Avoid the Fees and Crowds
This is a relatively easy early morning or sunset hike with splendid views of both the East Valley and Lower Salt River. It can be done in either direction, or as an out-n-back hike. You will need a shuttle if you decide to do it one-way. Park one vehicle at the Meridian TH and the other that the unnamed trail head along Usery Pass Rd.
The hike is entirely along the trails connecting both of the trail heads; and, predominantly along the "better" portions of the Pass Mountain Trail. As you climb up the face of Pass Mountain views of the lower valleys continue to expand and you will see Fountain Hills, Blue Point Bridge, Stewart Dam, Four Peaks, as well as the Bull Dog Canyon. Personally, I find the southerly portions of Pass Mountain Trail somewhat unspectacular and often filled with mountain bikers, and joggers. This hike avoids much of that as well as the parking fees for Usery Park. Instead, you time spent hiking capitalizes on the views that develop along the northerly bounds of the peak itself.
There is no bushwhacking, easy navigation, and the trail is wide enough so that with relative caution even a night-time hike can be done in moderate safety.
This morning's hike was cool and we enjoyed the peaceful quiet (apparently, the activity at the shooting range was down to a minimum). My daughter and one of the grandpups accompanied me; and, perhaps that added to the overall enjoyment.
The trail heads are close enough to East Valley towns so as to be readily accessible for those with only a few hours available for exercise.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.