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Palisade Trail - Deem Hills, AZ

no permit
390 75 1
Guide 75 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.6 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,576 feet
Elevation Gain 344 feet
Accumulated Gain 590 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.95
Backpack No
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2019-05-03 RowdyandMe
9  2017-05-13
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
11  2016-12-26
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
1  2016-10-20 desertRaVen
2  2016-08-18 RowdyandMe
9  2016-04-04
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
10  2016-02-14
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
14  2016-01-31
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author mt98dew
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 19
Photos 398
Trips 1,439 map ( 8,542 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix,Az
Co-Author midnightwaps
co-author avatarGuides 1
Routes 4
Photos 38
Trips 19 map (58 Miles)
Age 37 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:34pm
Official Route
14 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
I think I'm alone now
by mt98dew & midnightwaps

This hike is an excellent location while staying in the Phoenix area. The greatest thing about this hike was that we did not see a single person once on the trail. The parking area has room for about 15 cars, but ours was the only one in the lot on a Saturday morning in March.

Hike: From the parking area follow a dirt path past a ramada with a water fountain. This is the only water available on this hike. This dirt path leads to a paved road which is where I began the distance measure for this hike. The dirt trail continues, but the Rusty Angel trail is up the paved road.

The paved road begins a rapid ascent. This is somewhat strenuous and not very interesting, because it is just like walking along a road, however, motorized vehicles are prohibited. After 0.3 miles of upward climbing, you will reach the trail head on the left. There use to be a metal sign indicating the Rusty Angel Trail. Now, there is a trail post indicating the beginning of the Palisade Trail. From this point onward the trail is a fairly wide dirt path that is easy to follow with trail markings throughout. The trail continues to climb the hill with a steady incline, passing a partially buried structure at 0.43 miles. A water tank, I think. At around 0.75 miles the Palisade intersects and joins the Basalt Trail. These trails continue on as one for 0.1 miles where they separate. The Basalt going west (right) and the Palisade going more southwardly (left). This may sound confusing, but the trail post actually do a good job of keeping you on the trail you want to be on. Continuing on the Palisade will get you to the high point of the hike in another 0.1 miles. (This would be about 0.94 miles into the hike). The trail doesn't actually reach the high point, but there is an obvious lookout trail that splits off to the west that will bring you to that point. This will only add a hundred yards to you hike (at most), so it is worth doing, if its your first time. The views were pretty amazing for a total travel of only 0.5 miles and you'll get an idea of some of the other trails in the park. There is not really anywhere else to go from this vista point, so from here you can turn around and return the way you came.

Returning to the Palisade Trail you'll want to continue where you left off. The trail will start a gradual decline and head off in an eastward direction. This makes for a beautiful hike. At this point you will be hiking along a ridge with views to your left and right. In my opinion this was the best part of the hike. You have 360 degree views of the surrounding area. During this stretch you'll come across a couple of connector trails that connect to the Circumference Trail. These connector trails are fairly close together, making the second one seem kind of redundant, but they can be used to add variety to your hikes. However, the Palisade Trail will continue east, bypassing these connectors until ends at its intersecting with the Circumference Trail. At this point, you have hiked the Palisade Trail for a total of 1.56 miles (give or take the mileage of the lookout point).

To return to the TH you have three options. You can always turn around and retrace your steps. You can make a right (south) onto the Circumference. This will add miles to your hike and provide several other options as you go. The most direct route in returning to the TH is by making a left (north) onto the Circumference Trail and following the Circumference back to the TH. In route you'll pass the connector trails that were mentioned earlier and at 2.18 miles you'll come to a juncture where the Basalt Trail starts. But just stay on the Circumference and you'll be back to your car in no time.

2014 Update: Formerly known as Rusty Angel Trail. Originally posted by midnightwaps on 2009-03-29. Revised on 2014-06-07 by mt98dew.

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2014-06-07 mt98dew & midnightwaps
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  • Deem Hills Map
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    Deem Hills Map
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 of 26 deeper Triplog Reviews
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Well it was a nice morning for a hike and when I got to the trailhead there was one car. I had a little extra time before my doctors appointment and decided to add the west half of the circumference trail to my hike.
I did get a picture of a Chuckwalla that I really wasn't sure it was one until I upload my photos. I had second thoughts maybe it was coloring on the rocks as it never moved and I used all the zoom my camera had.
And when I got close to the trailhead there was still one car mine :y:
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Did a slightly modified version of the Deem Hills Inner Figure Eight this morning. There must have been a hot air balloon fest going on this morning because I counted 18 balloons to the north. There was an odd Ford Mustang in the lot this morning when I got there (I was the first one there beside this Mustang). It was parked perpendicular to the parking spaces and across from the parking spaces. I didn't see anyone in the vehicle and it was still there at the end of my hike. Creepy! Anyway, started on the Circumference Trail and headed south to the Basalt Trail, then hopped on Palisades east back to Circumference to Ridgeline to Circumference again to Basalt/Palisades to the water res road back to the trailhead. Nice to get out for a longer morning quickie with some decent elevation.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Just a beautiful morning for a hike. I was really surprised by how many people that were out on the trails.
More flowers blooming and I did have a young lady tell me that seen a couple of snakes on the trail but didn't know what they were. I however did not have such luck. Of course seeing my first Chuckwalla of the year was nice.
Just a really nice pleasant morning.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Doing Deems
Pretty warm for a mid-winter day. So time to work up a little sweat. Has been years since I last hiked Deem Hills. Used to live just south but moved about the time the trails were being cut into this park. Trails are in good shape. A surprising number of people were hiking and biking today.

Lots of brittle brush and globe mallow plus some others.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Quick trip out to get myself moving. I started with the water tower, then Palisades and Basalt were easy inclines. Ridgeline was my favorite of all trails here, no surprise. I found my way to Circumference on the north side and did a solid run back to the trailhead. This wasn't a very exciting set of trails but still fun to do.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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I decided on Deem Hills for this morning and a lot of other people felt the same way. When I hit the trailhead there were two parking spots left and I got one. But the time we started up people were parking on the no parking zone.
The weather was great and I notice more wildflowers blooming here.
When we got back to the trailhead I had a car waiting for my spot so we loaded up and let them have it.
I did meet a couple with lots of gear and of course I asked them what's up. They said they were training for the Grand Canyon. Then they asked me if I new of any other good places to train. And of course only one place came to mind so the week before they leave do Flatiron twice and they be good to go. They thanked me then asked me where Flatiron is and I told them.
I also told them that if they see a guy moving quickly up the mountain wearing really bright trail running shoes to just say hi to JJ as he flies past them.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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What a surprising beautiful morning for a hike :) . When we got to the trailhead the sun seemed to shine on us the whole way :y: .
The trail was not busy but it was muddy at the beginning. Once we reached the top it was hard packed dirty with a few puddles here and there. Just a very awesome day to be out.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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I just a beautiful morning for a hike and a little warmer than it has been. The trails were pretty empty which is always nice. :) I did run into a couple of bikers pushing there bikes up the hill :sweat: .
And the views of downtown Phoenix were to die for :lol: .
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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A nice cool morning but on the humid side. It is nice to see the desert start to turn green again.
Trails were a little busy as people were enjoying the weather. I stopped and talk with a Park Ranger who was working on the trails fixing some of the damage from the storms. This last storm did more damage than the previous storm.
It was nice to see more birds out and lizards to.
Palisade Trail - Deem Hills
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Well todays hike was all about Rowdy. We didn't hit the trail until just before 1pm. :scared: It was warm out and we had the trails all to ourselves. I had extra time today so I was in no hurry. Rowdy struggle a bit and we took extra breaks to let him rest. We had plenty of water so that wasn't an issue. Rowdy just does not like having the sunshine on him. :roll: :roll:
All and all a nice hike with my boy. :y: :y: :y:

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the south: Take I-17 North to the Dixiletta exit. Turn left (west). Cross the bridge and turn left again but don't get back on I-17 going south, instead stay on the frontage road. Travel on the frontage road until you reach Pinnacle Vista. Turn right on Pinnacle Vista. Stay on it until it curves to the right. Just after the curve the parking area is on the left.

2010-03-14 elkhunter4life8888: Alternate Directions: Take I-17 North to Happy Valley Rd exit. Turn left (West). Turn right(North) on 35th Ave. 35th will turn into Pocono Rd (33rd Ave), continue North until you reach Pinnacle Vista. Continue until the road curves and the parking lot will be on the left side.

2010-05-22 coanbru: This trail system has been expanded and is still in the process of being expanded as of 5/22/10. There are 2 additional Trailheads. The first is a neighborhood access - Happy Valley to 39th ave (turn north), 39th turns into Stetson Hills Loop, take this to North Dreamy Hills Parkway and to the end in Culdesac (33 43' 30.55"N 112 09' 40.81"W). The next is a west access - Located at the Deem Hills Park From Happy Valley go north on 51st Ave, follow as it turns into Stetson Valley Pkwy, then right on Deem Hills Pkwy. There are restrooms and water at this site. (33 43'40.38"N 112 09'58.07"W)
page created by midnightwaps on Jun 07 2014 10:03 pm
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