Formerly know as Quartz Ridge. Hence the title "Ridgeless Encounters" as it doesn't follow a ridge. It's amazing they finally figured it out!
This trail takes off south from the 40th Street Trailhead one mile south of Shea Boulevard at an elevation of 1500 feet. Soon the trail connects with Trail #100 and follows it briefly for a short jag west before heading south again. At 1.25 miles comes a saddle with an elevation of 1776. Here you decend the south side into a ravine. Once down in the ravine Trail #8A takes off south, instead make a sharp turn north and continue on Trail #8. At this point you are hiking in the middle of one of the largest cities in the United States with absolutely no sign of the city.
You lose 160 feet in elevation before easing into a mirrored ascent of 160 feet to another saddle at 1776 feet. It's at this second saddle (2.35 miles) that Trail #8 ends and connects with the 304 Nature Trail. The view from this saddle looking south towards South Mountain is pretty good.
I'm listing this trail one-way as itself. Some may start from the 40th Street Trailhead, come out for the view and head straight back. However, I doubt it's a popular choice by any means. More likely are a slew of various loops that will only trace sections of this trail.
I did a loop of sorts without any planning as I just wanted to get to know the area. With a slightly better idea of the area I think the following would be a decent leisure February spring loop. From the northern most parking area of Piestewa proper head out on Trail #302. Connect onto the Perl Charles Memorial Trail #1A and take one of the use trails up to the Charles M. Christiansen Memorial Trail #100, then head back on #8 possibly tagging in the #8A-B variation.
Keep in mind there's no ridge hiking involved. The hike consist of a couple ravines seperated by two saddles. Quartz Ridge is what you're going over as described as the first saddle above.
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.
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.
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