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Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP, AZ

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Guide 58 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix SW
2.5 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 2.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 920 feet
Elevation Gain 230 feet
Accumulated Gain 460 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.25 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.6
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2019-08-31
Horseshoe Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
7  2017-10-22
Quail Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
8  2017-07-09
Toothaker Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
4  2017-01-21 xthine
10  2013-03-08 NatureKopelli
7  2011-01-23 MsBrooke
4  2008-05-26 bozzyotr
6  2006-04-17 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,812
Trips 4,256 map ( 21,429 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov → 8 AM
Sun  6:13am - 6:35pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Exciting! A hundred years ago...
by joebartels

Officially the Baseline Trail is a loop that is accessed via the Gila Trail loop. The two combined offer a 2.3 mile figure-eight loop hike presented here. The hike is relatively low key in elevation change with just enough to keep you looking ahead.

From the trailhead head out on the Gila Trail which is barrier-free. This is like the first part of the popular Waterfall Trail in the White Tanks. Meaning it's wheelchair/stroller friendly, designed to comply within ADA guidelines. It's also interpretive with a few benches along the way, including a shaded bench at the Baseline junction.

Once on the Baseline Trail you circle one of the lowest lying peaks in the Estrella foothills. The figure-eight loop is separate from the main group of trails in the park. This appears to be an area previously criss-crossed with numerous trails. The park obviously wanted to keep foot traffic in line by creating this loop. With that in mind there is no access to the main trail system from this loop.

The tread is pretty easy for the most part. One short lived steep section through a ravine will get your attention. Which is followed with a few minor gravely sections. The views along the hike are fair at best. A clockwise trek will present a backside view of the Phoenix International Raceway grandstand followed by a distant view of Rock Knob. Then you bring it home overlooking a golf course followed by views of what the park calls the "Turf Area". An early morning sunrise or a late afternoon sunset would certainly spice things up. Creosote bush and staghorn cholla seems to be the predominate vegetation with some nice ironwoods and palo verdes along the way.

Baseline is derived from the Gila and Salt River Base Line. Which, yes, is in line with Baseline Road and would plow right smack through this loop hike. Of more interest, to me at least, is the confluence of the Agua Fria and Gila rivers. It's only 0.6 miles NE of the trailhead. Of course the bastards dammed the Gila near South Butte. Wild mustangs likely inhabited the area long ago in what was once a thriving riparian oasis.

Anyhow... This is a good loop for those in search of a shorter hike in the park. Just don't come here expecting much and leave feeling robbed due to the access fee. This isn't the Sierra Estrella mountain range the valley views from afar. This is the upper low lying foothills. The majority of the main range is on the Gila River Indian Reservation which is off limits. The one sliver of access is the Quartz Ridge Trail. It's out in the middle of nowhere, but it's free and awesome!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2006-04-17 joebartels
  • Estrella Baseline 2013 Map
    area related
    Estrella Baseline 2013 Map
  • Estrella 2016 Trail Map
    area related
    Estrella 2016 Trail Map
  • Estrella 2016 Park Overview Map
    area related
    Estrella 2016 Park Overview Map
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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Nice run this morning going up Butterfield, around the middle, down Rainbow Valley and back over past the corral. I did see one other guy running way out there about 6 miles and thought to myself, what kind of weirdo is out running at 6 am in the middle of nowhere on a holiday, then realized that was what I was doing (and do regularly). Clearly I have a lot of issues.
Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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Started up the Quail Trail to the Rainbow Trail to Toothaker and then to the Horseshoe trail to baseline trail and then back up Rainbow and down Saddle trail to Quail back to car. Started at 6 in the morning so it was nice and cold but I love to run in the cold so it did not bother me. First run of 2015!!!
Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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Wendi and I did this hike with her mom. Her mom is not an avid hiker and prefers flat terrain but she exercising more and wanted a challenge. This turned out to be just the right trail. Gives you some elevation change but only gradual changes. Not the prettiest views but perfect for our needs.
Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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Went around twice. I wouldn't go out of my way for this hike, but for me it's very convenient when I'm at my boyfriends house because it's practically in his back yard :)
Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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What a beautiful and peaceful morning this was! I had the whole trail to myself :)

This is a great trail in the Estrella Mountains. It's 2.3 miles round trip, but you must access it through the Gila Trail, which is 0.5 miles one way.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info

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

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From central Phoenix head west on I-10 towards California. Take the Estrella Parkway exit and head south. Continue about four miles or so to West Vineyard Avenue. Turn left on Vineyard, you'll pass a golf course. Keep your eyes peeled for the right turn into the park soon after the golf course. Once in the park, pay the entrance fee and pick up a free map. The map will help you find your way to the trailhead.
3 pack - loud whistle
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