Hotter than Hell!
Thumbing through a thesaurus for hours won't make the Ranger Trail sound appealing. The back trails of Squaw Peak are thick forest compared to this lunar landscape.
Trailhead to Road 0.7mi / 290 ft
Hike through the frying pan. As you approach the mid road crossing the trail gains some elevation.
Welcome to the bleakest spot on the face of the earth. Where it's so bad it's interesting. This is a stroll through the sun burnt rocks created by roughly ten thousand years of nothing but heat. Garbage greets you like the highway from Phoenix to Tucson. Nobody looses sleep over hiking this section of trail. Nobody, it blows!
There is a positive side, even to this frying pan. Just come during a blazing wildflower season and you'll swear the bunnies are dancing.
Road to National Jnct +0.75 mi / +430 ft
Step up from awful to boring. The garbage comes to an abrupt halt. Obviously losers are deceived by the looming mountain mass.
Fear not! This is lazy switchback country with only a mild grunt near the upper end. Even a fat dog like myself would have a fighting chance of mountain biking this trail. You definitely couldn't say the same for several others where five feet gains five feet!
There still isn't much of anything in the vegetation department. A few Palo Verdes take the show. One ocotillo, likely brushed by Moses, is so thick you could start a log cabin with the limbs. Saguaros wouldn't have anything to do with a northern slope, especially this one. Barrel cacti appear sun scorched and twisted as if they're hurling.
Given all the bad you'd have to be blind to miss the lure. Inner city, heck outer city, views don't get much better. Sunsets bounce orange to red and yellow in serious hues between Alta, Goat and Butterfly peaks.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.