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Baseline Trail - Estrella Mtn RP, AZ

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31 56 1
Guide 56 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix SW
Rated
2.5
2.5 of 5 by 10
 
1
Statistics
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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
7  2017-10-22
Quail Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
DarthStiller
8  2017-07-09
Toothaker Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
DarthStiller
4  2017-01-21 xthine
10  2013-03-08 nahimana222
7  2011-01-23 MsBrooke
4  2008-05-26 bozzyotr
6  2006-04-17 joebartels
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov → 8 AM
Sun  7:26am - 5:23pm
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Official Route
 
3 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Gila Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.0 mi away
0.4 mi
44 ft
Horseshoe Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.0 mi away
1.0 mi
100 ft
Quail Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.6 mi away
Saddle Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.7 mi away
Rainbow Valley Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.8 mi away
4.2 mi
400 ft
Toothaker Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
Toothaker Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.8 mi away
3.6 mi
483 ft
Rainbow Valley - Toothaker Loop
Rainbow Valley - Toothaker Loop
0.8 mi away
8.4 mi
1,110 ft
Butterfield / Pedersen / Coldwater Loop
Butterfield / Pedersen / Coldwater Loop
0.9 mi away
14.7 mi
1,195 ft
Coldwater Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
0.9 mi away
2.9 mi
365 ft
Rock Knob / Rainbow Loop
Rock Knob / Rainbow Loop
0.9 mi away
6.0 mi
272 ft
[ View More! ]
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!

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.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info


$7 per vehicle or $85 annual

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
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.
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