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Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310, AZ

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Guide 24 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
2.6 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 1.72 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,500 feet
Elevation Gain 340 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 40 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 3.42
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
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3  2017-03-21 The_Dude
6  2017-02-19 benbacome
20  2015-07-06 RowdyandMe
24  2015-03-01 RowdyandMe
1  2014-11-17
Shadow Mountain Summit from Acoma TH
12  2010-04-08 paulshikleejr
Author paulshikleejr
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 77
Photos 542
Trips 405 map ( 1,470 miles )
Age 54 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:31pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
B i G Loop
by paulshikleejr

Overview: Shadow Mountain and its related prominences are a component of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in the Lookout Mountain area. Although there are quite a number of natural and semi-blazed trails in the Shadow Mountain complex, there are only two, numbered trails. "Shadow Mountain Big Loop" is one of the numbered trails and is "Trail 310." Trail 310 is a short, refreshing hikes for beginners.

Visible from and just east of Cave Creek Road between Acoma Drive and Sweetwater Avenue, the activity area is easy to get to and offers a number of nearby post-hike refreshment options north on Cave Creek along the way to AZ101 (particularly on the southern side of AZ101 at the Cave Creek exit). This is part of the preserve seems to be only partially developed (it sports only a few posts here and there and all of those posts lack trail identification badges), but it does have one drinking fountain, a watering trough, and a trash receptacle (at the trailhead). There are no restrooms. Based on the presence of spoor, the flat portions of this trail seems to be used from time to time by horseback riders.

Warning: This seems to be a partially developed and only lightly maintained trail. The graphics found on the city and NGO Web sites documenting Trail 310 seem to be incorrect and I found them to be misleading.

Hike: Because the Shadow Mountain trails are only partially developed, the trailhead, located at 33.618676, -112.026561 and identified as the "Acoma Drive Trailhead," is modest. From the trailhead, proceed forward about 461 feet to the drinking fountain and then make a right turn so that you continue on a course perpendicular to the mountain rather than towards it (the picture shows the path away from the drinking fountain). After about 1,369 feet along the path, you will come upon a "crossroads." Turn left and walk roughly towards the rock outcropping. Follow the path (which actually passes to the left of the rock outcropping). After about 1,140 feet or so, on the left will be the water tank (this is a rough distance and location: of course, you have to be sufficiently around the prominence on your left to see the water tank).

Continue forward about 510 feet across the road and then another 630 feet, about until you see the assisted living facility and the big border rocks on the right. Continue on the path about another 825 feet (with the church to your right, now) until you come to a point where there is an unofficial insertion point onto the trail from the church parking lot on your right and a Phoenix Mountains Preserve sign on your left (with the trail continuing beyond the sign and up a slope). Scramble up the slope about 615 feet until you achieve the top of the ridge. Look forward and down and you'll see what the water tank looks like from above. Push on about 615 feet and then take a quick (roughly 30 foot) detour up a face to arrive at, arguably, the highest point on the trail. For the most part, it's all downhill from here.

Quit your perch at the highest point and proceed about 720 feet to an intersection of trails and another 440 feet to another intersection of trails. At the second intersection, hang to the left and proceed to the top of a prominence where you can look north down upon the trailhead. Head down towards the trailhead about 1,070 feet to the drinking fountain and then another 450 feet to the trailhead. All told, this trail is about 1.72 miles in length.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2010-04-08 paulshikleejr
  • map map
    area related
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
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Finally had time to get out for a hike, sadly my first of the month...pulled up to the TH about 5 to get in some fun. Certainly warm out this afternoon, but I did get some late cloud cover that cooled it down a few degrees. I put together a loop on the fly to knock out most of the high points in the area, no real big peaks but at the end of the day I had squeezed over 1100' of gain out of only a bit over 3 miles. I love this little mountain, surprisingly rugged for a short in-towner. The hillsides were simply aglow with flowers, brittlebush in full bloom, and good show from the creosotes too. Dang, I need to get back into hiking shape...
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Great short hike. Great views from the top of each little peak. Many different trails through the area so actual distance will vary depending on the path you choose. The day we did it was overcast and the rain came in as we were on the tail end of the hike. Made for a great experience. Our feet were soaked by the time we got back to the trailhead but our spirits were high. So glad I remembered the rain jackets.
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Stoney Shadow
Got in a good urban double hike this afternoon, started out by Mountain View about 4:30. Second time up Stoney Mountain, this is a fun quick one with good effort. Be aware, there is a good sized bee gathering about a tenth of a mile up the summit spur trail, it is on the left hand side of the trail in one of the numerous rock holes. They were not aggressive, but if you stumbled into the rock it would make for a pretty lousy day. After this quick one, I rolled over to Acoma to start my way up Shadow Mountain. I climbed the main peak, and then proceeded to hit every high point in the area by way of a convoluted loop. Ran into a few folks up on the summit when I had come around for a second trip up. Otherwise, very few other people out on the trail, surprising for such a great weather day.
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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well its been awhile since I did this hike and it will be along time before I do it again. It was nice out and had some great views but all the loose rocks made me nervous. I did get some nice pictures of the storm. Sad part was I was on my way home I saw the best sunset. :-({|=
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Overcast and muggy today, I took a slightly different path than this one but I didn't see an option for it. I started at Acoma, took the circumference east and summited the southernmost of the mountains in this park. Can't really call it a summit or a mountain, it only took about 5 mins to get the full elevation. I came back down sketchily along the South face and hooked up with the Western part of the Circumference trail.

There is a beautiful modern church at the SW corner of the park with two rows of nice Palo Verdes, by the way. Worth a visit.

I went straight up the saddle of Prominence and down to the circumference trail to meet back with Acoma. I was dripping sweat by the end with this mugginess, it makes a huge difference when it doesn't evaporate immediately! I only ever saw 2 other people and that was on the southern mountaintop.
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Well I knew it would rain today so I decided on a short hike. I knew that if it started raining I could make it back to my car in no time.
Shadow Mountain is a interesting little mountain. Rowdy and I really enjoyed this hike. When we got to the top it was very windy and cold. This is a short hike so I added to by doing the small loop as well and then checked a few other trails.
It was nice out and I did seem to miss the rain while hiking. This is the first trailhead that I found a drinking fountain and even a doggy bowl to put water in. I did notice a nice size trough for wildlife.
But as I came down the mountain I did see two bullet holes in it. I guess some people don't enjoy mother nature as much as I do.
Shadow Mountain Big Loop #310
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Only had time for a quick hike today, but I was able to take out my 3 year old (she would say 3 and a half) and our Mastiff for a local. We took a trip up to the summit and then did the bigger circumference. No better training then having my 35 pound daughter up on the shoulders! Things were getting hot towards the end of the hike, I think my dog will be good and tired for the rest of the day. For being a hike right in the middle of town, we only saw 4 other hikers in an hour and a half.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take AZ101 (Pima Freeway, East Loop) to the Cave Creek Road exit. Drive south on Cave Creek 0.9 mile to Claire Drive. Turn left (heading east) and follow the road (as it veers right) one-quarter mile to 25th Place. Make right (heading south) and then a left to follow the road as it transforms into Acoma Drive. Park next to the trailhead.
page created by paulshikleejr on Apr 08 2010 12:52 am
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