Cat Peaks Loop, AZ | HikeArizona
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Cat Peaks Loop, AZ

Guide 251 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,000 feet
Elevation Gain 160 feet
Accumulated Gain 320 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.6
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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6  2023-01-17
Cat Peaks Trail - Usery
8  2022-11-06
Cat Peaks Trail - Usery
10  2022-04-11 Tortoise_Hiker
10  2021-12-17 azlaurie
14  2021-07-21
Southern Usery Wandering
3  2020-10-24
Usery Park-South Exploration
1  2019-06-07 gummo
3  2019-05-25 gummo
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
author avatar Guides 14
Routes 0
Photos 720
Trips 187 map ( 1,244 miles )
Age 64 Female Gender
Location Apache Junction, AZ
Associated Areas
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Phoenix Region
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Winter to Early Spring
Sun  7:25am - 5:55pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Easy Side Excursion
by Trishness

  Likely In-Season!
Cat's Peak Loop is an often-overlooked side excursion trip that is accessed from Pass Mountain Trail in the Usery Mountain Recreation Area. It's a relatively flat trail that follows the terrain on the south side of Pass Mountain and is perfect for families, healthy seniors, and injured middle-aged hikers like me! I've hiked Pass Mountain Loop at least half a dozen times in the past and never even took this trail, but I decided today was a good day to check it out. I tore an ankle tendon several months ago, and this was a perfect trail to test out the ankle.

You can access this trail in two ways. If you park at the main TH and pay the fee, you can head east on Pass Mountain Trail for a little over a mile, and you'll see Cat's Peak on your right. You can also bypass the fee entirely and park at a small TH at the end of Meridian Road (NO FEE!!!!) and then head west across the wash and then southwest on Pass Mountain Trail for a mile, and Cat's Peak will be on your left. The junction is well marked. I hiked it counterclockwise on this sunny Easter morning.

The trail itself is pretty hum-drum but is pretty at this time of year due to the colors and abundance of wildflowers. Lots of Brittlebush, Lupine, Fairy Dusters, Globemallow, Mexican Gold Poppies, and Thistles were observed. The hedgehog cacti are just beginning to bloom in all their fuchsia splendor. I also saw lots of blooms on the prickly pears. There is no shade at all, so I would recommend hiking this only in the winter months through March. The loop hike was easy hiking as it circumnavigates Cat's Peak (2,144 ft). A nice off-trail excursion might be to hike up the peak. However, I'd be careful as to the time of year you decide to do any off-trail in this park since I encountered two rattlesnakes this morning... both on Cat's Peak Loop and none on Pass Mountain Trail.

It's a pretty easy and pleasant trail close to home. I would recommend it as a place to take out of town visitors in the spring for the wildflowers.

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2005-03-27 Trishness
    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 $$
    Maricopa Regional Parks - 2021 [ fees ]

    $7 per vehicle,$85 annual or trade your first born for the life pass

    $2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

    2021 [ hours ] - varies by park & season

    Paved - Car Okay

    To Meridian Trailhead
    Meridian Trailhead is located at the north terminus of Meridian Road between Mesa and Apache Junction.

    US60 to Signal Butte. Take Signal Butte north to University. East (right) onto University to Meridian. North (left) onto Meridian to the terminus. There is a small TH.


    Exit 202 Loop at Brown Road and travel east on Brown Road for about 3.5 miles. From Brown Road (Lost Dutchman Rd), travel North on Meridian for two miles to the trailhead parking area at the end of the road.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 34.1mi - 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 119mi - 2hr 11mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 176mi - 2hr 56mins

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