One of my favorites in the Phx Preserves
Ruth Hamilton fought for the creation of the preserves.
From the west end, Ruth begins about 0.1 mi into the eastern-side of Nature Trail #304. Two short switchbacks are relaxing trail. Then the footing is rocky and variable for a few strides.
The trail gently roller coasters up to Ruth's Saddle. Tread is rough and jagged in spots, not great for running. It might be slow to challenging for children with short legs. Families with young children new to hiking typically hike the western-side of nearby Nature Trail #304. After two short steep sections, you reach Ruth's Saddle.
Continuing East down to Quartz Ridge Trail #8A is the worst tread. Sometimes this side is lightly busy. Keep an eye on footing and traffic. Hikers on #8A can't resist the short side trip up to Ruth's Saddle to see the jewel of the preserves, Piestewa Peak.
Once down to the junction at Quartz Saddle continue ENE which is straight across and slightly left. Soon it's obvious you are on an old jeep road. Views North and East are, in my opinion, among the best inner-city steep mountainside views. The hike to 36th St is easy and relaxing. 36th St is gated in a neighborhood. A left along 36th connects with LV Yates Trail #8.
Overall I typically see occasional hikers in nice weather. Rarely if ever crowded. Ghost townish in warm to hot weather. Most hikers encountered are laid-back and easygoing compared to Piestewa and Camelback summit trails.
It's a nice out and back hike. You can loop SW with Mohave Connector Trail #202 or NE with LV Yates Trail #8. An out-n-back with Piestewa Peak from several inner preserve parking lots is about 5.25 mi / 2K.
Wild Heliotrope, Narrow-Leaved Popcorn Flower, lupine, brittlebush, a few Mexican Gold Poppies, and gilia add color in the spring.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.