The White Tank Range, located 35 miles west of downtown Phoenix, is part of the Maricopa County Park system. A series of well-maintained trails crisscross the park. The hike to the summit of the White Tank Range utilizes the Goat Camp Trail.
Hike: At the Goat Camp Trail Head (elevation 1537') the trail climbs steadily for 2.96 miles. At 2.96 miles (3141') the trail comes to a saddle with a faint trail heading left (west-ward). The Goat Camp Trail continues on straight toward Mesquite Canyon. Take the left turn here and hike another .83 miles (800' elevation gain) to the microwave towers on the summit. Note: As you approach the saddle where the summit trail turns right, there is a giant fallen saguaro cactus on your right. The GPS registered the elevation at the summit as 3926 feet.
Another good visual landmark for the intersection of the summit trail is your clear view of the summit microwave and radio towers off to your left as you climb toward the saddle. You will see the distinct ridge which you must climb to reach the summit.
My time climbing up was two hours and fifteen minutes at a slow, but steady pace. The round-trip is about four hours.
The views from the summit are magnificent and include the Superstitions to the east, the Bradshaws to the north, the Estrellas to the south and east, and the Kofas to the west. In mid-May, 2005 when I did the hike I was greeted by a bevy of lady-bugs on the summit.
I have done this hike every season of the year. It can even be done in the summer if you start around 6 a.m. The temperatures on May 20 were 78 degrees at 7 a.m. and 97 degrees when I returned to the car at 11 a.m.
This hike is fairly strenuous, but more rewarding to me than other hikes in the valley because one is always greeted by the solitude of the Sonoran Desert and one rarely sees other hikers.
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.