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Shaw Butte Trail #306, AZ

no permit
942 728 3
Guide 728 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix Central
2.6 of 5 by 70
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Popular Workout
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3.86 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,380 feet
Elevation Gain 702 feet
Accumulated Gain 840 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 - 1+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.06
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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1  2019-06-26 RowdyandMe
8  2019-05-07 RowdyandMe
10  2019-04-22 RowdyandMe
11  2019-04-08 RowdyandMe
12  2019-03-18 RowdyandMe
10  2019-03-07 RowdyandMe
4  2019-02-28 RowdyandMe
1  2019-02-19 KingLeonidas
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Author Brems
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 0
Photos 16
Trips 11 map ( 23 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:32pm
Official Route
39 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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a walk in the park
by Brems

This trail has two trailheads. The more popular is on Central Ave, just south of Thunderbird Rd. The other is on 15th Ave, just north of Peoria. Starting from the trailhead on Central, the trail begins as an easy service road. This part of the trail, from the trailhead to the top, is used often by service vehicles to access the vast array of communication towers up on the top. The trail here has relatively easy to moderate inclines that level off for about 25 to 50 yards.

When about to the top, there is an obvious fork in the trail. To your left, the service road continues a few more yards up to the antennas, and on your right the trail will begin to descend the western side of the butte. The deteriorating asphalt soon gives way to a rockier trail. On your right the trail will begin to continue around to the south side of the butte. This part of the trail is not nearly as busy as the first half. About 1/4 of the way down there are the remains of the old Cloud 9 restaurant that burned down back in Nov 1964. (Date and link clarified by a guest) Although they are a bit vandalized, they are interesting to check out.

From the old restaurant, the trail will have 2 options that get you to the trailhead on 15th Ave. One is a jeep trail, and the other, a trail that's a little less traveled.

If you live in the north valley, this trail is a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of Squaw Peak and Camelback. Not nearly the workout, but if solitude is what you seek, this is a nice place to find some.

faucet with potable water near the trailhead

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2002-04-11 Brems
    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 114 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    I did not do the whole trail, just the jeep road from the Central Ave parking lot up to the summit and back. It was in the low 60s, and there was a bit of rain on the way down, plus thunder! Nice - and it looked like there were showers on downtown PHX and the McDowells, as well.

    Ironwoods have been looking great in this area for the past week; also mesquites, though their flowers are green so they catch the eye less.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    Random thoughts - First warm weather run/hike of the year. 85 degrees felt like 95 degrees. Took it slow to keep heart rate down and avoid overdoing it. Toughest thing to do now that I'm 50+ is dialing it down so that I have the strength to come back tomorrow and do another workout.

    This is a lousy wildflower year. Some of the creosote is blooming and the occasional ocotillo.

    Discovered that the outlet stores at Anthem have legit outdoor clearance stores. The North Face store and the Columbia store have better prices than I can find online. Found a Mountain Hardware technical shirt for $14 at the Columbia store and wore it for the first warm weather day run of the year. Shirt stayed dry the whole time and did a great job of dispersing the sweat. Think it may become my favorite running and hiking shirt this year.

    The snowbirds are starting to leave. April is one of my favorite months in Phoenix. The weather is still great but the crowds are gone. Pulled into the parking lot at the North Mountain Visitors center and the lot was almost empty at 3:00 PM. Saw maybe 10 people the entire hike.

    I still can't unsee the very confident corpulent older gentleman hiking up Shaw Butte wearing Speedo's and not much else.

    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    Thinking about doing another GC trip and all of this winter's pizza & beer are catching up with me. So a short and sweet run up the backside of Shaw Butte from the 7th Avenue trailhead. The trail is in fantastic condition, in all of the years I've been going up this trail this is about the best I've ever seen it. Will have to go back to check it out, but it appears that the scrambling route that takes off from Cloud 9 is seeing some use. I'm almost positive Jamil from Aravaipa Running is using that particular trail to get ready for the Barkley Marathon this weekend (check out the documentary on Netflix about this race, it's crazy). Looked like that trail on his YouTube channel when he's out doing hill repeats on Shaw Butte.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    Celebrating the end to another long wrestling season with a trip up Shaw Beauty after school on Monday. I wore a lot of layers to sweat my cold out, but I was unsuccessful, however, I did get to put on the rain coat for a few minutes due to a light rain that passed through. That weather can sure change on a dime on the Butte, especially when you get in that deadly 1k range. Luckily, the pups and I made it off the summit without incident.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    For anyone that likes good Chicago pizza, go to Spinatos on 7th Street, however don't go there the night before you go out for a long run or hike. The pizza was pretty tasty last night with a couple of beer's from Flagstaff's Mother Road Brewery. But it made for an uncomfortable run this morning, took almost an hour before I felt halfway decent. Left from the trailhead on 7th Avenue and headed down to the lower dam and up the Central Avenue climb to skirt the midsection of North Mountain. Then circled back around to catch Trail 100, took that over to Trail 101 up to the social trail along 7th Street and caught Trail 100 just before the tunnel. There is a sign on Trail 101 stating that the main trail on the east side of North Mountain is closed for construction.

    Headed under the tunnel at 7th Street and kept going to Cave Creek, the new trail work along 100 is quite apparent. The section from the top of the saddle down to Cave Creek is the smoothest I've ever seen in the 15+ years I've been hiking or running that trail. What used to be a short technical section is now an easy jaunt. Headed up to the Golf Course Loop over to Trail 25, back to 100 to 306 and back to my car with a few little extra loops and zig zags to hit the two hour mark.

    Just bought an Osprey Duro 1.5 liter running vest and it's quickly turning into one of my favorite packs. Little bit heavier than my Nathan vest, but it doesn't bounce around as much and fits a lot better. Could be a contender for my next pack to do a Grand Canyon run/hike.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    didn't start until after 1 as I wanted to hike a little bit in the heat as we will be doing our backpack in warm temps in two weeks. I did make three stops on the back side just to not overdo even though it was only in mid 70s. My knee still isn't sure about itself but for the most part, it seems just fine.

    Saw two camels (two people without water) at the towers and one passed me on the way down. He had two layers on too. Passed a couple that were out of water on the way up the paved hill and passed them again on the way down. Gave them some of my water. Passed a beet (oh his neck and arms are gonna be hurtin' soon). Played docent for three people that needed directions. Most people were walking their dogs. One was running his leash.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    It seemed like a good idea at the time, go for a pre-dawn run before I had to work this morning. Hit Trail 100 from the 7th Avenue trailhead at 5:30 AM and thought it's been awhile since I've run with my headlamp, a nice change of pace. Cruised up Trail 100 up to 101 and then cut back over to 100 from there. Went through the tunnel under 7th Street and continued on 100 to the tunnel on Cave Creek. Turned around there and headed up the Tapatio Loop. While at the point where I was the furthest from my car I was zoning out and thinking how cool it is to still be running in the dark. So of course a rock jumped up out of nowhere and splayed me out. Got up, dusted myself up and assessed the damage.

    Looking down, one hand felt like it was broken and the other hand was profusely bleeding. But I still had over 4 miles to cover to get back to my car. Wrapped one hand in a bandana and grit my teeth for the run back to my car. Headed home and immediately started icing my hand, luckily not broken just really sprained. Upshot is that I figured out a way to get out of doing dishes for the next few days.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    Normally wouldn't post a workout run but looks like some work has been done to the trails recently. Almost every trail that I've been on around North Mountain or Shaw Butte looks like they went through with a road grader. Trail 100 looks especially smooth. If you know anyone nervous about hiking or running on rocky trails, take them here for the near future.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    After work hike. Started from 7th ave, near police station. Did this clockwise. Jogged what I could:sweat: Temps were great, so I was sweating that much, but I was huffing and puffing a lot. I cannot jog this loop in its entirety either way, but I find I come much closer to succeeding going counterclockwise. Trails were moderately busy...encountered about 25 people in total. No wildlife.
    Shaw Butte Trail #306
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    I was intending to do a hike in the Weaver Mountains today, but with overnight temps in the mid-30s in Phoenix, I knew it would be near or below freezing 2,500 ft. further up. Especially, early in the hike when I was deep in the Cellar Springs Creek canyon. Plus, I am just starting to get over a cold. Bummer, because I was really looking forward to a post-hike pizza at the T-Bird Cafe in Peeples Valley. 🚫🍕

    Instead of hiking early morning at higher elevation, I hiked late morning in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, both yesterday and today. With a hoodie, cinched tight.

    Today, I headed up to Shaw Butte. There’s a couple of short, steep climbs on the way up to the antenna farm, and they killed my back. Not my legs. Not my cardio. My back. Argh! It was misery. 😬

    The highlight of my hike was the palo verde decorated, as it is every year, with Christmas ornaments.

    Merry Christmas! 🎄

    Rockin' Around a Phoenix Christmas Tree: [ youtube video ]

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Trailhead with parking lot located on Central Ave, just south of Thunderbird Rd. Trailhead without parking lot located on 15th Ave, just north of Peoria Rd.
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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