Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP, AZ | HikeArizona
 This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP, AZ

Guide 63 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
2.5 of 5 
31 63 1
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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
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
6  2019-12-07
Quail Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
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
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 264
Routes 2,348
Photos 13,528
Trips 5,439 map ( 27,506 miles )
Age 53 Male Gender
Associated Areas
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Phoenix Region
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Preferred Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov → 8 AM
Sun  6:45am - 6:34pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Flora  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
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Exciting! A hundred years ago...
by joebartels

 Likely In-Season!
Baseline Spur, Gila Loop Trail, Saddle Trail, Toothaker Trail, plus tiny joiners from Rainbow Trail and Horseshoe Trail are access options.
This guide reads the original and only option in 2006, the Gila Loop Trail. 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 with 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 crisscrossed with numerous trails. The park seemingly wanted to keep foot traffic in line by creating this loop. With that in mind, there is no access to the primary 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 undoubtedly spice things up. Creosote bush and staghorn cholla seem to be the predominant 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.

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. These are 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.

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2006-04-17 joebartels
  • Estrella Baseline 2013 Map
    area related
    Estrella Baseline 2013 Map
  • 2020 Estrella Park Info
    area related
    2020 Estrella Park Info
  • 2020 Estrella Park Trails Map
    area related
    2020 Estrella Park Trails 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.

 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 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, and 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.

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