a hike and figured it would be an in town one close to home. We really couldn't think of where to go so I suggested Hawes since I had never actually hiked out there. Turned out to be a nice hike, not any hard climbs or anything, but plenty of awesome views of Red Mountain and the Salt River. We did a loop of Hawes, Saguaro, and Ridge. Parking at the canal this turned out to be a 3 mile loop.
    Hawes Trail System
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    The Hawes Trail System has a few highlights, like great views of Red Mountain and the Lower Salt River and the open mine adit on the Saguaro Trail. Today I took some of the less scenic trails just for some exercise and solitude. I didn't calculate the mileage, but I'm thinking it was somewhere between 5-6 miles.
    Hawes Trail System
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Hawes 6-mile loop
    Bagging 2000-foot peaks has been getting old but I still needed to get out and hike. I thought this would be a good area of gently rolling terrain but no killer climbs. Haven't been here in a decade, and even then, only on a bike. We went after dark to avoid the bikes. We still saw 4-5 out riding with lights.

    Despite a cloudless, moonless night, we didn't need headlamps. The trails here are great. If I was a trail runner, this would be a place to be. Somehow we managed to get over 1000aeg in a little over 6 miles, despite not bagging any peaks!

    I realized that despite last weekend's adventure in the Kofas, 6 miles was longer than any of the hikes we did! This was much, much easier though. Still great to get out for a couple of hours. Perfect weather, though the humidity seems to be picking up ahead of the storm.

    We made good time for a night hike with no headlamps. Another plus for the quality of the trails here.
    Hawes Trail System
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    We set off to take a walk behind our house on the Hawes trails, and Kat wanted to show me the cool "thing" she found a while back. The heart is about 20' across and the trail leads right to it. It's north of Red Mountain Ranch about 200 yards south of the canal. I have no idea who would have put this together, but what a nice gesture!

    If you know of anyone in that area, please share this with them - Maybe a family member will find these photos.
    Hawes Trail System
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Parked along Bush Hwy and took the Saguaro Trail in the Hawes Trail System to the mineshaft. Then I took the Twisted Sister Trail east to a rock fortress, then north back to Bush Hwy.

    To help clear up any confusion about the naming of trails in this area I noticed the Twisted Sister Trail is clearly-marked at its junction with the Saguaro Trail. At the Bush Hwy end there are two signs; one for the Wild Horse Trail, another for the Turtle Trail. If you start at this TH, the Wild Horse trail heads east 0.2 miles beyond the sign. The Twisted Sister Trail drops into a deep wash and heads south. I have no idea where the Turtle Trail is located.
    Hawes Trail System
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    First time out in the area and we were on bikes. I had driven by many times and would always see the bikes out there so this morning a friend and I took advantage of the nice weather. It was a short trip since I did have to go to work, but we plan to be back as there is a lot to explore it seems.
    Hawes Trail System
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Since the Hawes trail system is within walking distance to my house, we decided to go check out some more of the trails. All the trails are wide and in great shape, probably due to the mountain bike traffic. Enjoyable for a quick getaway, with nice views of Red Mountain and lots of pretty big & healthy saguaros.
    Hawes Trail System
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    We did this hike using snakemarks' triplog as a guide. There is abundant free parking about one mile east of the Granite Reef Area on the river side of the highway. It's not labeled with anything other than No Camping signs, but hunters and fishermen use this parking area frequently and the ones I asked said no Tonto Pass is required to park here.

    Cross the highway and a small trailmarker will point the way. A short spur trail takes you to the Saguaro Trail. We headed uphill/east/clockwise first in an effort to get the elevation change out of the way while it was early. It's not too difficult for a hiker but I'd be skeptical about being on a mountain bike in this area. The switchbacks and steep dropoffs would be enough to convince me to ditch the bike and trust my own footing. Nonetheless, there are plenty of tiremarks leading the way up the slope.

    Quartz is abundant at several sections along the trail, but when you get to the highpoint the ground is almost completely covered in beautiful white rock. In this area, just below the summit, you can find evidence of diggings and the mine mentioned in snakemarks' triplog. I've never seen a mine so high up on a hilltop before so this definitely was unique.

    From there it was downhill in a southwesterly direction. The trail smoothes out at this point, crisscrossing washes and past rocky outcroppings. Plenty of squirrels in the area but that was it as far as fauna goes. Saguaro and Cholla cactus are healthy and abundant on the south slopes. We shortcutted across a flat sandy wash just before the junction with the Granite Trail and back to the parking area.

    Overall, it's not a bad trail system. You'll get great views of the Lower Salt River, the Valley, Four Peaks and the Mazatzals. There's an interesting mine and some beautiful quartz to check out. And plenty of solitude. We saw no bikers, no horseback riders and only a couple of other hikers in the distance. Pretty good for an "in-town" hike.
    Hawes Trail System
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Hiked the Hawes-Ridge-Saguaro-TH loop. Saw 5 mountain bikers having a ball. I'll be getting my bike out there as well.
    Go to website : for an unofficial map.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Pre 2018
    From 202(red Mountain Freeway) exit Power Road. 2.1 Miles north just after you cross the canal there is a small gravel parking area on the left.

    There is NO LONGER ANY PARKING on the west side of Power Road/Bush Highway.
    The Central Arizona Project has added a new fence and gate with NO PARKING signs.
    While there will be some parking along Power south of the canal, a good option is parking either behind the Walgreen's at Power & Thomas or the Park & Ride on Power under the 202.
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