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Circumference Trail - Deem Hills, AZ

no permit
593 127 1
Guide 127 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.6 of 5 by 20
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 5.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,496 feet
Elevation Gain 350 feet
Accumulated Gain 890 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.15
Backpack No
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11  2019-05-16 RowdyandMe
12  2019-04-23 RowdyandMe
18  2019-04-02 RowdyandMe
4  2018-02-15 RowdyandMe
16  2018-02-02 rrshort
33  2017-11-12
BCT Yo-Yo No Go
9  2017-05-13
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
16  2017-04-23
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author MEWhiteman
author avatar Guides 40
Routes 91
Photos 790
Trips 351 map ( 2,703 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:32pm
Official Route
19 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Up & down
by MEWhiteman

Overview: This is a nice hike in the Phoenix area offering hills and views and a well maintained trail. It is easy to get to and the numerous trails allow for a variety of hikes. I have used the names of the trails given in the map posted at the trailhead. On planning maps the trails are numbered and I have included those numbers. Some numbered segments have previously been described on HikeAZ as individual hikes. This trail, now called the Circumference Trail (CT), is comprised of trail numbers 1, 2, 3, 6 and 4.

Hike: This loop hike is described in a clockwise direction so that most of the climbing is during the earlier part of the hike. From the parking find the trail at the west end of the parking lot. Follow the trail uphill for about .6 miles to a junction (N33 43.793 W112 08.874). To the right is the Basalt Trail (previously called Trail 1). Turn left here to stay on the Circumference Trail (this part previously called Trail 2 on some maps). Pass a couple more junctions which are really cutoffs to the Paradise Trail as it goes in a westerly direction. At about 1.2 miles (N33 43.572 W112 08.567) you reach the junction with the Paradise Trail (Trail 2 on the right). Turn left here and the CT loops around to head west passing through some nice Sonoran Desert (This was previously Trail 3). At about 2.1 miles (N33 43.690 W112 09.178) is another junction where you should keep left to stay on the CT (Trail 6). You will now be headed downhill and then around the side of the main hill here. Follow this past the athletic fields and back around the north side of the hill. At 4.4 miles (N33 43.924 W112 09.353) after some climbing the Ridgeline Trail (Trail 5) comes in from the right. Continue straight on the Circumference Trail. At 4.6 miles you reach another junction with the Basalt Trail (Trail 4 in this area) (N33 43.809 W112 09.213). Turn left here and follow this trail down toward the CAP canal. You'll hike along the canal on a two-track for a short distance and then bear right at a fork at about 5.3 miles. Continue following this two-track until it crosses a paved road and ends at the trailhead and your car. Total distance about 5.9 miles and AEG of 1,240 feet.

This hike can be confusing in places because there are a number of trails and junctions, and at the time I did the hike, none had any signage indicating what trail you were on or what trails went where at each intersection. There is a map showing the trail names at the trailhead. A GPS track is very helpful. I've tried to describe the turns to make it easier to follow without a GPS and hopefully the city will put signs up in the future.

2012-01-16 mirage1 writes: There are signs now, and they're very good. It's very clear which way to go at each junction. And, they have mileage posted every .25 miles around the circumference and on the ridgeline trail (not sure about the others).

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2011-02-08 MEWhiteman
  • 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 37 deeper Triplog Reviews
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
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Wowza. 1910 is one of the toughest, crumbliest, easy mountains that I've ever climbed. It's the worst, nastiest grus you've seen. There is very little palo verde or rocks to hold onto. It was a fun one.

And then the real fun began...

If you're gonna hike in 'Zona
You're gonna have to get used to snakes
You may not see 'em but you'll hear the sound they make
They don't want to hurt you
But they will give a little shake
If you're gonna hike in 'Zona
You better get use to snakes.

I left 1910 and instead of walking down the powerline corridor, decided to just take the shortest directest route. About half way between 1910 and Ochoa, I spotted about a 3 foot long western diamondback. It was just stretched out. It had ZERO interest in me. In fact, I thought it actually might be dead but wondered if rigor would allow it to be stretched out like it was. It barely even acknowledged my presence as I was standing literally about 5 feet away from it.

Now...every stick is a snake. I left him be and made my way on through the buffel grass and started the MUCH easier Ochoa summit. I quickly gained the summit and headed down.

Only to get the loudest, closest buzz that I've ever gotten from a rattlesnake. I couldn't have been more than a couple feet away. I did the oh :pk: a snake, flying leap and after about 20 feet, froze. Eventually I spotted enough movement to see him. It was I believe, now a Tiger Rattlesnake. Small head and the bands.

The western was almost yellow, living down in the flat buffel grass area.


The rest of the hike was completely uneventful.

A great day.
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
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Pyramid Peak Circumference Trail
Well I decided on Pyramid Peak today and decided to do it using the Deem Hills Circumference Trail. I am glad that I have a handicap sticker as it was the only available parking space left.
The trails were busy until I made the exit for Pyramid Peak. I uploaded Barret's route for this hike but when I got to the spot to start my ascend I did not see a trail. So I decided at this point to do a circumference of the mountain and look for trails leading up, no luck.
I did how ever notice to hikers heading up from a different side of the mountain. Oh by the way there is a flag flying at the top. I also did see two bike riders out on the trail.
As we crossed over the canal I really wished we could just jump in as it looked so inviting.
Once we were back on Deem Hills it was busy all over again and the parking lot was still full.
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
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Deem Hills Loop
Beat the heat and went for a morning hike with @jasoncleghorn around Deem Hills. Began at the western TH and went up and through Deem Hills to return, similar to the Figure 8. Only low 80s but the humidity kicked it up a notch. As we're both easterners the return of sweat was a familiar feel of summer's past. Took a look at the map upon finishing and realized after today's hike I've walked the whole park - enjoy the different loop opportunities here.

After the good schvitz this morning I now have any justification needed for tonight's Canada Day celebratory poutine...
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
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Met @afrankie for a quick trip to Deem Hills. The humidity reminded me more of Florida! Felt good to REALLY sweat it out. We hit the summit and the little scramble to the true summits and then went back down.

Saw a couple literally dragging their shibe anu dogs to go on the hike. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
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I had plans with @CannondaleKid for another epic adventure. I had listened to it rain and storm all night so when my alarm went off at 3:45 this morning I looked at the radar north of Globe and it looked BAD. Hindsight being 50/50 (per former Auburn coach Pat Dye) I should have gone anyway because by 5:30, this not being Florida, but Phoenix, the rain was mostly gone. Can't go back in time... Sorry @CannondaleKid, I'll be ready next time.

So instead of just moping at least I got out this AM and hit up a pretty area at Deem Hills with a decent summit. I even scrambled a bit on the rocks that makeup the true summit on the southern portion of the massif's ridgeline.

Found a couple geocaches when I was done and called it a partial day's success.
Circumference 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:
Circumference 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.
Circumference 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.
Circumference 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.
Circumference 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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From I-17 take exit 218 and head west on Happy Valley Road. Turn right at 35th Ave (a traffic light) and follow this as it turns into Pocono Road (33rd Ave) and you reach a stop sign at Pinnacle Vista Drive. Turn left (west) and follow until it turns right becoming 39th Ave. The trailhead is ahead on the left just as the yellow line ends. To get back to I-17 after the hike take Pinnacle Vista Drive east until it ends at the I-17 frontage road. Turn right and come to the Jomax Rd interchange where you can accesss I-17 north or south bound.
page created by MEWhiteman on Feb 08 2011 10:47 am
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