Pilot program will from July 16 to September 30 2021.Camelback Mtn Echo Canyon and Cholla trails plus all the trails associated with Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the PHX Mtn Preserve will be closed from 11 am to 5 pm on days when an Excessive Heat Watch is in effect. Defined as 105 degrees by the NWS.
From Apache Trailhead, three trails lead north. All are Trail #304, which is a true loop. Left at the large metal sign is counterclockwise. Both right options are clockwise and merge within two seconds. All immediately dip through a deep-cut ravine.
Clockwise favors easier ascents. Counterclockwise favors safer footing. I'm all about safety, so I headed right. The initial ravine is over quick, and then it's a gentle ascent. Ruth Hamilton Trail #8Bjunction is passed within minutes. Another minute passes, and you come to a moderate ravine with nice steps down.
Continuing up is the steepest part of the trail to a saddle. The footing is better going up, in my opinion. The 170 ft ascent is the most challenging grade on this trail. Hence why this is the most popular loop for young children. Trouble is minimal. Turn around to safety is near. It's a nice little loop to boot.
From the saddle you have distant southwest & northeast views out of the preserves. Continuing all junctions will be left turns. Not always, but as of 2020, signage for #304 is excellent. It's always reassuring to have a loaded GPS route.
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.
Paved - Car Okay
To Piestewa - Apache Trailhead 7232 N Squaw Peak Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85016
End of the road in the park. Road loops around a helicopter landing zone with ramadas on the left and restrooms on the right.
This parking lot and the pre-gate parking lot are known for break-ins
From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 15 min (9.1 miles) From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 1 h 42 min (116 miles) From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 2 h 7 min (143 miles)