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Ridgeline Trail - Deem Hills, AZ

no permit
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Guide 62 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
2.8 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.45 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,786 feet
Elevation Gain 254 feet
Accumulated Gain 268 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.34
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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5  2019-06-11 RowdyandMe
6  2019-05-23 RowdyandMe
12  2019-04-23
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
18  2019-04-02
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
4  2018-02-15
Circumference Trail - Deem Hills
4  2018-01-03 RowdyandMe
9  2017-05-13
Deem Hills - Inner Figure Eight
3  2017-04-26 caragruey
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author Barrett
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 9
Photos 1,311
Trips 283 map ( 1,483 miles )
Age 55 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Nov, Jan, Mar → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:13am - 6:33pm
Official Route
16 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Ridged for your pleasure
by Barrett

The most dramatic of the trails in the Deem Hills Recreation Area, the Ridgeline ascends the western end of the park, running along the ridge that contains the highpoint, but skirting the actual summit due to the tricky terrain.

Two options will get you to the trail, the first being the Circumference trail originating at Deem Hills Park, where you will find bathrooms, drinking water, a playground and several ramadas. Follow the southern leg east .87 miles, climbing about 270' to a saddle and then down to the Ridgeline trailhead intersection at 33.728180 N x -112.152940 W, where you will find a convenient marker with GPS coordinates, and a QR code that you can scan with a smart phone that will give you more information. The second option is to take the northern leg of the Circumference trail 1.86 miles north and then east to loop around to the end of the Ridgeline trail at 33.732071 -112.155903.

Either option can create a nice loop with great views of north Phoenix and it's many foothills.
The flora is fairly sparse, with mostly Brittlebush and seasonal grasses, with a few Saguaros and small Palo Verdes thrown in.

Depending on the time of year, the fauna can be pretty thin as well, with mostly birds during the day, and the snakes, lizards, scorpions and the like only crawling around at night.
The geology is some exposed basalt, but without the variety seen along the actual Basalt trail, which connects the two ends of the Ridgeline trail and continues for a short distance to the east.
For those interested, a very nice vantage point can be reached via boulder-hopping west from the north end of the Ridgeline trail. Though technically against park policy to leave the trail, the basalt boulders and a decent sense of balance can get you to a very nice flat boulder without leaving a trace. The same cannot be said of the off trail required for the park's high point at the south end of the ridge, which will create use trails if people insist on bagging it.

One more point of interest is a Hawks nest in a Saguaro right next to the trail at 33.732634 -112.159658. Originally made by Crows, Ravens, or Red-Tailed Hawks, the nest supports Great Horned Owls and their offspring during the Spring season.

For a north Phoenix park, this trail sees less traffic than most, and the views, particularly to the north, are of undeveloped Sonoran Desert. The Ridgeline itself spends most of it's time with no views of housing at all, so if you're looking for a bit of quiet, give it a shot.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-06-27 Barrett
  • Deem Hills Map
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    Deem Hills Map

One-Way Notice
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.

Most recent of 27 deeper Triplog Reviews
Ridgeline Trail - Deem Hills
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Short after work jog. Started from the TH on the west side off of 39th Ave. Went clockwise on Circumference, then Basalt, then Ridgeline and then back "home" on the Circumference. The trails seem to be getting more bikers, which is making these very rocky trails smoother. That being said, these trails are still very rocky for jogging. I do like how the elevation changes, especially on the Ridgeline. Very ideal for my level of running. Saw a chuckwalla when I first stepped onto to the trails, but that was about it. Saw 3 bikers and 4 hikers. Weather was perfect today! Nice temps with a breeze.
Ridgeline 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...
Ridgeline Trail - Deem Hills
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After work jog. Waffled between this and Thunderbird Park but it had been awhile since I had done this trail. Started from the park on the west side. Did a loop going counterclockwise. Started with the Circumference Trail, took that around to the east side and connected to the Palisade, then connected to the Basalt (for a brief stint), and then over to the Ridgeline for the gradual climb to the top. Kind of unique going south to north. Almost no switch backs, except two short ones at the top, just a straight gradual climb to the top. Weather was warm, but there was a nice intermittent breeze that made it feel nicer than the previous day. Met one other hiker just as I was starting. No wildlife, except for some small (baby?) lizards.
Ridgeline 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.
Ridgeline 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:
Ridgeline 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.
Ridgeline 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.
Ridgeline 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.
Ridgeline 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.
Ridgeline 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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
To access the Deem Hills Park west trailhead (Circumference trail), exit I-17 North at Happy Valley. Head west 2.2 miles to Stetson Valley Parkway, turn right (north). Drive 0.3 miles to Deem Hills Parkway, turn right and proceed 0.5 miles. Park will be on your right.
page created by joebartels on Jun 27 2015 9:13 am
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