The Best View
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 has numerous trails allowing for a variety of hikes. I have used the names of the trails given in the map posted at the trailhead. On many planning maps the trails are numbered and I have included those numbers. Some numbered segments have previously been described on HikeAZ as individual hikes. The is comprised of trails or segments of trails previously numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Hike: From the parking find the Circumference Trail (Trail 1) 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) with the Basalt Trail. Turn right. At about .7 miles (N33 43.838 W112 08.943) is another junction. Turn left here onto the Paradise Trail (Trail 2). At about .8 miles (N33 43.796 W112 09.023) you come to another junction with the Paradise Trail where you should keep right. At 1.0 miles (N33 43.710 W112 09.186) go straight through this junction onto the Ridgeline Trail (Trail 5). This trail winds up to near the highest point in this park providing some great views in most directions. Its a good place for a snack. The Ridgeline Trail swings back down after the highpoint and ends at the Circumference Trail at N33 43.925 W112 09.355 about 2.6 miles into the hike. Turn right here. At about 2.8 miles (N33 43.809 W112 09.213) the Circumference Trail turns left but you should go straight on the Basalt Trail (was previously part of Trail 4). After a short climb you find yourself back at the junction you passed through earlier with the Ridgeline Trail. This is at about 3.0 miles (N33 43.710 W112 09.186). Turn left here and retrace your steps on the Basalt Trail to the intersection with the Paradise Trail (Trail 2) at 3.2 miles (N33 43.796 W112 09.023). Turn right here and follow the Paradise Trail to the junction with the Circumference Trail at about 4.2 miles (N33 43.572 W112 08.567) passing two trails to the left on the way that are cutoffs to the Circumference Trail which would shorten your hike a little. Turn left onto the Circumference Trail passing the other ends of the two cutoff trails. At the junction with the Basalt Trail at 4.6 miles (N33 43.793 W112 08.874) turn right to stay on the Circumference Trail back to the parking area. The total distance is about 5.0 miles and 1,100 feet of AEG.
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.
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.