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Nature Trail #304 - Phx Preserves, AZ

Guide 222 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.6 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,558 feet
Elevation Gain 240 feet
Accumulated Gain 284 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.92
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2021-05-03
Phoenix Mountain Preserve Loop clockwise
1  2021-01-05
8A-8-8B-8A loop
6  2020-12-29
Phoenix Mountain Preserve Loop plus
5  2020-12-06
Yates Irregular Loop
13  2020-10-31
Phoenix Mountain Preserve Loops
14  2020-06-07
Phx Mtn Preserve Zig Zag Shoes
30  2020-04-18
Phoenix Mountain Preserve North
6  2020-04-09 joebartels
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 828
Photos 12,029
Trips 4,819 map ( 24,704 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Sun  5:27am - 7:22pm
Official Route
36 Alternative

low key loop
by joebartels

Nature Trail #304 is a popular hike for families with little kids or anyone looking for a more leisurely hike with changing views.

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 #8B junction 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.

The trail drops through Tatum Wash. 210 ft out of the ravine is your first left. Soon you merge with Perl Charles Trail #1A. Before you know it the second and final left turn comes at a bench merging with Freedom Trail #302, popularly known as the Circumference Trail which circles Piestewa Peak.

That left turn has you heading south. After a gentle dip through a ravine, it's downhill back to Apache Trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2020-04-09 joebartels
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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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
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)
page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Feb 08 2010 9:31 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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