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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra Estrella
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33 by photographer avatarbkraay
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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
bkraay
Hiking5.90 Miles 2,550 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   3 Hrs   27 Mns   2.00 mph
2,550 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Third time's a charm and would ya know it, it sure is easier to reach the peak in January than it is in June (my last attempt at Quartz). Who woulda thought that? That said, it's not much easier in January... this one had my lungs pumping and my legs pounding almost the entire way--could have something to do with the excessive wine consumption last night. Either way, I made it, and I must say, the summit is as awesome as I'd expected. The issue with the summit is that the closer you get, the further it seems.

There were several moments on this hike when I paused and simply soaked up the views in all directions--some of the photos give a glimpse into the incredible views, notably towards the south, but the photos really do this no justice. I was pleasantly surprised as well as the final half mile or so was not as anticipated, if you have eyes and can see the peak, you can get there... there are so many route options, just do whatever you feel like doing. Hell, maybe you'll take a route for the final push that nobody else has taken, despite the obvious cairns all along the way. In fact, I missed an obvious route to the peak, and ended up wrapped around on the north side scaling some dicey stuff. Awesome.

Make no mistake about it, compadres, this is not a walk in the park. It challenged me almost every step of the way once the ascent began once you leave the old Jeep trail. It challenged me physically and mentally. That peak literally seemed to be moving away from me as quickly as I moved towards it... in the end, I have to say that the summit is one of my favorites to-date. First, it's spectacular and unique in and of itself--add to it the views and this is an absolute must.

NOTE: I came from Maricopa and took the route referenced as a short-cut, and I will confidently say you better have a 4x4 to attempt this--much rougher route than last time. You could find yourself in some deep trouble if your vehicle is ill-prepared.
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Quartz Peak - Sierra Estrella
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